Spicy Shrimp Stew Recipe

Mouth-watering stews are great in general, but a spicy shrimp stew recipe created by recipe developer Carlos Leo of Spoonabilities is even better. That's especially true when you factor in the fact that this stew dish is quick and easy to make for cooks of all skill levels. "It's super easy and anyone can make this stew," Leo says. It's well-suited to weeknight dinners and hungry families, too, given that it serves 6 people and can go from stove to table in about 30 minutes.

As an added bonus, this shrimp stew recipe will fill your kitchen with delicious aromas. If you've never cooked this type of stew before, it's important to know how to tell when the shrimp is fully cooked. Luckily, it easy to recognize when the shrimp has achieved this state, according to Leo. "Color is the best indicator but for this particular recipe, five minutes [of cooking] is a good indicator that it's safe to eat," he says.

Although this dish can certainly be eaten by itself, Leo recommends serving the stew over a bowl of white rice, polenta, or with a piece of toast to soak up all the juices. You can also use the same sauce to cook fish or chicken if you don't fancy shrimp.

Gather the ingredients

First, you'll need to gather the ingredients and pre-measure everything in a super useful step known as mise en place. To make this spicy shrimp stew, you'll need extra virgin olive oil, red onion, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, and garlic cloves. You'll also need ground cumin, dried oregano, white wine, a can of whole San Marzano tomatoes, sambal oelek chili paste, and a bay leaf. 

Finishing off the ingredients, you'll need sea salt, ground black pepper, the juice from half a lemon, raw large shrimp, and coarsely chopped parsley leaves for serving. Take a few minutes to finely chop the red onion, julienne both bell peppers, and cut the garlic into thin slivers. You'll also want to ensure that the shrimp have been peeled and deveined.

If you don't have sambal oelek chili paste, you can use 3 tablespoons or more of red pepper flakes. Likewise, if you don't have access to San Marzano tomatoes, you can use any can of chopped tomatoes you find at the store.

Cook the onion and peppers

In a large saucepan, first the olive oil and heat the pan over medium heat. Then add the red onion and the red and yellow bell peppers and sauté everything. You'll want to stir this mixture occasionally for about 4 minutes, or until the mixture softens, yet is still a little crunchy. 

Next, add the garlic and cook the mixture for a further 30 seconds, until the garlic starts to release its fragrance. Keep stirring to make sure that everything is cooking evenly and nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.

Continue to add ingredients to the saucepan

Now that the peppers and aromatics have cooked for a bit, add the ground cumin and dried oregano to the saucepan. Then, it's time to pour the white wine into the saucepan, stir, and cook for about a minute until the majority of the alcohol has evaporated.

As for the particular wine, you have a bit of flexibility here and can also draw on any leftover white wine that you may have already waiting in the fridge. "Use any wine that you already have open in the refrigerator," Leo says. "Dry wine [works] but I personally used Riesling (it's a sweet wine) because that's what I had."

Break up the tomatoes and thicken the sauce

While the stew mixture is cooking in the saucepan, open the can of San Marzano tomatoes and add them, along with their juices, to a separate bowl. Break the tomatoes up into small pieces with your hands. Once the tomatoes are broken up, add them to the saucepan with the previous ingredients. At this time, you'll also add the chili paste, bay leaf, salt, and pepper to the saucepan.

Now, increase the heat on the stove so you can bring the stew to a boil. Once the stew has reached a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low heat and allow the sauce to thicken for about 10 minutes. Next, add the lemon juice and stir to combine. Take a moment here to taste and adjust the seasoning, in case you need more salt or chili paste.

It's important to note at this stage that, when you add the shrimp in the next step, it may seem like the stew needs more liquid. However, the shrimp will release more liquid after it's covered, so resist the temptation to add any extra ingredients at this point.

Cook the shrimp in the stew

Now that the sauce has thickened, it's time to add the shrimp to the saucepan. Make sure each shrimp is submerged in the liquid, then cover the saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. During that time, the shrimp will turn pink. Don't allow the mixture to cook for much longer, however, lest you overcook them and produce unpleasantly rubbery shrimp.

Stir to combine and make sure the shrimp is cooked all the way through (meaning it's turned pink). Then, remove the bay leaf from the stew. Finally, drizzle the spicy shrimp stew with extra virgin olive oil and chopped parsley. Serve it fresh and piping hot and enjoy!

Spicy Shrimp Stew Recipe
5 from 21 ratings
This spicy shrimp stew is well-suited to weeknight dinners and hungry families, given that it serves 6 people and can go from stove to table in 30 minutes.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
6
servings
Spicy Shrimp Stew
Total time: 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, julienne cut
  • ½ cup yellow bell pepper, julienne cut
  • 4 garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • 3 ½ tablespoons sambal oelek chili paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 ½ pounds raw large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tail off (frozen or fresh)
  • Coarsely chopped parsley leaves, for serving
Directions
  1. In a large saucepan, add the olive oil and heat the stove over medium heat. Add the red onion and the red and yellow bell peppers and sauté. Stir occasionally for about 4 minutes, until the mixture softens, yet is still a little crunchy.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until the garlic starts to release its fragrance.
  3. Add the ground cumin and dried oregano. Stir in the white wine and cook for about a minute, until the alcohol evaporates.
  4. In a separate bowl add the San Marzano tomatoes (with their juices) and break them up into small pieces with your hands. Then, add them into the saucepan. At this time, also add the chili paste, bay leaf, salt, and pepper.
  5. Increase the heat and bring the food to a boil. Then, reduce to medium-low heat, and let the sauce thicken for about 10 minutes. Next, add the lemon juice and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  6. Add the shrimp to the saucepan, making sure they're submerged. Cover and cook the shrimp over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the shrimp turns pink. Stir to combine and make sure the shrimp is cooked all the way through. Remove the bay leaf.
  7. Drizzle the stew with extra virgin olive oil and chopped parsley to serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 182
Total Fat 6.2 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 142.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 11.6 g
Dietary Fiber 2.7 g
Total Sugars 5.3 g
Sodium 755.0 mg
Protein 17.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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