Recipe for Lemongrass Shrimp

Lemongrass shrimp green

When I was traveling to San Francisco I had an amazing meal of Lemongrass Chicken at The Slanted Door.  I’ve wanted to try and recreate it ever since.  Well one night I just couldn’t wait any longer and created this dish with what I had on hand.  The ingredients are a little different but it worked.

I did not have any green onions or fresh jalapeño peppers.  I did have a jar of pickled jalapeño peppers that I drained and rinsed.  Not as good but will do in a pinch.  I also added soy noodles and a red bell pepper just to add more volume and fresh taste and texture after using the jarred jalapeños.

The nice thing about this meal was it was cooked in one pan and ready in under 30 minutes.  To speed up the process you can cut your red onion and start cooking with that while you are cutting up the rest of the vegetables.  If you are using the fresh jalapeño  peppers, work with those first so you can get those hot oils off your hands.  If you are not use to preparing your shrimp, this will take a little time the first time you try it.  You will get very fast at this skill in no time.

Don’t forget to read all the way to the end for your notes and substitution ideas.


1-2 TB Sate Paste

2-3 tsp fish sauce – I used Thai Kitchen that states it’s gluten free

1 stalk lemongrass or 1-2 tsp dried lemongrass

6-8  jalapeño peppers sliced on angle with seeds removed

4 red hot chili peppers left whole

2 green onions sliced

1/2 -1 red onion sliced

1 red bell pepper sliced thin

1 pound 26-30 shrimp or whatever size you have, butterflied

handful of peanuts, rough chop

Celtic Sea Salt & pepper to taste

2-3 tsp Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1-2 tsp Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

1 package of soy noodles- these are already cooked and heat up fast

See bottom of post for substitution ideas.


First prepare your ingredients.  I also prep the shrimp and then put them back into the refrigerator to stay cold until I’m ready to put them into the pan.

Lemongrass ingredients

To butterfly your shrimp, run your knife along the back of the shrimp almost all the way through the shrimp but not.

Butterflying your shrimp

Butterflying your shrimp

This should allow the shrimp to open flat.

Open shrimp If you butterfly your shrimp, it will make your shrimp look twice as big when it cooks up and will give it more area to absorb the seasonings.  Great when you are using a smaller shrimp and a full flavor seasoning recipe.

First you want to saute the red onions, jalapeno and red peppers, not the chili peppers,  in a medium high pan with a little combination of oil.  Remove them from the pan before they are soft.  You want some crunch to your vegetables.  I add them to the bowl I’ll be serving from.

Save cooking your shrimp until last.

Keep your pan on medium high.  Once hot add the oil and then the shrimp.  Make sure your shrimp are dry or you will be steaming your shrimp.

Butterfly Shrimp in pan As the shrimp cooks you can see them opening up.

shrimp cooked and opening

Before the shrimp are over cooked, add in the Sate Paste and fish sauce to coat the shrimp.  This should take only a minute to get them all coated. Add back the vegetables and combine.   I used both the fresh lemongrass and dried.  Make sure you taste it to see if you want to add more Sate Paste.  Now add in your green onions, red chili peppers and chopped peanuts. If you are using dried lemongrass add that too.  Taste again and adjust the salt and pepper.

lemongrass shrimp in pan

For the soy noodles that came in a pouch with liquid, I drained them in my fine mesh colander and ran them under hot water.  Toss into pan to combine and put all back into the serving bowl.

Note:  If you use fresh lemongrass you will want to cut it into long pieces that you can pull out before you serve.  When making this dish I only had 1/4 of a red onion.  It will work best with the 1/2 – 1 whole onion unless you have a monster red onion.

If you don’t like spicy hot do not bite into the hot peppers.  If you leave them whole they will only flavor the dish and not make it hot.  Make sure you take all of the seeds and membranes out of the jalapeño peppers and again, you will have more flavor than heat.  If you leave any of the white membrane you will have heat.


You can make this dish with chicken instead.  I would use a combination of both breast and thigh for the most flavor.

As far as noodles, feel free to use your favorite type.

Also, using fresh jalapeño peppers is recommended.

If using shrimp you can use a larger size or smaller size.  I would still keep it to one pound.  You can also remove the tails if you don’t want to use your fingers when eating.

If you did not make your Sate Paste ahead of time you can use the Thai Kitchen Chili Paste and add in more peanuts.

Lemongrass shrimp blue

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2 Responses to Recipe for Lemongrass Shrimp

  1. Alisa - Frugal Foodi November 12, 2009 at 7:17 am #

    This is the second lemongrass recipe I have seen today and I love lemongrass. I must pick some up!

    • Diane November 13, 2009 at 5:42 am #

      Alisa- I'm just learning to play with fresh lemongrass. It's so fragrant.