Paleo Sticky Shrimp

Paleo Sticky Shrimp Recipe - an irresistible combination of Mexican seasonings, tender shrimp, and a sticky coating that has soaked up shrimp stock.|

“Hey, do you think you could come home on Friday for lunch?”

“You know you have asked me that four times already?”

Ooops. What can I say? I really wanted Mark to come home for lunch that Friday.

Most Friday’s my older kids go to their Aunt’s house. It gives me a day of relative quiet to get some stuff done, and this Friday I had a special plan. Making and photographing my new idea for shrimp.

I have always loved to order shrimp at a restaurant, but have hardly attempted it at home. When I went shopping after a far too light dinner and came home with shrimp among my groceries, I knew I needed to make something special. My previous iffy attempts did not overshadow the fact that it seemed like a really good idea. Don’t go to the store hungry… mmm’ kay? Unless it inadvertently results in this. Then it can’t be so bad.

Paleo Sticky Shrimp Recipe - an irresistible combination of Mexican seasonings, tender shrimp, and a sticky coating that has soaked up shrimp stock.|

That night I made half the shrimp for Mark and I after the kids had gone to bed. It was the first time I had ever made shrimp that I thought was really good. It inspired me to try again. I still had half a pound of the shrimp– enough for both Mark and I, but not for the kids. Armed with that bit of shrimp and an idea I was determined for a lunch “date,” just the two of us.

The shrimp is lightly seasoned with salt, cumin, coriander, paprika, oregano, onion and garlic powders. Then it is lightly dredged in tapioca starch. A quick sear in a hot skillet gives it a truly beautiful color, then the finishing touch is being tossed into a highly reduced shrimp stock. The tapioca swells up with the liquid leaving the most luscious, and slightly sticky, coating on the shrimp.

Note: I mentioned only having half a pound, and so did a half recipe for us. Just want to be sure I don’t confuse anyone when I call for a pound of shrimp in the recipe.

4.4 from 7 reviews
Mexican Sticky Shrimp
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
This shrimp has an irresistible soft and and slightly sticky coating on the outside. It is seasoned with some fantastic mexican spices and oregano then finished off with a touch of cilantro for a bit of freshness.
  • 1 lb large raw shrimp, including shells, fresh or thawed from being frozen
  • 2 tablespoons white wine (optional, omit for w30)
  • 1½ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon each cumin, coriander, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder
  • 1 pinch dried oregano
  • ¼ cup tapioca or arrowroot starch
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • Coconut oil, avocoda oil, ghee, or bacon fat for frying the shrimp.
  • Chopped Cilantro for serving (optional)
  1. Remove the shells from the shrimp.
  2. Mix the water and shrimp shells together in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and boil for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Mix the shelled shrimp and seasonings together in a large bowl.
  4. Spread the tapioca starch out on a plate. Dredge each shrimp in the starch. Shake off excess. Put the dredged shrimp in another bowl or plate than the one you seasoned in.
  5. Heat a 16" skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium to medium-high heat with the oil, ghee, or bacon fat.
  6. When the pan gets nice and hot, add the shrimp one at a time. They should loosely fill the pan. You do not want to overcrowd or stack them. Let brown on each side quickly (about a minute or less per side).
  7. Remove the seared shrimp to a plate and set aside.
  8. Strain the shrimp stock into the bowl where you seasoned the shrimp. Stir to get any stray seasoning. Pour the stock and wine into the hot skillet.
  9. Boil for a few minutes until reduced by about half. Remove skillet from the heat and add the shrimp. Stir the shrimp in the hot liquid. The shrimp will mostly, if not completely, soak up the liquid. If the shrimp is still not fully cooked then return to the heat and cook for another minute or two.
Serving suggestions:

Serve with mexican or cilantro lime rice, and refried beans.

Serve with a few side vegetables (pictured).

Serve as a shrimp taco with tortillas (or large lettuce leaves) and fixings.

Linked to:
Whole Foods Friday
Foodie Friday
Freedom Friday

Fight Back Friday
Savoring Saturdays

Natural Living Monday
Homemade Mondays
Inspiration Monday
Recipe Sharing Monday
Melt In Your Mouth Monday
Mix it Up Monday
Mouth Watering Mondays
Totally Talented Tuesday
Hearth and Soul Link Up
Fat Tuesday
Tip Me Tuesday
Tuesday Talent Show
Allergy Free Wednesday
Waste Not, Want Not @ Poor and Gluten Free
Wow Me Wednesday @ Gingersnap Crafts
Real Food Wednesdays @ Kelly the Kitchen Kop
Gluten Free Wednesdays @ The Gluten Free Homemaker
Thrive On Thursday
Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen’s Cottage
Pennywise Platter @ The Nourishing Gourmet

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  1. Enrique Charmander says

    It seems like that’d dry the shrimp out like crazy… like boil them for maybe a couple minutes or just sear them off. When I do shrimp boils the shrimp go rubbery after like 3 minutes.

    • says

      Hey Enrique, you actually don’t boil the shrimp, just the shrimp tails (to make a stock). The shrimp are seared on both sides, not even necessarily cooked through then removed from the heat. Then the sauce is reduced in the same pan (want to get all the flavor in the pan) and the shrimp is tossed back into the sauce after it is removed from the heat (cooking a bit more if need be to cook through). Hope that clarifies it!

  2. says

    The season mix for your Shrimp will make these Shrimp so full of wonderful flavor, I can’t wait to try this awesome recipe. Thanks so much for sharing your post with Full Plate Thursday and hope you have a great week.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  3. says

    Debra, this is my kind of recipe – quick, easy, tasty and wholesome! I love the flavours you have used in your Sticky Shrimp. I’ve pinned this post to my Paleo recipes board on Pinterest and will be featuring it in this week’s Hearth and Soul post. Thank you for sharing it with us :-)

  4. says

    Why yes, I do want a plate of that! I love absolutely everything about this dish (and your blog design is delightful!)

    Thank you so much for stopping in and linking this up at Mouthwatering Mondays!

  5. says

    Thanks so much for this recipe! I have been looking for a perfect shrimp recipe that has just enough sauce that it will pair up with rice and not be too bland or to saucy. This recipe fits the bill!

  6. says

    Hi Debra,

    Thanks for your comment at Pro-blogger, I just replied!

    Your blog is gorgeous and this recipe looks divine. As soon as my move is completed and I’m settled a bit I’m going to give it a try.

    I need to find out what Foodie Friday is.

    I’m now your newest blog follower and I’m looking forward to more wonderful posts.

    • says

      Hey Betty,

      Thanks for the comments ๐Ÿ˜€

      Foodie Friday is a link up you can find here. I have a few link ups listed on the bottom of the post if you are interested in linking into other ones. I just checked out your site and it looks really cool. ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. Rattlebridge Farm says

    Your shrimp looks delicious. I can’t wait to try your recipe. Thanks for adding it to Foodie Friday!


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