Moroccan-Spiced Shrimp

This recipe is very quick, very easy, and VERY tasty. This is the perfect weeknight dish – as long as you have all of the ingredients at home, it takes less than 15 minutes to make. In this recipe, you cook the spices and garlic in extra-virgin olive oil to liven up the aroma and taste of the ingredients, and then flash-sautee the shrimp in the spicy oil you have created.

I know that some of the spices used are harder to find, but if you can get your hands on them and add them to your spice closet, you will be so thankful you did! The flavors brought about by the harissa and berbere (see below for a quick run down of what ‘berbere’ actually is) are really hard to replicate with other spices.

Berbere is a fantastic and unique spice that typically is found in the cuisines of Ethiopia and Eritrea. It is a spice mixture that typically includes ingredients such as: chili peppers, garlic, ginger, dried basil, korarima (ethiopian cardamom), rue, white and black pepper, fenugreek.


Yields: 4 servings


1 lb large, peeled deveined shrimp
5 finely chopped garlic cloves
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon ground ginger (TIP: I keep peeled ginger in the freezer for freshness and grate it whenever I need it!)
1 tablespoon dry harissa
1 tablespoon berbere
1 lemon, juiced
Kosher salt, to taste


Salt the shrimp well and set aside.

Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic. Turn the heat down to low-medium and saute the garlic for 1-3 minutes – don’t let it burn! To help avoid burning, move it around in the pan often. This process is allowing the oil to absorb the garlic flavor.

Now all of the ground spices and stir well to combine, stirring often. Cook for 2 minutes.

Turn the heat up to high and add the shrimp. Stir to combine and cook, stirring constantly, until the shrimp turn pink. This should take between 3-5 minutes (try not to overcook the shrimp – they can dry out very quickly!).

Turn off the heat, add the lemon juice and toss to combine. Taste one shrimp for seasonings, and add salt if required.

Serve over some steamed rice or vegetables or by themselves. Enjoy!

Note: I even use the leftover shrimp from this recipe and mix it into pastas and salads – believe it or not, this dish is EVEN BETTER the next day because the flavors have marinated even further into the shrimp over night! This can also be served as an appetizer / finger food!

3 thoughts on “Moroccan-Spiced Shrimp

  1. Pingback: Cous Cous Salad with Asparagus Pesto and Shrimp | Priyanka's Kitchen

  2. Followed the recipe exactly. Next time will only use the berbere and garlic. We found it to be too many flavors.

    • Hi Justin! Thanks so much for the feedback. I’m so sorry you thought it was too many flavors – many of my recipes are extremely flavor-intense because of my background, and we are used to that flavor profile at home. I will definitely try it with just the berbere and garlic and garlic though (and I’m sure I’ll love it too) 🙂 Hope you try some of my other recipes and let me know how you like them. Best, Priyanka

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