Tamarind Shrimp

Tamarind Shrimp

How do we love shrimp? Let us count the ways. There’s Green Curry, Salt Baked, Coconut, Spicy Salads, Noodles.…you get the drift. But when I want an easy appetizer that is sure to wow people, I reach for this Tamarind Shrimp. It’s super fast but has a sophisticated feel. The shrimp get nice and crispy, and the tamarind sauce is to die for. This is a Thai inspired dish, and the flavors will have you feeling the tropics.

tamarind shrimp ingredients

Tamarind Shrimp Sauce

Tamarind concentrate, sometimes called tamarind pulp or paste, is a fundamental ingredient in Thai Cuisine. It has a complex sweet and sour flavor that is essential to foods like Pad Thai as well as countless soups, curries, beverages, and sweets.  Here we mix it with fish sauce, sugar, and spices for an assertively fruity, funky sauce with just the right touch of sweetness.

Looking for ways to use up the rest of your tamarind concentrate? Check out:

Crispy Shrimp

The secret to shrimp that’s perfectly golden and crispy when lightly fried? Potato starch! A coating of potato starch limits the oil that the shrimp will absorb, helping them fry up to crispy perfection.  It also keeps my Tamarind Shrimp gluten free. A little egg white helps the potato starch to adhere, and then they are ready to pan fry.

dredge tamarind shrimp

garlic tamarind shrimp

When the shrimp have absorbed all that amazing sauce, they are ready. Tamarind Shrimp makes a nice sized appetizer for 4, or a light supper for 2, especially served with Coconut Rice. Try them soon and let me know what you think by commenting and rating the recipe below, and by tagging us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen; we love hearing from you!



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recipe card tamarind shrimp

Tamarind Shrimp

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: small plates
  • Cuisine: Thai


  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used 13/15 size)
  • ⅓ cup potato starch
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 Tablespoons oil

Tamarind Sauce:

  • ¼ cup tamarind concentrate
  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin 
  • ¼ ground coriander
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Combine the tamarind concentrate, fish sauce, sugar, crushed red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
  2. Place the shrimp in a bowl and add the egg white. Mix to coat the shrimp. Put the potato starch in a small bowl. Dip the shrimp, one at a time, into the potato starch so that it is well coated. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large pan over medium high heat for several minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and swirl to coat. Place half of the shrimp in the pan in one layer and cook for 2 minutes. Flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a plate. 
  4. Repeat with the other half of the shrimp.
  5. Return the pan to the stove. If the pan is dry, add 1 Tablespoon of oil. Add the garlic and cook for 10 seconds. Next add the sauce and bring to a simmer. 
  6. Add the shrimp to the sauce and cook for 1 minute, stirring to coat the shrimp. The shrimp should have absorbed most of the sauce and the pan will be mostly dry.
  7. Serve immediately.

Keywords: tamarind, shrimp, seafood, appetizers, thai

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