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Hot and spicy Asian-style garlic shrimp

Soy sauce plays a big role in creating this simple and flavorful shrimp appetizer. And with the garlic and chili, your shrimp experience will rock.

I grew up in Asia, and some condiments are mainstays in the typical Asian kitchen cupboard. One of them is soy sauce. It’s used in cooking and in dipping sauces — a lot. It’s the same as how the Italians treat extra-virgin olive oil. Soy sauce spends more time on the table than inside the cupboard. Maintaining a duel-gastronomic culture (Asian and Italian) in my house means having more condiments and ingredients than a regular Italian home. You can forget about everything else, but never the soy sauce and the extra-virgin olive oil.

Here, I have a very simple recipe for shrimp marinated in lemon, sesame seed and soy sauce (of course) and then sautéed in a lot of garlic and as much chili as you can handle. I can only handle one chili, but you can add more to taste. I sauté the shrimp with the olive oil I use at home, and after a few minutes, I have an Asian-inspired garlicky and spicy appetizer for two.

Asian-style garlicky, spicy sautéed shrimp recipe

Serves 2


  • 1 pound large shrimp, deveined and shelled (leave the tails on)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 chili, seeded and finely chopped (leave the seeds in if you want it spicier)
  • Ground black pepper
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped


  1. In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, lemon juice and sesame seeds. You can adjust quantities to your taste. Mix in the shrimp, and set aside for 15 minutes.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat with extra-virgin olive oil, sauté the chili and garlic.
  3. Add the shrimp mixture. Sauté until cooked through and the liquid is reduced, about 8 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle with the pepper and parsley, and then turn off the heat.
  5. Serve while hot.

More shrimp recipes

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Creamy Cajun shrimp linguine

Pan-seared shrimp with sesame garlic ginger sauce

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