Quick tropical shrimp

Flavourful dish reminiscent of island getaways!

When I started thinking about dinner yesterday, it was late, we were hungry and worst of all, it was -25 Celsius (-35 C with a horrid windchill factored in). Weather like this gets me thinking not only about hot, nourishing comfort food, but also about escaping winter’s icy grip. I am not ashamed to admit that while I am a very proud Canadian who embraces this frosty season, I am not above fantasizing about languishing on a tropical isle. It was those kind of daydreamy thoughts that got me rummaging through my fridge and freezer last night to gather ingredients for a suitably warming, quick to prepare dish. You could easily use whatever vegetables you have on hand and adjust the flavour of the sauce to suit your preferences. I highly recommend the coconut chips as a garnish; regular toasted coconut flakes would also be delicious and suitably tropical!



  • 2 – 3 tablespoons (30 – 45 mL) olive oil
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) finely minced ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 green pepper, slivered
  • 1 rib celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound (454 grams) raw large shrimp, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) cider or rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) soya sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) hot sauce (or to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) cold water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 mL) cornstarch
  • 1 cup (250 mL) fresh pineapple, cut in 3/4 inch (2 cm) pieces
  • 2 tablespoons (60 mL) maple syrup (or more to taste)
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons (30 – 60 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons (60 – 90 mL) coconut chips or toasted shredded coconut


  • Heat 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and onions; sauté for two minutes.
  • Add garlic, sauté, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the remaining oil if the garlic is sticking to the pan.
  • Add peppers and celery; cook for 1 minute.
  • Add shrimp and cook, stirring often, until shrimp is beginning to turn pink (about 3 minutes).
  • Add cider vinegar, soya and hot sauce; stir.
  • Combine cold water and cornstarch in a small dish. Add to skillet and stir gently but thoroughly.
  • Let the mixture begin to bubble then add pineapple and gently combine.
  • Add 2 tablespoons (60 mL) maple syrup and 1 tablespoon (15 mL) lime juice; stir to combine and then taste sauce. Add more lime juice, hot sauce and/or maple syrup to suit your preference.
  • Bring mixture just to the boiling point then turn off heat and serve immediately over hot cooked rice, quinoa or couscous.
  • Garnish with coconut chips or flakes.

Serves 2.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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