Ginger, Garlic & Chili Shrimp

5 stars based on 1 votes

Ginger-Garlic-Chili-Shrimp

In this quick and easy recipe — adapted from The Splendid Table’s How To Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift  — jumbo shrimp are bathed in a brine flavored with salt, sugar and chili powder, and then sautéed with loads of fresh ginger and garlic. It’s a delicious and flavorful dish that appeals to kids and adults alike. In fact, the recipe headnote reads: “If there is one recipe in this book that is guaranteed to have your family moaning with gratitude, this is it. After eating these shrimp, a five-year-old has been known to say, ‘Wow, Mom, thanks!’ And they’ve driven a grown woman to shamelessly lick her plate—in front of everyone.” (Thanks to my friend, Kim Cohen, for sharing the recipe with me!)

ingredients

Before we get started, a few words on buying shrimp. Unless you live on the coast and have access to fresh shrimp, it’s best to buy frozen. The “fresh” shrimp you see in the seafood case at the supermarket are almost always thawed frozen shrimp, and you never know how long they’ve been sitting there. Most shrimp are cleaned and flash frozen shortly after being caught, so you’re better off buying frozen shrimp and defrosting them yourself.  For this recipe, try to find jumbo frozen shrimp (21-25 to a pound) labeled “shell split and deveined.” Come dinnertime, all you have to do is run the shrimp under warm water to quickly defrost and then peel.

brine

Begin by whisking together the water, kosher salt, sugar and chili powder.

shrimp-in-brine

Drop the shrimp in the brine and let them sit for about 20 minutes.

garlic-and-ginger

Heat the vegetable oil in a large sauté pan, and cook the ginger and garlic for one minute.

cooking-ginger-and-garlic

Add the sugar and cook 1-2 minutes more. Do not let the garlic brown.

adding-sugar

Drain the shrimp in a colander.

draining-shrimp

Then add the shrimp to the pan and cook until done, 3-4 minutes.

cooking-shrimp-1

Serve the shrimp over white or jasmine rice. The sauce is salty (in a good way) so be sure not to salt the rice. Enjoy!

Ginger-Garlic-Chili-Shrimp

Note: After making this recipe as it was originally printed, I made some minor modifications without any noticeable change in flavor. I increased the amount of shrimp from 1-1/2 pounds to 2 pounds (since frozen shrimp are usually sold by the pound) and reduced the brine by half (the recipe made a ton, and it was unnecessary). To see the original version, click here.

Ginger, Garlic & Chili Shrimp

Servings: 4
Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Brine

  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined (defrosted)

For Cooking

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • One 4-inch x 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 4 teaspoons sugar

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the salt, sugar, chili powder and water. Whisk until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Drop in the shrimp and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a 12-inch sauté pan (preferably nonstick) over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 1 minute. Add the sugar and continue stirring until the garlic is pale gold, 1-2 minutes more. Do not let the garlic turn dark brown.
  3. Drain the shrimp in a colander, and immediately add to the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, until the shrimp are pink and barely firm, another 3-4 minutes. Serve immediately with rice.

Reviews & Comments

  • Could i use olive oil, or is the heat too high?

    - brian on August 9, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Brian, You could, but I think a milder tasting oil (such safflower, canola or grapeseed) would be a better substitute.

      - Jenn on August 10, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This recipe is FANTASTIC!!! I had all the ingredients on hand and the directions were clear and easy to follow. I don’t even care for shrimp that much but this one is a winner! Thanks so much!

    - Elaine on June 30, 2014 Reply
  • Waaaay too salty. It’s a shame…2lbs of shrimp wasted. We could only eat a little bit of the shrimp and we are not sensitive to salt. I salt items more than the average person. I drained all the brine after exacty 20 mins and did not serve with anything else salty. Very disappointing.

    - Colleen on December 31, 2013 Reply
  • This looks delish! I will be trying this tonight!

    - Rebecca on November 7, 2013 Reply
  • Favorite recipe! We cook this once a week. Serve with quinoa. Awesome.

    - F. Shea on November 5, 2013 Reply
  • This is one of my husband’s favorite shrimp recipes. I reduce the ginger by about 1/2 what is called for, and the ginger flavor still stands out. I think with the full amount it would be too strong for me. I get fresh gulf shrimp from my husband’s family, so the most difficult part of this recipe is peeling and deveining the shrimp. But since they are fresh, I can’t complain! I serve this often, with brown or jasmine rice, and a green veggie, usually garlic broccoli or steamed green beans.

    - Amber on October 23, 2013 Reply
  • Another tasty and easy recipe – thank you!
    I increased the amount of garlic and cut back on the salt and sugar a little and it was really delicious. (I also used Japanese sugar which dissolves a little more easily than regular granulated sugar.)

    - M on October 22, 2013 Reply
  • Thanks for posting this recipe. I just tried it and it’s delicious!

    - Jeanne on October 6, 2013 Reply
  • Tried this recipe. Simple Easy and Delicious!

    - edbtxas on September 15, 2013 Reply
  • Delish!!!! and oh so easy….going to send a copy to my daughter who is just learning how to cook!!
    Thank you!!!
    P.S. I never use salt when cooking, unless absolutely necessary, so when I read Phil’s comment, I only used a slight sprinkling of Kosher salt and and everything was delicious and NO LEFTOVERS!

    - Joan on September 11, 2013 Reply
  • Great recipe, I’m gonna try it. Please send me future recipes to my email.

    - dedee on September 8, 2013 Reply
  • Did you use TABLE salt instead of Kosher salt?

    - Terri on August 29, 2013 Reply
    • Yes,I used kosher salt and I follewed the directions exactly.

      - Phil on August 30, 2013 Reply
  • Jenn- No, just 20 minutes and of course I drained them. They were really salty. I am surprised that no one else thought they were salty. Just not used to so much salt I guess. Thank you for the response.

    - Phil on August 20, 2013 Reply
  • The shrimp were so salty we couldn’t eat them

    - Phil on June 13, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Phil, I am so sorry to hear that. I can see how someone who is sensitive to salt might find this dish a bit salty, but for most people it should be fine. I would say that it’s pleasantly salty in the way that most Asian dishes are. (That’s why I recommended in the post to serve it with unsalted rice.) I have made this dish many times and the recipe has been published in several places, including Gourmet — believe it or not, my version actually has less salt than the original recipe. I’m wondering, did you soak the shrimp for longer than 20 minutes? And did you drain all the brine before adding the shrimp?

      - Jenn on June 14, 2013 Reply
  • Hello, do you have any nutritional info?

    - Mary on May 9, 2013 Reply
  • I purchased the ingredients for this recipe then realized I am out of Kosher salt.

    Can I use table salt instead? If so, how much should I use.

    Thanks!

    - Lonnise on May 1, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Lonnise, You would use about half the amount if substituting table salt.

      - Jenn on May 1, 2013 Reply
  • This was delicious and so easy!

    - Jackie on April 25, 2013 Reply
  • Made this for dinner last nice with rice, everyone gobbled it up! Easy weeknight dish, fresh ingredients, a definite repeater….thanks!!

    - Cheryl Fortunato on April 23, 2013 Reply
  • So good and so easy, never used frozen shrimp before since I live on the coast, but I thought with your comments I would try it. They were great and I will be making it many more times. Thank you so much for your recipes, I get excited everytime one arrives in my email.

    - Theresa Kaye on April 22, 2013 Reply
  • How do you make more sauce for the shrimp?

    - Meryl on April 22, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Meryl, I find that this dish has plenty of sauce but if you’d like more, you might try adding a bit more ginger and garlic, and adding a few tablespoons of the brine to the pan along with the shrimp.

      - Jenn on April 23, 2013 Reply
  • can you use dried ginger and minced garlic

    - ellen tinder on April 21, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Ellen, Unfortunately, dried ginger won’t work in this recipe. Fresh minced is a must. Hope you enjoy it!

      - Jenn on April 21, 2013 Reply
  • Yum! Thanks for the dinner idea!

    - Amy Simonson on April 18, 2013 Reply
  • Going to make this yummy-sounding shrimp dish for sure but am going to substitute vegetable oil with coconut oil.

    I wonder how this would be with the Peruvian chicken green sauce on the side — any excuse to use that sauce.

    - Batzion on April 18, 2013 Reply
    • I love that sauce!!!

      - Lisa on May 3, 2013 Reply
  • No, nothing with any sugar content…stevia, splenda?

    - amanda on April 18, 2013 Reply
    • I’d try it with splenda…I find the taste of stevia to be bitter.

      - Jenn on April 18, 2013 Reply
  • Also, do you defrost the shrimp first?

    - amanda on April 18, 2013 Reply
    • Yes

      - Jenn on April 18, 2013 Reply
  • Could I use a sugar substitute? Trying to do a no sugar detox right now but this looks great!

    - amanda on April 18, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Amanda, Can you have honey or agave? I think those would work.

      - Jenn on April 18, 2013 Reply
    • The sugar in the brine serves a purpose but the sugar added later is totally uncalled for.

      - Blake on July 25, 2013 Reply
  • Does the brine make the shrimp more tender?

    - Meg @ Peaches and Cake on April 18, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Meg, Not really, but it adds tons of flavor.

      - Jenn on April 18, 2013 Reply
  • That looks delicious! I love using fresh ginger with shrimp.

    - BusyWorkingMama on April 18, 2013 Reply
  • I’ve got that cookbook and I remember seeing this recipe but had forgotten about it. Thanks for the reminder! Yours looks fabulous!

    - Kath on April 17, 2013 Reply

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