This Tiger shrimp (Prawns) with Thai tamarind sauce is a delightful combination of tangy, sweet, and savory flavors. Large tiger prawns are used for their meatiness. Cooked to perfection in the sweet and spicy tamarind sauce, creating a perfect balance of memorable flavors that will keep you coming back for more!
- What is Thai tamarind shrimp?
- Why you'll love this recipe
- Ingredients for Tamarind Shrimp
- The perfect garnish for this Thai tamarind shrimp
- How to make Tamarind Shrimp
- Helpful kitchen notes and tips
- What to serve with Tamarind Shrimp
- Helpful kitchen tools for this recipe
- How to Store Leftovers Tamarind Shrimp
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More Thai recipes you'll love
- Tiger Shrimp (Prawns) with Thai Tamarind Sauce
- More Thai Recipes You'll Love
To kick things up a notch, make your own tamarind paste from tamarind pulp using this recipe! Also, if you want to cheat a bit on the sauce for this shrimp, make this easy homemade Pad Thai sauce. It has the exact same flavor profile with almost the same ingredients.
What is Thai tamarind shrimp?
Thai tamarind shrimp is a popular dish from Southern Thailand. It consists of fresh shrimp cooked in a tangy, slightly sweet sauce made from tamarind pulp. The sauce gives the shrimp a unique and delicious flavor. It is usually served with rice or noodles and is enjoyed for its rich and savory taste. The Southern version uses deep fry shrimp, but the shrimp is pan-fried in the delicious tamarind sauce instead to stay healthier.
Why you'll love this recipe
- It's incredibly delicious! If you love seafood and Thai food, this is a must! It's got all the Thai flavors in one bite!
- The recipe is adaptable. Use tofu or chicken and cook to the doneness of your protein choice.
- It's simple, using just a handful of ingredients.
- If you love Pad Thai, this sauce is the same! Except for the spicy chili flakes added for heat! Omit the chili flakes completely if spicy is not your thing!
Ingredients for Tamarind Shrimp
- Large shrimps or tiger prawns. Use Tiger prawns with shells and heads on if you are able. If not, find the largest juicy shrimp and leave the tails on. Fresh prawns are even better if you can get your hands on them.
- Fish sauce. A key ingredient for the savory umami flavor of this Thai shrimp recipe
- Tamarind paste. Also called tamarind concentrate. Rice vinegar can be used as a substitute, but tamarind is the best.
- Palm sugar. Use brown or white sugar as a substitute.
- Vegetable oil. Use any neutral oil.
- Garlic. A must for this stir fry dish for added fragrance and flavor.
- Shallot. White onions can be used as substitutes.
- Dried whole red chili. As needed for your taste buds.
Check the recipe cards for the recipe measurements for ingredients.
The perfect garnish for this Thai tamarind shrimp
- Fresh chili, sliced (adjust according to your preference).
- Fried crispy shallots (for garnish)
- Crispy garlic (for garnish)
- Fresh coriander leaves (for garnish)
- Lime wedges (for serving). Add a few squeezes of lime juice to the shrimp if you need more tanginess.
- Chopped green onions
How to make Tamarind Shrimp
Step 1. Prepare the shrimp. Peel and devein the shrimp, and leave the heads and tails on. Sliced the back of the shrimp with a small paring knife and remove the veins. Repeat the process for the remaining prawns.
Step 2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and shallot to the hot oil. Stir-fry for about 60 seconds until fragrant and light golden brown.
Step 3. Add the palm sugar, fish sauce, and chili flakes, stir, and cook until the sugar dissolve.
Step 4. Add the tamarind sauce next. Stir well and cook for 1 more minute. Adjust with more fish sauce, sugar, or tamarind here if necessary. Lower the temperature to medium heat.
Step 5. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until they turn a golden brown and are cooked through.
Step 6. Add in the dried chilis, if using. Then move the shrimp to a serving plate, and save some of the sauce to pour over the plate shrimp. That's it! Garnish with your favorite ingredients and serve as your main course or a hearty appetizer!
Helpful kitchen notes and tips
- Tamarind paste, concentrate, and juice can be found in Asian markets or regular grocery stores. If you have tamarind pods, soak them in warm water, extract the pulp, and use it in the recipe.
- To make fried shallots or garlic, thinly slice, and deep fry until crispy and golden brown. Drain on a paper towel to remove excess oil. Use these recipes: Crispy fried garlic and crispy fried shallots.
- Adjust the spice level by adding more or less chili according to your preference.
- This dish pairs well with jasmine rice. Serve it with plenty of plain steamed rice to balance out the flavors.
What to serve with Tamarind Shrimp
- Jasmine rice or rice noodles
- Thai-inspired salad with fresh vegetables and herbs
- Stir-fried Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce
Helpful kitchen tools for this recipe
- Large skillet for cooking the shrimp and sauce
- Slotted spoon for transferring the shrimp
- Small heavy-based saucepan for making the tamarind glaze
- For other seafood options, large scallops, lobster, or crab legs for this recipe.
- Substitute the shrimp with tofu or your favorite vegetables like bell peppers, snap peas, or carrots for a vegetarian version.
- If palm sugar is not available, you can use white or brown sugar as a substitute.
- If tamarind paste is unavailable, use rice vinegar or fresh lime juice. Adjust the quantity according to taste.
How to Store Leftovers Tamarind Shrimp
Thai Tamarind shrimp keeps well as leftovers. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently in a skillet or microwave before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. You can use frozen shrimp, but thoroughly thaw them before cooking.
Yes, you can prepare the tamarind sauce in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Just reheat it before adding it to the cooked shrimp.
If you prefer milder flavors, you can reduce the amount of chili or omit it altogether.
Tamarind paste, concentrates, and other products can be found in Asian markets, regular grocery stores, or even online. You can also check Indian food stores as they often carry tamarind products.
More Thai recipes you'll love
- Tamarind Iced tea
- Tamarind dipping sauce
- Homemade Pad Thai sauce using tamarind paste and palm sugar.
- 5-minute satay sauce with peanut butter
- Essential Thai herbs with photos
- Yum Woon Sen, a refreshing Thai salad recipe
- Nam Prik Pao, Thai chili garlic paste recipe
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