Jamaican curry shrimp recipe - seafood lovers will go crazy for this delicious, flavoursome Island shrimp dish that's so easy to make from scratch.
This Jamaican seafood cuisine is a favourite of mine as it brings back fond memories of my youth. If you adore Caribbean seafood that is relatively simple to prepare and equally as tasty then this Jamaican curry shrimp has your name written all over it.
**Update alert I have increased the amount of shrimp used for this recipe and adjusted the seasoning to compensate**
This is my mother's recipe because I think she is queen of making the tastiest and pretty darn easy curry shrimp in my family. I asked her 100 times how to perfect it her way and watched her over and over for years. Now that I have my own cooking website I'm pleased to share a taste of home with you all and hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we have.
Our recipe has it's own adaptation, for instance we don't include bell peppers in the curry sauce. This is purely down to preference but you will find much Jamaican shrimp curry recipes will have peppers. We also include some paprika and my all purpose seasoning blend in our curry, again that's just how we like it.
A few tips on fast tracking the recipe
The great thing about this shrimp dinner is that it can be prepared the night before. It's simply as case of whatever works out best for you. You have the option of chopping up the onions, scallions and garlic overnight, ready to use ahead of time.
Alternatively, you can cook the curry sauce overnight and set aside so if you're busy with work or chores during the day, all you'll need to do is add the shrimp to the sauce which makes things much more convenient.
How to make Jamaican curry shrimp
In terms of what ingredients, you will need the following;
- Curry powder
- All purpose seasoning (I used my homemade blend)
- tomato paste
- coconut milk
- hot water
- Himalayan pink salt
Jamaican curry shrimp with coconut milk
I found the more precise you are with measurements and ingredients the better the overall results.
There is no need for a thickener since the fat from the coconut milk will congeal and add volume to the sauce.
Coconut milk is a integral part of the cuisine for that velvety smooth sauce.
Ingredient ratio - You don't need a lot of onion for this recipe, I find too much onion, curry powder and tomato paste can be overpowering. You really don't need a large quantity of any of these ingredients because too much of one ingredients especially those mentioned can ruin the dish.
I use a small onion to make this recipe always, if I don't have a small onion then I simply use half of a medium sized onion but never a whole large one because that would be too much.
Curry sauce - The curry sauce should be made first before adding the shrimp. The sauce is made with all of the ingredients listed above and let to thicken up for about 10 minutes prior to adding the shrimp.
Adding the shrimp - Only add the shrimp once you or your guests are ready to eat, don't re-heat the shrimp as the texture will change and only add the amount of shrimp that you intend to consume. It goes without saying as it why you should do so.
Cooked vs raw shrimp - I'm always partial to using raw large shrimp because they are less likely to overcook. If you are new to cooking seafood, I would recommend using raw shrimp. They require a slightly longer cooking time than cooked shrimp and are less inclined to over cook.
On the other hand, cooked shrimp only needs to be heated through prior to serving so timing is very crucial to avoid overcooking and compromising the texture.
Can I make this shrimp dish without a dutch pot?
Yes, of course, most Caribbean households defer to the dutch pot for cooking stews, however, a deep frying pan works just as well.
Curry shrimp Jamaican style is........
- So flavoursome you will want it over and over again
- Jamaican curry shrimp and rice is a favourite
- Sweet potatoes (paleo option)
Can I use low fat coconut milk instead?
If you are worried about the fat content, there's the option of using low fat milk instead. If you do use this type of milk you will need to mix it with a tablespoon of starch to help thicken up the sauce.
The step by step pictures
Saute the garlic, onion and scallion until translucent and soft.
Add the tomato paste, stir then pour in the hot water and sprinkle in to the sprigs of thyme
Pour in the coconut milk into the dutch pot
Add your spices - curry powder, all purpose seasoning and paprika followed by the raw shrimp
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Jamaican Curry Shrimp
- 1 lb extra large raw shrimp (devained and washed) (450g)
- 1 tbsp of curry powder heaped
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tsp of all purpose seasoning see post
- 1 tsp of paprika
- 5 sprigs of thyme
- 2 large scallion chopped
- 1 small onion chopped
- 4 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup of coconut milk
- 1 cup of hot water
- himalayan pink salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 whole scotch bonnet
- On medium heat, melt some coconut oil in a medium sized dutch pot and proceed to saute the onion, scallion and garlic until soft and translucent.
- Stir in the tomato paste, sprigs of thyme and continue to cook for another minute before pouring the hot water in first followed by the coconut milk
- Bring to the boil then add your curry powder, all purpose seasoning, paprika and scotch bonnet.
- Reduce the flame to low and simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken
- Finally add your shrimp and coat with the sauce and cook for 5 minutes until they turn completely pink. If using cooked shrimp, coat and heat through for 3 minutes maximum.
- Add the desired amount of pink salt/black pepper according to taste.
- Do a taste test and add more seasoning/curry if required then serve accordingly
- Make sure the shrimp you are using is RAW and NOT cooked for the texture will be rubbery if overcooked
- The shrimp should be de-vained and cleaned before being prepared.
- Be sure to let the sauce cook down first before adding the shrimp. Don't rush this step because you want the flavours to come through
- You can add black pepper if you want but I tend to omit this by choice
- 380g of shrimp is roughly two cups in total
- You can double the batch if you are making this dish for more than 2 people