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Vietnamese Caramel Shrimp

Posted by Roberto Baro on
Vietnamese Caramel Shrimp

Spring is finally here! What better way to celebrate than to enjoy a colorful and delicious recipe? 🍤 Directly inspired from Vietnam 🇻🇳 this Caramel Shrimp recipe is perfect for the spring days ahead! ☀️


For the marinade

  • 2 lbs shell-on shrimp (21-25 count)
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp pink sea salt
  • ¾ tsp flour
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes


For the stir fry

  • 3 tbsp O-Live Mild & Fruity Oil
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves or 2 ½ tbsp minced
  • 1 batch marinated shrimp (above)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp scallions (white part only)
  • ½ large white onion, julienned
  • 3 scallions cut into 2” pieces
  • 2 tbsp sliced red cayenne peppers (medium-hot) or Thai chilies (hot)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice (about one lime), plus more lime wedges for serving
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro, plus more for serving


  1. To marinate the shrimp, combine the ingredients for the marinade. Allow mixture to sit as you prep the other ingredients. In the meantime, Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add O-Live olive oil and swirl the pan to coat.
  2. Add in the sugar and cook for 1-2 minutes, constantly stirring until the sugar turns from a white, sandy mixture to a liquid that is caramel in color. You will see the liquid caramel spots separated within the O-Live olive oil.
  3. Add the minced garlic—Cook for 30 seconds, constantly stirring until fragrant.
  4. Add in the batch of marinated shrimp. Add in the water and allow any hardened caramel to dissolve into the water.
  5. Add in the sliced white onion and scallions (white parts only), stir often, and cook until the onion is translucent about 2-3 minutes. Continue to cook for 10-12 minutes until the shrimp is fully pink.
  6. Add in the green parts of the scallion and sliced chilies (optional). Then add in the fish sauce and stir well—taste adding more fish sauce, if desired. Turn off the heat and squeeze on the juice of an entire lime. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
Serve shrimp over jasmine rice. Have extra lime wedges and chopped cilantro for serving. Serve fish sauce at the table for sprinkling on top of the rice, which will sop up the onion mixture outside the shrimp.

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