This is not for the weak hearted or people who do NOT like spicy food. This dish is a popular street food from Jamaica that has set my tongue, lips on fire so many times but I..Just...Can't...Stop...Eating..It. We are dealing with Jamaican pepper shrimp, today.
This is not a dish to be paired with a side. The only thing needed with this is drinks (which always implies alcoholic ones) or water. This is the ultimate hang out with friends dish (what we call liming). Conversations are running, drinks are flowing and you're just hanging out.
Did I already mention this is not for the faint-hearted?
I was first introduced to this at my friend's restaurant. It was in a small ziploc bag with about 6 shrimp in the bag. I bit into one and even though I was scrambling for water I could not stop eating from the bag. One shrimp, a few gulps of water and repeat.
The hardest process of this is cleaning. The butcher told me "oh it's easy" just use a toothpick and get it out. It's a process, but worth it. The best type of shrimp to use here is with the shell and with the heads on. The head of the shrimp has juices that flavor the shrimp when it's cooking.
After cleaning, everything is easy
I washed out the shrimp and then washed with lime to get the "freshness" out.
Set that aside and time to mix up the marinade for the shrimp. We need to blend the scotch bonnet (or whatever hot pepper you used), garlic and a little olive oil to give it some body.
And we add this to the cleaned and drained shrimp and leave it for at least an hour.
Time to turn up the heat!!
Heat your butter till melted and add some crushed garlic. I must say I LOVE this bru joy garlic press. I got it to review last year and it has been something I use constantly. No peeling; just stuff garlic and squeeze.
After butter is all melted and crushed garlic mixed in, it's time to add the shrimp. Along with the marinade sauce. Just dump everything in.
This is not going to be long. Mix the shrimp with the butter, stirring continuously to ensure everything is evenly incorporated.
Then you can cover if you would like. You can also leave uncovered. This should not cook for more than 8 - 9 minutes as you do not want the shrimp to get tough.
Give it another stir and take it off the stove. Add some chopped scallion or not and leave to cool.
This is eaten with your hands. No spoons, no forks. Just some shrimp, napkins, drinks, and friends. This would pair nicely with my Caribbean Rum Punch, a little something to cool down the heat from this shrimp.
This can be stored in the fridge for 2 days. Can be served cold so you can make it before and store it in the fridge. Does not have to be warmed up to eat.
Nothing beats good friends and good food!
Have you ever had pepper shrimp? TRY ITTTT!!
yield: Serves 4
Jamaican Pepper Shrimp
A "how to" to create a Jamaican street food delicacy made of whole shrimp, marinated in hot pepper marinade then cooked to perfection.
prep time: 1 hourcook time: 15 MINStotal time: 1 hours and 15 mins
- 2 lbs shrimp (shell and heads on)
- 1 lime
- 3 scotch bonnet peppers
- 3 garlics, crushed
- 1 teaspoon olive oil (plus additional)
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion pwder
- 4 tablespoon butter
- Salt to taste
- De vein shrimp. Use a toothpick to clean out vein through shell
- Once all shrimp is cleaned, wash shrimp out with water. Add water to shrimp and squeeze lime juice into water. Leave to sit for about 10 minutes. Drain
- WITH GLOVES ON, blend scotch bonnet, 1 garlic and olive oil. Olive oil gives the mixture a bit of movement. Add more if needed to ensure you can spread the mixture over the shrimp. Let sit for at least an hour to overnight
- Heat butter over a medium heat
- Add crushed garlic and let simmer for a little while
Add shrimp with all marinade
- Add shrimp, with all marinade to butter
- Leave to simmer for at most 9 minutes (you can cover if you wish, but not required)
- Let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature
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