Mexican Shrimp Cocktail Recipe for Coctel de Camarones. Shrimp recipes. Copyright © 2023 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Easy Delicious Shrimp Recipes to Make for a Summer Evening Treat

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Our collection of easy shrimp recipes to make for a summer treat includes recipes for a classic Mexican shrimp cocktail for coctel de camarones, an endearingly retro Australian prawn cocktail, refreshing Vietnamese prawn spring rolls or shrimp summer rolls, Spanish garlic shrimp, and ginger scallion noodles with sweet plump prawns – or shrimps!

This compilation of deliciously simple shrimp recipes will make you easy shrimp dishes – or prawn dishes, as the crustaceans known as shrimps in North America are known as prawns in most other countries, where shrimps are a different species and smaller.

Shrimps and prawns are perfect summer eating. If you’re not by the sea, they’ll soon take you there once you dig in. Shrimp dishes also feel like a treat due to the increasingly high cost of fresh seafood in many places. Frozen shrimps and prawns work too.

We’re in the midst of the sultry Southeast Asian monsoon season here in Cambodia, but we’ve been lucky in that we haven’t had to suffer through the scorching heatwaves that many northern hemisphere countries have in recent months.

So it’s with our friends and readers in North America and Europe in mind that we’re sharing this short round-up of delicious shrimp recipes to make this weekend for a cooling summer treat. We’ll be adding a few more shrimp recipes – or prawn recipes if you prefer! – over coming weeks, so do bookmark this page if you’re a lover of shrimps – or prawns!

Before I tell you about our shrimp recipes, I have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-funded. If you’ve cooked our recipes and enjoyed them, please consider supporting Grantourismo by supporting our epic Cambodian cuisine history and cookbook on Patreon, which you can do for as little as the price of a coffee, or buy us a coffee and we’ll use our coffee money to buy cooking ingredients for recipe testing.

Another option is to use links on our site to buy travel insurance, rent a car, book accommodation, or book a tour on Get Your Guide. Or buy something on Amazon, such as these cookbooks for culinary travellers, James Beard award-winning cookbooks, cookbooks by Australian chefs, classic cookbooks for serious cooks, travel books to inspire wanderlust, and gifts for Asian food lovers and picnic lovers. We may earn a small commission but you won’t pay extra.

Lastly, you could browse our Grantourismo store for gifts for food lovers, including food themed reusable cloth face masks designed with Terence’s images. Now let me tell you all about our best shrimp recipes.

Shrimp Recipes to Make for a Summer Treat

These easy shrimp recipes make a fantastic weekend summer treat when you don’t want to spend too long in the kitchen or don’t want to cook at all.

Classic Mexican Shrimp Cocktail Recipe for Coctel de Camarones

One of our best shrimp recipes, this classic Mexican shrimp cocktail recipe makes coctel de camarones. It’s the perfect shrimp dish to make for a sultry summer weekend and should be washed down with icy Mexican cervezas.

This is the kind of prawn cocktails in tall old-fashioned glasses that you’ll be served in Mexico at marisquerias – restaurants, eateries and market stalls specialising in mariscos or seafood, from ceviche and seafood soups and stews to fried seafood and grilled fish.

In Mexico City’s markets, where I first became addicted to Mexican shrimp cocktails, they come in the sort of glasses that ice cream parlours served sundaes in back in the day – the glasses I blissfully scooped plump prawns out of coated in a spicy tomato sauce on our first trip to Mexico, vowing I’d live off those the entire six-week holiday.

Traditionally served chilled, this Mexican shrimp cocktail makes for a cooling appetiser to kick off a seafood feast, and is the best treat for a sweltering hot day. If the weather’s not warm where you are, it’s worth turning up the heat to pretend it is just to indulge in these.

Classic Mexican Shrimp Cocktail Recipe for Coctel de Camarones

 

Classic Prawn Cocktail Recipe for the Retro 70s Starter that Never Goes Out of Style

This classic prawn cocktail recipe makes another of our best shrimp recipes – or prawn recipes, as we call shrimps ‘prawns’ in Australia, where shrimps are a lot smaller. It’s my take on the retro appetiser popularised in the 1970s that will never go out of style.

Tiger prawns are boiled quickly in their shells so they’re just done are peeled, tossed in a creamy tangy ‘seafood sauce’, and served on a bed of lettuce salad, dressed with the same sauce.

So many fashionable dishes from the 1970s have made a comeback in recent years – devilled eggs, beef Stroganoff and chicken Kiev to name a few (oddly enough, all Russian dishes, and I’ve no idea what that’s about). Along with the prawn cocktail, they’ve never gone out of style for me, because they’re part of my culinary heritage, embedded with countless memories.

As a child growing up in Sydney’s suburbs in the 1970s, the prawn cocktail was as much a part of our Australian summer culinary traditions as the pavlova, riverside picnics, backyard barbecues, and fish and chips by the beach.

Prawn cocktails magically appeared before me at the fancy harbourside restaurants at many a Sunday lunch while my parents and friends were still perusing menus and the waiter was popping bottles of bubbly. They did their job, keeping me occupied while the adults chatted, until the oysters arrived.

Classic Prawn Cocktail Recipe for the Retro 70s Starter that Never Goes Out of Style

 

Vietnamese Fresh Prawn and Pork Spring Rolls Recipe for Classic Gỏi Cuốn

Our Vietnamese fresh prawn and pork spring rolls recipe is another of our best shrimp recipes. It’s a classic gỏi cuốn recipe resulting in fresh, fragrant spring rolls that can be served as a light appetizer or lunch, part of a shared family-style meal or as finger food for a Vietnamese feast or barbecue.

Gỏi cuốn is a cold spring roll of cold cooked prawns, unseasoned pork belly, cold vermicelli noodles, and fresh aromatic herbs, wrapped in damp dry rice paper sheets. They’re light, zingy and refreshing, quick and easy to make, and incredibly healthy.

Just to clarify, as we often get asked what the difference is between ‘spring rolls’ and ‘summer rolls’. We’re calling our Vietnamese gỏi cuốn ‘spring rolls’ as that’s what they’re translated as here in Southeast Asia, when they were historically eaten for spring.

It’s what we’ve called spring rolls our entire eating lives and what you’ll see them translated to in Vietnam and throughout Southeast Asia, where they’ll be written up as ‘fresh spring rolls’ in contrast to ‘fried spring rolls’.

Vietnamese Fresh Prawn and Pork Spring Rolls Recipe for Classic Gỏi Cuốn

 

Vietnamese Pineapple Omelette and Prawn Summer Rolls Recipe

This Vietnamese pineapple omelette prawn summer rolls recipe makes another of my favourite shrimp recipes – the fresh shrimp spring rolls found in tropical Southern Vietnam, the Mekong Delta and Southern Cambodia.

We first came across a recipe for nem cuốn tôm trứng or prawn and omelette spring rolls in the excellent Vietnamese Street Food cookbook written by Tracey Lister and Andreas Pohl, who moved to Hanoi in 2000, where they ran Hanoi Cooking Centre until a few years ago.

In their introduction to the recipe, Tracey and Andreas say these fresh spring rolls are popular in Vietnam’s tropical south, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise to discover that they’re made throughout the lush Mekong Delta, which was once part of the Cambodia’s ancient Khmer Empire and Water Chenla and Funan kingdoms, and Cambodia’s southern coast.

The couple’s recipe calls for tart unripe pineapple as a contrast to the sweet prawns and the only herb they use is fresh coriander. I recommend using sweet ripe pineapple, which is what I found in the Mekong Delta.

I also add aromatic basil and thin sticks of cucumber. Two is enough. Use everything sparingly. You don’t want your delicate rice paper rolls to burst because you’ve over-filled them.

Vietnamese Pineapple Omelette and Prawn Summer Rolls Recipe

 

Spanish Garlic Shrimp Recipe for Gambas al Ajillo

One of the things we used to love to do in summer in Spain was a tapas bar hop, where we’d spend an evening grazing on an array of Spanish tapas – small plates of snacks initially intended to soak up the booze, but which became the very reason to do a tapas bar crawl for many a food-lover who preferred the nibbles to the drinks.

This classic Spanish garlic shrimp recipe for gambas al ajillo makes one of the most popular Spanish tapas dishes on the menu at tapas bars in Spain and around the world, and it’s easily another one of our best shrimp recipes. While it’s a warm shrimp dish, not cold, it’s quick and easy.

Sweet plump garlic prawns are just cooked in a fragrant, gently spiced, garlicky virgin olive oil that’s just calling for you to mop it up with crusty bread. It’s also one of the easiest tapas dishes to make at home, as long as you don’t over-cook the prawns – or shrimps.

We shared this easy shrimp recipe as part of a series of our best Spanish tapas recipes, which includes recipes for Spanish meatballs called albondigas, chorizo and potato croquettes or croquetas de patata y chorizo, chorizo in red wine for chorizo al vino tinto, one of our favourite recipes with chorizo, and calamari al plancha for smoky squid cooked on a griddle.

Spanish Garlic Shrimp Recipe for Gambas al Ajillo – A Spanish Tapas Bar Favourite That’s Easy to Make at Home

 

Ginger Scallion Sauce Recipe for Ginger Scallion Noodles

This ginger scallion sauce recipe for ginger scallion noodles makes the much-copied Momofuku homage to the classic Southern Chinese sauce that chef David Chang and food writer Francis Lam popularised outside China well over a decade ago.

Before we knew it as the Momofuku ginger scallion sauce for ginger scallion noodles from chef David Chang’s Momofuku: A Cookbook published way back in October 2009, Chang said it was “the secret sauce” served up in Cantonese joints all over New York City. You know the kind of restaurants, as they’re endearingly the same in every Chinatown around the world.

Terence has been making these delicious ginger scallion noodles since well before their recent comeback, making them with plump fresh sweet prawns. Although he’s also been known to place a fillet of grilled salmon on top of each bowl of noodles, I love this dish with just-cooked prawns – or shrimp.

I also like to add a little fish sauce to my noodles and sprinkle on some chilli flakes, crispy fried garlic and crunchy fried shallots for more kick and texture. Terence likes to add a good squirt of hoisin sauce.

Ginger Scallion Sauce Recipe for Ginger Scallion Noodles, A Momofuku Take on a Chinese Classic

Please do let us know in the comments below if you make our best shrimp recipes as we’d love to know how they turn out for you.

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A travel and food writer who has experienced over 70 countries and written for The Guardian, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Feast, Delicious, National Geographic Traveller, Conde Nast Traveller, Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia, DestinAsian, TIME, CNN, The Independent, The Telegraph, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, AFAR, Wanderlust, International Traveller, Get Lost, Four Seasons Magazine, Fah Thai, Sawasdee, and more, as well as authored more than 40 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, DK, Footprint, Rough Guides, Fodors, Thomas Cook, and AA Guides.

2 thoughts on “Easy Delicious Shrimp Recipes to Make for a Summer Evening Treat”

  1. Thank you for pulling all your best shrimp recipes together in the one place, Lara. I for one appreciate it. I had no idea you had so many. I adore shrimps. Do you have a shrimp scampi recipe by any chance? I’d love to try it.

  2. Hi Parvathy, so lovely to see you here! My pleasure! I haven’t shared a shrimp scampi recipe, yet, but it is on the list actually. Not sure if you subscribe to our newsletter or not, but if you do, we’ll share it there when it’s published. Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to leave a comment :)

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