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This Thai Shrimp recipe reminds me of the street food I love in Thailand. It’s a 10 minute recipe with an incredible amount of flavor. The shrimp are simmered in a simple sauce made with easy to find ingredients.  It’s paleo, gluten free and super satisfying.

Sweet and Salty Thai Shrimp on plante

I like to make easy dinners with lots of flavor and not too much work.  This Thai Shrimp dish is one of those super easy recipes you can make in 10 minutes.

The shrimp are quickly simmered in a simple sauce made with coconut sugar, fish sauce, and white vinegar.

Scallions, roasted cashews and lime are added at the end for extra flavor and texture.

Sweet and Salty Thai Shrimp ingredients

I ate Sweet and Salty Thai Shrimp while in Thailand last year and I have been wanting to make them ever since. Traditionally this recipe is made with peanuts but I find cashews to be healthier. That’s what’s great about cooking, you can personalize it.

The combination of  sweet coconut sugar balanced with salty fish sauce and tart vinegar creates such an incredible flavor you won’t be able to stop eating these shrimp.

I love Red Boat Fish Sauce. It’s sustainably sourced in Vietnam, then fermented using a centuries-old traditional method in large wooden barrels for a clean, natural umami flavor.Sweet and Salty Thai Shrimp pan

I buy wild caught raw frozen shrimp here. They are sustainably harvested and chemical free.

What’s also great is they arrive already peeled.  All you have to do is take them out of the freezer, put them in a bowl of cool water for 15 minutes to defrost and they’re ready to cook.

Tips for Making Sweet and Salty Thai Shrimp

Once the shrimp are defrosted, dry them thoroughly on a kitchen towel.  Really pat both sides dry. Any extra water will dilute the sauce.

Use a 10″ saute pan, just big enough to hold the shrimp.  You’re basically poaching the shrimp in the sauce.  You don’t want it to dry out.

Bring the sauce to a simmer. Add shrimp and spread out in a single layer. Simmer until pink on one side, turn over and simmer until pink on the other side, about 2-3 minutes per side.

If you only have raw cashews on hand, pan roast them in a small skillet over medium heat until browned and fragrant, stirring frequently, about 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with Celtic sea salt. Remove from the heat and chop.

Add red pepper flakes to taste.  If you don’t like spicy, add just a pinch.  To make it spicy the way the Thai people do add 1/4 teaspoon. They probably add 1/2 teaspoon but that’s too much even for me and I love spicy food.

Sweet and Salty Thai Shrimp close up

I like to serve these Thai Shrimp with spiralized butternut squash and sautéed spinach. It’s also good with shredded cabbage, cauliflower rice, or rice noodles.

The briny, sweet, bold and spicy flavors of this dish will bringing you to a whole new world. It’s like being in Thailand.

Sweet and Salty Thai Shrimp plate and table

If you like this recipe try these other delicious shrimp dishes:

Fragrant Ginger Shrimp with Golden Cherry Tomatoes

Seared Shrimp with Warm Winter Greens

Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Broccoli and Zucchini Noodles

If you give this recipe a try, please let us know what you think! Give it some stars or leave a comment. ♥

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Sweet and Salty Thai Shrimp

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  • Author: Ingrid DeHart
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x


In this recipe we simmer shrimp in a super simple sauce made with fish sauce, coconut sugar, and vinegar. Cashews, scallions and lime give it extra flavor and texture.



  • 2/3 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp (12 shrimp)
  • Celtic sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Pinch -1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons roasted, salted cashews, or peanuts, chopped (optional)


  1. Put shrimp on a kitchen towel and pat until they are very dry. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a 12” saute pan, mix the sugar, fish sauce and vinegar. Bring to a simmer on medium-high heat.
  3. Add the shrimp, turn down to a gentle simmer and cook until pink on one side, 2-3 minutes.
  4. Turn shrimp over, add the white part of the scallions and cook the other side of the shrimp until pink, 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the green scallions and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
  6. Sprinkle with lime. Taste to adjust salt and pepper.
  7. Top with cashews if desired
  8. Serve immediately.


Recipe adapted from NY Times Cooking.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Saute
  • Cuisine: Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

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