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Jerk-flavored recipes

Jerk Shrimp

The Jerk Shrimp recipes you’ll learn in this post are a one-skillet protein that utilizes pantry-friendly ingredients. This is to produce a taste that is as Jamaican as it can get.

Regardless, it’s flavorful, juicy, smoky, spicy, earthy, bright, and tangy all at the same time.

The dance of flavors comes from a fast and easy marinade of lime juice, soy sauce, honey, ketchup, and homemade Jerk seasonings. The best part? It only takes a few minutes to whip up. 

You can also serve the Jerk Shrimp as an appetizer or with rice, veggies, and fruit or in salads, tacos, wraps, quesadillas, and more. That’s because you’d want to gorge this sumptuous dish any way you can!

What is Jamaican Jerk Shrimp?

The name of the recipe came from “Jerk seasoning.” It is a blend of Caribbean-inspired flavorings and dried herbs that are sweet, smoky, earthy, and spicy.

It is commonly made with the following:

  • paprika
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • cayenne pepper
  • dried thyme
  • dried parsley
  • allspice
  • nutmeg
  • cinnamon
  • salt
  • Pepper

You can take some creative liberties in your Jerk Shrimp recipes by swapping the cayenne pepper for ground chipotle chile pepper and adding ground ginger. But the rest of the seasonings remain the same.

Tips for Buying Shrimp

These Jerk Shrimp recipes are made with just a few ingredients. The star, of course, is the shrimp!

Here’s what you should look for:

  • Buying wild-caught shrimp.   Always look for wild-caught shrimp instead of farm-raised ones for the best flavor and texture.
  • Buy raw, deveined shrimp. Purchase the raw shrimp (not the pre-cooked ones), peeled and deveined. Purchasing prepared shrimp saves you tons of time and makes your job a breeze. That’s because all you have to do is defrost the shrimp. 
  • Buy medium shrimp. Use the medium-sized shrimp, around 31-40 counts (meaning, there are 31-40 shrimp in a pound). So your shrimp are large enough that they don’t easily get overcooked but small enough that you can pop each plump morsel in your mouth without having to stop and cut. You’ll also notice that medium shrimp have a more appealing texture than larger shrimp.
  • Frozen shrimps are awesome! Frozen shrimps are frozen shortly after they’re caught. This means that they’re frozen at peak freshness. So, unless you live near a coastal area, frozen shrimps are fresher than the seafood counter by the time it’s bought and you use it. Frozen shrimps are also more economical than fresh ones because you can keep them stocked and ready to use any time. 

What is the Easiest Way to Peel and Devein a Shrimp?

It is better to purchase shrimp that is already peeled and deveined so all the work is done for you. Otherwise, you’ll see the dark, sandy intestinal tract going along the back of the shrimp.

Sometimes it will be very dark and sometimes it will be more difficult to find depending on when the shrimp ate last.  

While eating the shrimp with the veins won’t harm you, it can add grittiness and distract from the clean shrimp taste. So, it is highly recommended to remove it. To effectively devein a shrimp:

  1. First, find the vein in the shrimp running along its back.
  2. Make a slight cut and use the tip of the knife to lift it out.
  3. The veins and shells can then be discarded.
  4. Rinse the shrimp then let it rest on a paper towel to dry.

Jerk Shrimp Variations

These Jerk Shrimp recipes are delicious and easy to customize. Here are some ideas:

  • Spice it up. You can make the shrimp spicier by adding cayenne pepper. 
  • Cilantro Lime shrimp.  Use the Jerk seasonings and marinade it and finish it with some fresh lime juice and finely chopped cilantro.
  • Add veggies. After you take out the shrimp from the skillet, cook any leftover vegetables you like. We recommend zucchini, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, mushrooms, bell peppers. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Skewers. You can make Jerk Shrimp Kabobs by adding shrimp, pineapple, bell peppers, and other vegetables of choice to the skewers.

Tips for Jerk Shrimp Recipes

  • Thaw the shrimp. Make sure that you thaw the shrimp before combining it with the marinade. Otherwise, it will weaken the seasoning. And don’t use the microwave to thaw it!
  • Wait until the skillet is hot.  Don’t let “hot” be confused with high heat. It is highly recommended that you use medium-high heat. Wait until the skillet is very hot before putting the shrimp to achieve the coveted golden sear. 
  • Use a large skillet.  Use a large skillet where you can spread the shrimp into an even layer for searing. If you don’t own a large skillet, cook the shrimp without overlapping. This might mean cooking in batches.
  • Don’t over-cook the shrimp.  Cook the shrimp just until it turns opaque. This should only take less than 5 minutes. As soon as the shrimp turn pinkish-white and it starts to curl, they’re done. Don’t be tempted to cook them even a second longer! So have a plate ready where you can transfer the shrimp as quickly as possible.
  • Cook shrimp with tails on.  It is recommended to cook your shrimp with the tails on because the tail shells contain strong shrimp flavor. Once your shrimp is cooked and resting, you can remove the tails later.

Jerk Shrimp Recipes

Jerk Shrimp by Carls Bad Cravings

Ingredients for the Jerk Shrimp

  • 1 pound of peeled and deveined medium shrimp raw
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

For the Marinade

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon of reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of ketchup
  • 1 tsp of EACH: chipotle chili powder, paprika
  • 1/2 tsp of EACH: garlic powder, onion powder, allspice
  • 1/4 tsp of EACH: ground ginger, dried thyme, salt
  • Pinch cinnamon and nutmeg

For the Garnish

  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh parsley

Preparation

  1. Add the marinade ingredients to a freezer bag or medium bowl and whisk them to combine. 
  2. Add the shrimp and marinate at room temperature for 15-30 minutes or inside the fridge for up to 60 minutes (no more, no less).
  3. Preheat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the shrimp and marinade, then cook them for approximately 3 minutes on each side or just until it turns opaque and cooked through. Toss it with fresh parsley.

Cooking the Shrimp in the Oven

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Prepare a baking sheet and line it with foil and spray it with cooking spray.
  3. Line the shrimp in a single layer so it isn’t touching.
  4. Roast it for 6 to 8 minutes or until the color turns opaque.

Grilling the Shrimp

  1. Soak the wooden skewers for at least an hour so they don’t catch fire.
  2. Thread the shrimp on skewers.
  3. Grease and heat the grill or grill pan over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the skewers in a single layer without touching. 
  5. Cook the shrimp for 2-3 minutes on each side or until the shrimp has become pink and opaque.

Spicy Jerk Shrimp by Eating Well

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pound of fresh or frozen large shrimp in shells
  • 4 (1/4 inch thick) slices of peeled and cored fresh pineapple, halved
  • 2 cups of bite-size strips red sweet pepper
  • 2 cups of sliced red onions
  • 1 fresh sliced jalapeño chile pepper, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Jamaican jerk seasoning
  • ½ cup of coarsely snipped fresh cilantro
  • 1 ⅓ cups of hot cooked brown rice
  • Lime wedges

Preparation

  1. Thaw the frozen shrimp and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line two 15×10-inch baking pans with foil.
  2. Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving its tails intact if preferred. Rinse the shrimp then pat dry. 
  3. In an extra-large bowl, combine the shrimp and the pineapples, red sweet pepper, red onions, jalapeño, olive oil, and Jamaican jerk seasoning. Toss thoroughly to coat. 
  4. Divide the mixture between the prepared pans then roasts for 15 minutes or until the shrimp are opaque.
  5. Sprinkle some cilantro and serve with brown rice and lime wedges.

Jerk Shrimp with Grilled Onion, Avocado, and Mango Salsa by My Recipes

Ingredients

  • 1 peeled and finely chopped mango
  • ½ finely chopped avocado
  • ¼ cup of finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 pounds of unpeeled large raw shrimp
  • 1 red onion, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of Jamaican Jerk Rub

Preparation

  1. Combine the first seven ingredients in a medium bowl, then set them aside.
  2. Peel and devein the shrimp without removing the tail. 
  3. Toss the shrimp and onion along with the oil in a large bowl. Sprinkle them with Jamaican Jerk Rub, then give them a nice toss to coat. 
  4. Grill the shrimp and onion over medium-high heat (350° to 400°) for 6 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink. Flip halfway through. 
  5. Chop the onion and add to the salsa mixture while stirring it gently. Serve the shrimp with salsa.

Low-Carb Jerk Shrimp by Cooked by Julie

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of shrimp
  • 1 sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 sliced green bell pepper
  • 1 sliced yellow bell pepper
  • 1 diced or sliced onion
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp of lime juice
  • 2 tsp of dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp of nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp of all-spice
  • 2 tbsp of scallions
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil

Preparation

  1. Preheat a couple tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers then cook it for 3-4 minutes. Season it with salt and pepper.
  2. Add in the shrimp, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, all-spice, nutmeg, dried thyme, lime juice, garlic, salt, and pepper then cook it for 1-2 minutes or until the shrimps turn pink.
  3. Garnish it with scallions, if desired, and enjoy!

Note

If you’re not into a low-carb diet, feel free to sweeten things up a bit with a pinch of brown sugar or 1/2 tbsp of honey. 

Sweet and Spicy Jerk Shrimp by All Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pound of large shrimp in shells
  • 1 can or 20 ounces of pineapple slices packed in 100% juice, drained, and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into thin strips
  • 1 sliced large red onion
  • 1 seeded and sliced jalapeno pepper – halved lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Jamaican jerk seasoning
  • ½ cup of chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cups of hot cooked brown rice
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit or 220 degrees Celsius. Line two 10×15-inch baking pans with foil.
  2. Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails intact if desired. Rinse the shrimp and pat it dry.
  3. Gently toss the shrimp together with pineapple, bell peppers, red onion, jalapeno, oil, and jerk seasoning in a large bowl. 
  4. Divide the mixture between the prepared pans.
  5. Roast in the preheated oven until the shrimp are opaque (about 15 minutes).
  6. Sprinkle it with cilantro and serve it with brown rice and lime wedges.

Caribbean Jerk Shrimp with Cauliflower Rice by Eat Yourself Skinny

Ingredients

  • 10 oz. peeled and deveined large shrimp
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp of red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp of packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp of reduced-sodium soy sauce (green top)
  • 2 Tbsp of chopped green onions
  • 1 Tbsp of finely chopped and seeded jalapeño
  • Lime wedges, if desired

For the Jerk Seasoning

  • 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. of onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. of dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. of paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. of allspice
  • 1/8 tsp. of nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. of cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. of sea salt

For the Cauliflower Rice

  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 finely chopped and seeded jalapeño
  • 1 cup of chopped fresh pineapple
  • 4 cups of cauliflower rice
  • 1 tsp. of garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. of sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. of pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 can or 15-oz of no-salt-added red kidney beans
  • 2 Tbsp of chopped cilantro

Preparation

  1. To prepare the marinade, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, orange juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, green onions, jalapeño, and the jerk seasoning in a medium bowl. 
  2. Add the shrimp to the bowl and allow them to marinate for about 30 minutes. If you’re using wooden skewers for the shrimp, make sure they are soaked in water for at least 30 minutes.
  3. To prepare the cauliflower rice, heat a large skillet over medium heat and drizzle it in olive oil. 
  4. Add the bell pepper, jalapeño, and pineapple and sauté them until they are tender (about 3 to 5 minutes). Add the cauliflower rice, garlic powder, salt and pepper, cinnamon, and orange juice. Cook it for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add in the kidney beans and cook it for another 2 minutes. Remove it from the heat and mix in the chopped cilantro.
  6. Thread the shrimp onto soaked wooden skewers (reserving the marinade). then grill and cover it with a lid over medium heat for about 4 to 6 minutes. Flip halfway through.
  7. In a shallow bowl, transfer the reserved marinade then bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and let it simmer without the lid for about 10 minutes.
  8. Brush glaze over the top of the grilled shrimp skewers and place it over some cauliflower rice with lime wedges. Enjoy!

Drunken Jerk Prawns by Jo Cooks

Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb of jumbo prawns
  • 1/2 cup of bourbon
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp of Jamaican Jerk seasoning
  • 1 tbsp of fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of unsalted butter

Preparation

  1. Devein the shrimp if needed and remove its shells but leave the tails on.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, add in the bourbon, lemon juice, jerk seasoning, and whisk well.
  3. Give the prawns a nice toss making sure that all the prawns are covered with marinade. Store it in the fridge for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the oil and the butter to a skillet and melt the butter over medium-high heat. 
  5. Add the prawns to the skillet, then keep the leftover marinade. Cook it for 2 or 3 minutes until the prawns turn pink, then flip on the other side. 
  6. Pour about 1/4 cup of the leftover marinade over the prawns then cook it for another 3 minutes or until they are cooked through. You’ll notice that the sauce will diminish almost right away, caramelizing the prawns a bit.
  7. Take the shrimp out from the skillet. Garnish the prawns with parsley and serve it while still warm.

Reasons to Love Jerk Shrimp

  • Easy. These Jerk Shrimp recipes are to whip up in case you can’t think of anything to cook for dinner. And if you’ve never prepared shrimp before, don’t be frightened. It is the simplest protein you will ever make. Just marinate the shrimp along with its ingredients for 15-60 minutes, then cook it for just 3-4 minutes. That’s it! 
  • Delicious! Even though the Jerk Shrimp is simple and easy to prepare, it’s out-of-this-world flavorful, with traces of sweet, smoky, tangy, and spicy.  
  • Pantry friendly. You can prepare these Jerk Shrimp recipes at any time as long as you keep frozen shrimp stocked. You should already own the rest of the ingredients on hand. So, just grab some frozen, deveined shrimp on your next Costco run and you’ll always be ready for these unabashedly savory recipes made with minimal effort and pantry-friendly ingredients.
  • Breaks up the monotony. Chicken is hands down the commonly served protein. Hence, it can get a little boring. These Jerk Shrimp recipes break up the monotony with its fireworks of flavor.
  • Versatile. Any Jerk Shrimp recipe is super versatile. You can serve it along with rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, pasta, veggies, grits, and potatoes. You can also serve it with salad or in a salad, tacos, wraps, lettuce wraps, bowls, and more. The possibilities are endless!

Shrimp is low in calories, carries zero carbs, and it provides a high amount of protein and healthy fats. It is also a perfect source of iodine, an essential mineral needed for proper thyroid function and brain health. Shrimps also has selenium, a mineral that may help decrease inflammation and support heart health. 

It is also a perfect source of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as the antioxidant astaxanthin, all of which support heart health. Mind you, four ounces of shrimp carries over 75% of the regular value for vitamin B12, over 50% for phosphorus, and over 30% for choline and copper.