How to make Trinidadian Pepper Shrimp

Published Date
August 5th 2021
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Aerial shot of Trinidadian Pepper Shrimp with rice on the side
Side view of Trinidadian Pepper Shrimp

As a general warning to those unfamiliar with Trinidad: If the title has the word Pepper, prepare for a HOT and SPICY dish! Trinidad Pepper Shrimp is influenced by our Chinese community but has evolved into its own uniquely HOT version. The traditional Asian flavors of sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, and fresh seasonings create the sauce the shrimp is coated in. However, when hot scotch bonnet pepper and our local ketchup are added, you get an intense kick of heat with a gentle kiss of sweetness. This dish is another famous cutter or appetizer that goes well with some adult beverages known to help sober you up. Nonetheless, it is also great on top of some Chow Mein or steamed Jasmine Rice. Try this recipe for a hot spicy seafood treat that is uniquely Trini.

How do you clean shrimp and pepper shrimp?

Cleaning shrimp is quite simple, using a pairing knife, make a cut down the spine of the shrimp and remove any of the vein that may be inside. Some may have no veins, some are dark and some are pink or translucent. Either way they should be removed.  

How do you make Trinidad pepper shrimp?

Trinidad pepper shrimp is derived from the Chinese influences found on the island. There is a combination of soy sauce, garlic, ginger and local spices and herbs found in Trinidad sautéed together with shrimp and finished with sugar and a tomato based sauce. 

Is it better to cook shrimp with the shell on or off?

Cooking shrimp with the shell on results in more flavor as well as more work for the person that is eating the shrimp. Its much like boneless or bone in chicken, more flavor or a slight inconvenience? It's all up to the consumer to decide. 

How long should you cook shrimp?

Shrimp cooks very quickly, in a hot pan shrimp will be fully cooked within 5-8 minutes. Take care not to overcook shrimp as this will result is rubbery shrimp. Only cook shrimp until it is no longer translucent and pink in color. 

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Author: Rachel Ottier-Hart
Average: 4.6 (14 votes)
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins



Wash and rinse shrimp with water and juice of one lime.

A glass bowl with raw shrimp soaking in water and lime juice

In a wok or non-stick skillet, add the sesame oil and place it on medium heat.

Once the oil is hot, add the onion and cook until it is translucent.

A pan with oil and onions cooking in it

Add the garlic, ginger, seasoning peppers, carrot, sweet peppers, scotch bonnet pepper, chadon beni, and toss to cook for 3-5 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked but still firm.

Aerial shot of a pan with onions peppers and herbs cooking together

Add the shrimp, toss and cook for 1 minute.

Shrimp and vegetables cooking in a pan

Add soy sauce and ketchup, toss and cook for 2 minutes.

Sauce being added to a pan filled with shrimp and vegetables

Remove from the heat and allow resting for 3 minutes before removing from the pan to a serving dish and garnish with green onion.

Serve with toothpicks as a cutter or as a meal with Chow Mein or Jasmine Rice.

Shrimp and vegetables tossed with red sauce on a plate with white rice
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Spicy, Asian, Seafood, pepper shrimp trini style, trinidad pepper shrimp, trinidad pepper shrimp recipe, peppered shrimp, salt and pepper shrimp recipe no shell

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