Tropical glazed shrimp, marinated in a tropical tamarind sauce, dark rum and lime, prepared in a cast iron skillet and served with a pineapple coconut dipping sauce. Terrific on its own or served on buttery baguette slices. These Spicy Caribbean Shrimp are the perfect appetizer!
These shrimp have a bit of sweet, bit of barbecue, and a bit of heat to them. Served with the pineapple coconut dipping sauce, you’ll feel like you’re in the islands. If the islands aren’t in the cards, a girl can dream of them, and we can make it feel like the Islands right here at home.
It may seem crazy that these amazing tropical sauces come from my home state of Nebraska, but trust me when I say that Steve and Heidi Nolan, the owners of Spice Isle Sauces, know what they are doing.
In fact, they have their very own restaurant in Turks and Caicos! When they started selling their tropical sauces there locally, they were so well received that they decided to sell them here in the states. They travel to trade shows all over the country introducing folks to their three sauce and seasoning rubs.
Spice Isle Sauces & Seasoning Rubs come in these 3 flavors:
- Tropical Seasoning Rub & Tropical Tamarind Sauce
- Tropical Heat Seasoning Rub & Tropical Heat Sauce
- Tropical Jerk Seasoning Rub & Tropical Jerk Sauce
Today’s Spicy Caribbean Shrimp Appetizer uses both the Tropical Heat Seasoning Rub and the Tropical Heat Sauce.
WHAT IS TAMARIND FRUIT?
Tamarind is not native to the U.S. and is a very interesting fruit. When you first bite into a Tamarind, it starts out sweet and then has a big citrus burst at the back, giving Spice Isle Sauces a very unique taste.
Tamarind is a type of tropical fruit. It grows on hardwood trees, native to Africa, India, and Pakistan, but also grows in many other tropical regions.
The tree produces bean-like pods that are filled with seeds and wrapped in a fibrous pulp. The pulp of unripened fruit is green and sour. But as it ripens, the pulp becomes paste-like and yields a more sweet-sour flavor.
Tamarind is used in many dishes, in many cultures around the world, some say it even has medicinal properties. It’s also high in fiber, protein and many other vitamins and nutrients.
For this recipe, you are going to want to select large uncooked shrimp, or prawns as they are also called. You will devein them, and peel them but leave the tails on.
How to Clean & Devein Shrimp:
Cleaning shrimp, which is known as “deveining” shrimp, has nothing to do with removing veins from a shrimp. I guess it is a polite way of saying that you are removing the intestines of the shrimp. Don’t worry, it isn’t that gross to deal with, and it is pretty easy to do.
Sure, you could buy some fancy shrimp cleaning tools to do it, but you really don’t have to go so far. You can use a knife or a pair of kitchen shears. I actually prefer the shears method. It allows you to remove both the shell and the intestine at the same time with minimal fuss.
Simply slide one end of the shear up the back of the shrimp, starting at the tail. You will be cutting just deep enough into the flesh to get to the “vein.” As you run the shear up the back, the vein comes right out, kind of like the scissor tip is a snowplow pushing out the muddy snow. Then simply finish with a cut through the shell and remove it.
FOR THE RUM JERK SHRIMP
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails left on
- 4 ounces dark Rum
- Juice of one large lime (save zest for dip)
- 3 Tablespoons Spice Isle Tropical Heat Sauce + more for brushing on later
- Generous sprinkling of Spice Isle Tropical Heat Seasoning Rub
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Fresh parsley for garnishing
PINEAPPLE COCONUT DIP
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup crushed pineapple + 1/2 Tablespoon pineapple juice
- 2 Tablespoons sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 teaspoon lime zest, divided