Spicy Orange Ginger Shrimp

Do you ever get the feeling that your time is a little less than your own?
Twenty-first century understatement, I know. 
Still, I can’t help but smile every now and again when I think about the turnstile nature of our lives.  I imagine myself a cartoon character shuffling from one space to the next on a giant board of insanity looking out for snakes and praying for a lucky ladder. 
After an afternoon and evening clocking 6 hours of time and travel from piano to swimming to hockey to soccer, I simply have to stop and ask myself:
What ever happened to playing in traffic as the primary source of childhood entertainment?! (We didn’t turn out so bad, did we?).
Well, here’s a delightful little number that just happens to be the very first dish my husband made for me when we started dating. Clearly, it swept me off my feet!  
The version my husband made was with chicken and was equally delicious.  You can substitute any protein here including plant sources.  This is a simple, satisfying and enormously flavourful meal that I’m hoping will work for you too!
Spicy Orange Ginger Shrimp
(recipe adapted from Anne Lindsay’s The Lighthearted Cookbook)
  • About 24 large frozen shrimp, thawed and shelled
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Zest of 1 orange, cut into julienned strips
  • 1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce, more or less depending on taste preference (it’s hot)
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, substitute rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large nub of ginger, grated or minced to about 2 Tbsp (or more)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped



Although I’m featuring the shrimp solo, I normally prepare this dish with some sliced bell pepper and edamame which I simply toss into the pan along with the other ingredients.

Makes 4 servings of 6 shrimps.



Using an orange peeler (or other vegetable peeler), remove rind from orange and cut the rind into thin julienne strips (I am never particularly accurate nor fussy about the size of the strips – it matters not).

Using the same orange, cut it in half and squeeze out as much juice as possible (you should have at least a quarter cup).

In a small bowl, combine: fresh orange juice, chili paste, apple cider vinegar, water, sugar and cornstarch, stirring until smooth.

In a large skillet set to medium-high heat, sauté shrimp in some olive oil for about 1 minute – just enough to sear the exterior of the shrimp without fully cooking it.  Remove shrimp and set aside. 

Working from the same pan, add sliced orange zest, garlic and ginger, stirring to combine.  Add chili paste mixture and bring to a boil.  Return shrimp to pot and stir until heated through.

Divide mixture among serving bowls and top with cilantro.

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  1. justonecookbook says

    Tonight we’re eating fish and it’s defrosted, but it’s not probably enough for our family and I was actually thinking of some other side dishes. This is just perfect! I also have one orange left in fridge too. I will need to swing by a supermarket to grab cilantro and I’m all set for this! Looks so good! I’m particularly curious to try apple cider vinegar in this seasoning (I usually use rice vinegar).

  2. says

    Kelly, it looks original, easy and as usually the colours and your decoration make it irresistible. If I hadn’t started to simmer a meal two hours ago (it’s a slow one…) I would probably try this one straight away for tonight’s dinner. I always have frozen shrimp and always welcome new ideas, especially spicy ones ;-) Your husband is a very skilled cook!

  3. says

    Wow, your hubby cooked for you when you first started dating? That’s so cute! And what a great dish. I might have to try this using chicken for Nate…luckily I already won him over with my cooking ;)

  4. SallyBR says

    Oh, my!!!! I have a huge smile on my face! Guess what I have defrosting at home to prepare for dinner tonight? Shrimp in spicy orange sauce! My recipe (from what I remember, it is at home) is a little different, but not much

    amazing coincidence! If it turns out ok (photos in particular) I will be blogging on it sometime soon…. great minds cook alike: it’s obvious!

  5. Kristy says

    I love that this is the meal that swept you off your feet. :) Nice to come back to that feeling every now and then you know, and what better way than through delicious, sensory stimulating food. Love it. I was just thinking this morning that we haven’t had shrimp in a while. I bet the kids would like this if I got the amount of heat right for them. Perfect meal after a busy day and what’s likely to be a busy evening too! :)

  6. says

    Beautiful dish Kelly – shrimp, yum! Is the orange flavour very… hmm, how can I say it… “orangey”? You know how sometimes orange can have a very punchy, orangey flavour, but other times it can have a very deep, complex flavour, depending on how it’s cooked. I’m trying to decide whether I could sneak it onto our dinner menu here because my wife is slightly weird and holds the belief that orange is “wrong” in dinners :(

  7. inspirededibles says

    Haha, you made me smile! I have a sister in law who is very similar… I was making blueberry pancakes one morning and she declared that blueberries simply did not belong in pancakes! Thank goodness, after all, that we are all individuals ;0).

    I would say that this dish has a more complex flavour (likely due to the generous amounts of garlic and chili) than a purely orange flavour – however, the zest does add a punch here and there (I find it delightful) but you may want to cut back there. Also, the original recipe called for 2 Tbsp of sherry (instead of vinegar/water) so you can consider that yumminess too ;0).

  8. inspirededibles says

    Thanks Kristy – just to give you an idea, the original recipe called for 1 tsp of chili garlic sauce (I used 1 Tbsp) – so yes, there is always lots of variance possibility with heat. Hope you enjoy it if you give it a try.

  9. says

    Thanks a lot Kelly – definitely worth a try then. Meant to say as well – love your bowl!

    Blueberries not belonging in pancakes? Those two foodstuffs were like born to be together!

  10. inspirededibles says

    It’s very easy (you know how I prize ease Sissi :) and extremely yummy too! It’s so handy having shrimp in the freezer isn’t it…lots of meals to be had from that.

  11. inspirededibles says

    Yes, very sweet, and never to be repeated again :0) heehee! He still cooks from time to time and especially on mother’s day and other special occasions… we always love it when he does because it’s something new and different.

  12. inspirededibles says

    Thanks Nami – I’m glad it appeals to you! By the way, the original recipe calls for sherry in place of the vinegar/water so you can keep that little variance up your sleeve too ;0).

  13. says

    I only have to look at the photo to know I would love this dish. There is something delightful about big succulent prawns. I too would probably throw a few vegetables in there to round out the meal.

  14. Koko says

    Ah, I love how this can be used with any protein! Although I do love shrimp, so I would probably make this version! And your picture is gorgeous.
    Yes…it’s a crazy life we live. I plan on moving to New Zealand next year for a year…I wonder if it’s a slower lifestyle there. Who am I kidding…I think we’re mostly all the same! I feel bad for my parents who used to race me from school to dance to cheerleading, all in a car pool with my 2 best friends and we were HYPER AS HELL! ha ha!

  15. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book says

    Ooh, now this definitely got my taste buds dancing about – what a fantastic combination of lovely flavours. Easy to see why this dish swept you off your feet.;-)
    Have a happy week.
    :-) Mandy

  16. ping kay says

    Ah yes … the way to a woman’s heart … :) Bringing back the romance, I see. Gorgeous! I can see why he swept you away :)
    My husband gave me a white mouse and I still married him … he was soooo cute! … I meant the mouse.

  17. says

    What a beautiful dish, like sunshine in this gloomy time we are having. I suppose the rain is better than snow, but then again at least the snow lights everything up at night.
    The flavours are everything I crave this time of year and I could just imagine biting into one of those gorgeous succulent shrimp, bursting with natural sweetness and echoed by the wonderful aroma and flavour of orange and ginger. And it doesn’t look too sweet (as if it would be, you are so diligent with the sugar content which I love). This would go well with rice noodles too, but Jasmine or sticky rice would be perfect too. I bet your boys loved this healthy flavourful dish.

  18. inspirededibles says

    Thanks Mandy – the flavours are pretty dazzling and so simple to achieve. My kind of preparation and eats :).

  19. inspirededibles says

    A white mouse sounds pretty great to me (mind you, I probably would have shrieked upon being presented with a mouse – my mom once wrapped a bird up for Christmas for me – fake but entirely real if you know what I mean – anyway, I literally flung the thing across the room it scared me so much!). p.s. I bet your husband’s cute too funny girl ;0-).

  20. inspirededibles says

    Thanks so much for all your nice words Eva…I crave these warming foods too this time of year – not just heat but spice as well or its thermogenic properties…yum! I happened to have a traditional Thai Jasmine on hand but yes, you could pretty much do as you please… I often eat shrimp on cabbage (strange perhaps) but the cooler weather calls for something different.

  21. Linda says

    Oh boy, did you just bring back memories!! Being a single mom, it was on me 24/7 to raise my kids and I swear, most nights I drove about 17 miles just going from the baseball field to the diving pool, back to the field and back again to the pool! And that was just all the practice nights!!! But I always made dinner! And this would have been one of those quick meals. I love it and my son loves spicy. He’s still home with me so I’ll share this meal and your story with him!!

  22. says

    I’ve ask myself the same question. When I see all of the activities that kids today have to do, I’m just amazed! When I was a kid, we had bike races in the street, played neighborhood hide and seek, and watch the scifi afternoon movie. I really feel for the schedules of young moms today. Now for the recipe – your husband makes a mean shrimp dish! What great flavors with the ginger, orange, and garlic! Very tasty dish!

  23. inspirededibles says

    Thank you Charles! There’s a little Japanese store in the hood that sells beautiful spoons/dishes… I try to spread out my purchases but it’s hard to resist! ;0)

  24. inspirededibles says

    Linda, your note made me smile ear to ear…thank you for sharing those words! Gotta love those mommy challenges and whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? ;0)

  25. says

    SO true Kelly! We rush around from one thing to another, usually by others demands. I love that this is what your husband made for you. I love that it wasn’t steak and potatoes. He’s a keeper, clearly!

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