Shrimps and prawns are two of the most beloved seafood ingredients in the world. They are used in a variety of cuisines and can be found on menus in restaurants and homes all over the globe. These small but mighty creatures are incredibly versatile and can be prepared in a variety of ways, making them a favorite among home cooks and professional chefs alike.
These delectable crustaceans can be enjoyed in countless ways. From the fiery Thai shrimp curry that tantalizes the taste buds with its bold and exotic flavors to the fragrant Spanish gambas al ajillo, where garlic and shrimp marry perfectly in a sizzling pan, the list of shrimp delicacies is endless. As diverse as the continents on our planet, each cuisine has its unique take on this beloved seafood, making it a global culinary treasure that we all savor with delight.
In this blog, we will explore some of the most popular ways that shrimps and prawns are used in different cuisines around the world. We’ll take a closer look at some of the most popular dishes from various countries and regions, including Japan, Thailand, Spain, Greece, and Brazil.
Discovering Shrimp & Prawns in International Cuisines
Whether you’re a seafood lover looking to try out new recipes or a curious foodie interested in exploring the world’s different cuisines, this blog is for you. Get ready to dive into the wonderful world of shrimp and prawns and discover some amazing dishes that are sure to become new favourites in your kitchen.
Thai Shrimp Curry
One of the most famous and beloved Thai dishes is shrimp curry, or “kaeng khiao wan goong” in Thai. This curry is made with coconut milk, green curry paste, and a variety of vegetables, such as eggplant, bamboo shoots, and bell peppers. The shrimp are added towards the end of cooking and are simmered in the curry until cooked through. The dish is typically served with rice and garnished with fresh herbs, such as Thai basil and cilantro.
Italian Shrimp Scampi
In Italian cuisine, shrimp are often used in pasta dishes, such as shrimp scampi. This dish is made with spaghetti or linguine, sautéed shrimp, garlic, white wine, and butter. The shrimp are cooked in garlic and butter until pink and tender, then the wine is added and reduced to create a rich, flavorful sauce. The dish is typically finished with a sprinkle of parsley and lemon juice, which adds brightness and acidity to balance out the richness of the sauce.
Spanish Gambas al Ajillo
Gambas al Ajillo, or garlic shrimp, is a popular tapa (appetizer) in Spain. The dish is made with shrimp that are cooked in olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes until they are pink and tender. The shrimp are then served with plenty of fragrant oil and some crusty bread for dipping. This dish is simple but flavorful and is perfect for sharing with friends over a glass of wine.
Japanese Ebi Fry
In Japan, shrimp are often used in fried dishes, such as ebi fry. This dish is made with breaded and deep-fried shrimp that are served with tonkatsu sauce, which is a sweet and tangy sauce made with ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and other ingredients. The shrimp are typically served with shredded cabbage and lemon wedges, which help to cut through the richness of the fried shrimp and sauce.
Mexican Shrimp Ceviche
Ceviche is a popular dish in many Latin American countries, including Mexico. Mexican shrimp ceviche is made with cooked shrimp that are marinated in lime juice, chili peppers, onions, and cilantro. The acid from the lime juice “cooks” the shrimp, giving them a tender texture and a bright, fresh flavor. The dish is typically served with tortilla chips or tostadas and is perfect for a hot summer day.
Indian Prawn Curry
In Indian cuisine, prawns are often used in curries, such as prawn curry or “jheenga curry.” This dish is made with a tomato-based sauce that is flavored with a variety of spices, such as cumin, coriander, and turmeric. The prawns are added towards the end of cooking and are simmered in the sauce until cooked through. The dish is typically served with rice or naan bread and is perfect for a cozy night in.
Chinese Kung Pao Shrimp
Kung pao shrimp is a popular dish in Chinese cuisine that is made with shrimp, peanuts, and chili peppers. The shrimp are stir-fried in a spicy sauce made with soy sauce, vinegar, and other dish are typically served with steamed rice and is perfect for those who love spicy, bold flavors.
Greek Shrimp Saganaki
Shrimp saganaki is a Greek dish that is made with shrimp cooked in a tomato-based sauce with feta cheese and herbs. The shrimp are first sautéed in garlic and olive oil, then simmered in a tomato sauce with onions, peppers, and herbs. Feta cheese is added towards the end of cooking and melted into the sauce, creating a creamy, tangy flavor. The dish is typically served with crusty bread and is perfect for sharing with friends and family.
Brazilian Shrimp Moqueca
Moqueca is a traditional Brazilian stew made with seafood, coconut milk, and palm oil. Shrimp moqueca is a popular variation that features shrimp cooked in a rich, flavorful sauce made with onions, garlic, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Coconut milk is added to the sauce, giving it a creamy texture and a hint of sweetness. The dish is typically served with rice and is perfect for a cozy night in.
As you can see, shrimps and prawns are used in a wide variety of cuisines around the world, each with its unique flavors and preparations. Whether you prefer them grilled, fried, or simmered in a rich, flavorful sauce, there is a shrimp or prawn dish out there for everyone. So next time you’re at the seafood counter, consider trying a new recipe from a different cuisine and explore the endless possibilities of this delicious and versatile ingredient.
In a Nutshell,
To put it simply, shrimps and prawns are versatile and delicious ingredients that can be used in a variety of cuisines around the world. Whether you’re in the mood for spicy Thai curry, creamy Greek saganaki, or crispy Japanese ebi fry, there is a shrimp or prawn dish out there for everyone. So next time you’re planning a meal, consider incorporating shrimp or prawns into your recipe and explore the endless possibilities of this tasty seafood.