Cilantro Lime Shrimp

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One of the things I love about shrimp is that it cooks up so quickly on the stovetop, perfect when you have hot weather and you don’t want to use the oven, or have the stove going too long. Case in point, this cilantro lime shrimp.

If you have shrimp fresh and ready to go, it takes 10 or 15 minutes to cook, tops. If you are starting with frozen shrimp, maybe you have to add another 10 minutes to defrost it. Cilantro and lime are one of those master combinations, which works well with steak, chicken, fish, and especially shrimp.

Start with few slices of serrano chiles and garlic in a little oil in a hot pan. Toss in the shrimp, stir a little, cook a little, and when the shrimp are pink, turn off the heat and add the cilantro and lime. That’s it! Couldn’t be easier, and now you have a perfect little light meal. I like to wrap mine in a heated tortilla. So good!

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Recipe

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  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3-4

If you are using frozen shrimp, defrost them by placing them in a bowl of ice water or cold water. Adding a little salt to the water will help the shrimp retain their briny flavor.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp high smoke point oil such as grape seed oil, or canola oil
  • 1  Serrano chile (more if you like it spicy, or just a fraction of one if you want less heat), sliced into thin rings
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1-2 Tbsp lime juice

Method

1 Place a large sauté pan or a wok over your strongest burner on high heat. Let the pan heat up for a minute and then add the oil. Use a high smoke point oil since you will be cooking the shrimp on very high heat. Let the oil heat until it's shimmering. If it starts to smoke, remove the pan from the heat for a moment.

2 Add the chiles to the pan and toss to coat with oil. Cook 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and garlic to the pan and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat with oil. Let the shrimp cook undisturbed for 1 minute before tossing again so they get a little bit of a sear. Stir-fry until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes.

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3 Turn off the heat and mix in the cilantro, then the lime juice.

Serve hot or at room temperature. Serve alone, over rice, or in a folded heated flour or corn tortilla.

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Links:

Tomato-Cilantro Shrimp - from The Kitchn

Grilled Tequila Lime Shrimp - from Use Real Butter

Pickled Shrimp with Lime - from Homesick Texan

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

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Showing 4 of 16 Comments

  • Leslie

    Elise…your recipes NEVER fail me. I have subscribed for years, and I love your ‘taste’ in food! (and your mom and dad are FAB too).

    I just used this recipe for the shrimp marinade, that I subsequently grilled. My hubs was so happy with his Father’s Day lunch! DELICIOUS Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp Tacos!

    I grilled some corn and cut it from the cob, shredded some cabbage, diced a red onion, made a lime cilantro dressing, and put these babies in a grilled tortilla…so yummo!

    (I also made your turkey burgers last night…with the basil and oregano?…OMGoodness!!! So wonderful).

    Thanks again,
    Leslie

  • Aaron

    This was tasty and quick (except for cleaning the shrimp–that took about 45 minutes, as this shrimp needed cleaning on both sides).

    Notes:

    1. The peppers started burning within about 15-20 seconds. Move quickly with the next step (putting in the shrimp).
    2. Definitely put in 2 tbs of lime juice.
    3. Don’t inhale the fumes during cooking–the serrano pepper burns.
    4. I served it with herb linguini. If you’re doing something similar, I recommend adding some sautéed cherry tomatoes to give it some moisture. I will do that next time.

  • BobLowe

    This was good, but you REALLY have to cook very hot and shrimp are done when browned, not 2-3 minutes.

  • Amy

    I honestly despised this dish because for one, it was WAY too spicy! And second, while you are making this dish, the scent from the Serrano peppers travels throughout the entire home and stings eyes and throats.

  • Kilyena

    This was sooo good! Cooked exactly as recipe stated with no changes and it definitely doesn’t need any. We put them in tortillas along with some grilled onions and Mexican cheese blend and made quesadillas. Topped them off with some homemade guacamole and homemade salsa and sour cream. Our family loved it! My 20 year old daughter says it’s one of her most favorite dinners. The shrimp has such a wonderful flavor to it. This would be good over rice or pasta as well. Elise you have the best recipes love your site it’s one of my favorites.

    So glad you liked them! ~Elise

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