Zesty Thai Lemon-Lime Shrimp

Thai Lemon-Lime Shrimp Stock Food Creative/Getty Images
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 27 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
196 Calories
5g Fat
23g Carbs
19g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 196
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 144mg 48%
Sodium 1779mg 77%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 19g
Vitamin C 42mg 208%
Calcium 113mg 9%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 506mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This Thai shrimp recipe features both lemon and lime flavors for the ultimate shrimp dish. And unlike most shrimp recipes, it doesn't contain a lot of cream or butter. Coconut milk is used instead, which means this dish is lighter, but still rich in flavor. Lemongrass adds to the lemony taste, while lime leaf and lime zest contribute an extra bit of zing. Makes a nice dish to serve company or anyone who loves seafood. Serve with plain or saffron rice, and enjoy!


  • 1 pound raw shrimp, shells removed, tails can be left on if desired

  • 2 shallots, 1/4 cup purple onion, finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped

  • 1 fresh red chile, finely chopped, or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried crushed chile

  • 2 makrut lime leaves, left whole, or substitute 1 extra teaspoon lime zest

  • 2 tablespoons frozen prepared lemongrass, or fresh lemongrass, very finely minced (available at Asian food stores)

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 1/2 teaspoon  shrimp paste, available in a jar at Asian food stores

  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric

  • 4 tablespoons thick coconut milk

  • Zest of 1 lime, about 1 tablespoon

  • A handful of fresh coriander/cilantro

Steps to Make It

  1. In a cup or small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey, shrimp paste, fish sauce, and turmeric. If using frozen prepared lemongrass and dried crushed chili, add those to the mixture as well. Stir until honey is dissolved. Set aside.

  2. Warm a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2-3 Tbsp. oil and swirl around, then add the shallots or onion, garlic, fresh red chili (if using) and makrut lime leaves. If using fresh lemongrass, add it now as well. Stir-fry 2-3 minutes, or until the spices are fragrant and the shallots/onion have softened.

  3. Add the prepared lemon mixture (from step 1) plus the shrimp. Stir-fry 2-3 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink and plump (avoid over-cooking, or they will lose their succulence).

  4. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add 3 to 4 Tbsp. coconut milk, stirring gently to incorporate. Finally, sprinkle over the lime zest and stir again.

  5. Remove from heat and taste-test for a balance of sweet, sour, and salty flavors. Add more fish sauce if more salt is needed, or a little sugar or honey if too sour. If too sweet or salty for your taste, add another squeeze of lemon or lime juice. If too spicy or pungent for your taste, add another Tbsp. or two of coconut milk.

  6. Add a final topping of fresh coriander and serve immediately with plain rice or saffron rice. (This dish is also nice over noodles/pasta). Enjoy!

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