Stir Fried Shrimp with Lemon Aioli

stir fried shrimp 3

We are one of those lazy, laid-back couples who like to spend Friday nights at home with something to munch, along with a drink and a movie of our choice. Sitting cozy and casual in our pajamas 🙂 Typically, cooking on a Friday night is not one of my favorite acts but when it comes to making easy, effortless finger food, it’s a whole new story.

Something like this – stir fried shrimp and lemon aioli sauce.

Stir Fried Shrimp with Lemon Aioli 1

Arvind is kind of picky with seafood and I don’t blame him cause he had never ate fish or seafood while growing up. Luckily, he is always open to trying out new food. Even though his first experience with shrimp was not very good, he didn’t give up on it! I guess he knew how much his wife loves shrimp 😉 Nowadays, he enjoys shrimp as much as I do.

The key thing that I have to remember while making shrimp for him is to remove the head, shells and make sure it doesn’t smell fishy.

Stir Fried Shrimp with Lemon Aioli 2

This stir-fried shrimp is his absolute favorite and it’s way too simple to even call for a recipe. It is marinated with simple spice mix, some fresh herbs and finally, stir fried in a cast iron pan to get that perfect char. Although frying in a non-stick pan will work too but the char and smoky flavor that comes from cooking in a cast iron pan is totally different.

Stir Fried Shrimp with Lemon Aioli 3

While frying the shrimp might take about 10 minutes, the lemon aioli sauce takes about 5 mins max. How easy is that !

Aioli is a creamy sauce similar to mayonnaise and is made with garlic, extra virgin olive oil and egg yolks. It can be served with salad, spread on bread for sandwich or served as a dipping sauce. It can be made in advance and kept refrigerated in an airtight jar for days.

The tanginess of the lemon aioli and the spiciness of the shrimp made a perfect match.

Stir Fried Shrimp with Lemon Aioli 4

This flavorful finger food is our current favorite Friday food, served with some cold beer. Both the sauce and shrimp required hardly any prep time or cooking time!

stir fried shrimp 6

Stir Fry Shrimp with Lemon Aioli


for lemon aioli

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon mustard sauce
  • salt
  • pepper

for stir fried shrimp

  • 1/2 pound shrimp - cleaned, head and shell removed, tail retained
  • 1/2 cup fresh curry leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes, plus extra to sprinkle later
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oil


for the lemon aioli

  1. Put everything (except olive oil) in a food processor and whisk until it mixed properly and looks foamy.
  2. Now, run the food processor, pour olive oil from top and continue mixing until it looks thick and creamy.
  3. Check for salt and add more, if required.

for the pan fried shrimp

  1. In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients and let it marinate for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Heat a cast iron pan.
  3. Layer the shrimps on the pan and let it cook for about 5 minutes. You need to keep tossing and turning the shrimp occasionally.
  4. Serve it warm with the lemon aioli sauce.


Remember to put shrimp on the pan only when the pan is hot enough or else, it will stick to the pan. Avoid cooking shrimp for too long, as it will become rubbery and chewy. I didn't make the mustard sauce, just used the store bought ones. It's optional for me, I like the spice kick it gives and hence added it this time. Curry leaves should be easily accessible in Indian stores. You can however you any other herbs you like and have access to!

Stir Fried Shrimp with Lemon Aioli 5

Did you enjoy this Stir Fried Shrimp with Lemon Aioli? Share your creation by tagging @playfulcooking on Instagram with the #playfulcooking and I will re-share in my story!

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Comments are closed.

  • Sublime Palate
    Sublime Palate
    May 15, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    That looks YUM! I am picky about my prawns and I think the spices need to be just right. Simplicity is key. You just nailed it in this recipe! The combo: beer + these prawns! Sounds just my kinda thing!:)

  • Notyet100
    May 15, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    Umm I don’t have mustard sauce any substitute for that ,platter looks yum..

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      May 16, 2012 at 2:41 PM

      I wish, I could provide you with a substitute! It’s optional for me as at times, I may not wish to use it. It adds little heat to the sauce. I guess some spicy sauce can work too! I just used the store bought mustard sauce.

  • Spandana
    May 15, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    Yumm.. love shrimps.. and this looks absolutely delicious!!!! So simple yet so very yummy!!

  • Nandita
    May 15, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Just loved the presentation and the props. That serving bowl looks so very rustic. Great job Kankana 🙂

  • Nami | JOC
    Nami | JOC
    May 16, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    You two are so cute. I can imagine you are enjoying these delicious shrimps in your PJ! =D I wish my Fridays are like yours – fan, relaxing & delicious! He’s really sweet that he tried eating shrimp. I will not eat oyster even my husband asked me to have it with him. Heehee. Your photos especially styling is beautiful. I always struggle with cloths/fabric and I love how you used it in dynamic way!

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      May 18, 2012 at 10:47 AM

      Thanks Nami 🙂 Yeah .. I struggle too while working with fabrics but these days I am loving it!

  • nisha
    May 16, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    i can so empathise with arvind, because i totally cannot stand anything fishy and its recently that shrimp became an ok thing to eat, that too if i masala-fy it and make sure it doesnt taste fishy at all 🙂
    I rembr eating aioli in a restaurant and gosh the garlic taste was sooo overpowering and pungent, it kinda burnt my mouth. I would like to blame the restaurant for this and not the dish in itself.
    This is a perfect appetizer idea..shrimp and mayo is a perfect combo i feel, so aioli would just take it a notch higher.

  • Deeps @ Naughty Curry
    Deeps @ Naughty Curry
    May 16, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    the aiolo looks awesome, cant wait to try it! lovely pics

  • Krithi
    May 16, 2012 at 3:02 AM

    This looks super inviting Kankana… With a dish made this attractive, I wouldnt have the patience for the clicks 😉

  • Nancy/SpicieFoodie
    May 16, 2012 at 3:23 AM

    Your Fridays sound like ours. My husband is a shrimp fanatic. He would love this! I’m glad to hear that your husband loves these, they look too good to pass. Beautiful shots.

  • Arch
    May 16, 2012 at 4:52 AM

    Beautiful clicks and those shrimps look so good !! Would love to make this…Your friday evening sounds so perfect 🙂

  • Debjani
    May 16, 2012 at 6:10 AM

    You have a way of torturing your kind blog patrons with pictures that jump out of the screen saying, “come get me”. I know I’m hallucinating at 10 am.

    Thanks for the very easy recipe for indulgence. 🙂

  • Poornima
    May 16, 2012 at 7:08 AM

    That looks awesome!! Love the simple preparation! I remember such friday nights from a couple of years back, a simple dinner and a fun movie!

  • Rosa
    May 16, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    Those look amazing! The kind of food I could eat every weekend. A great flavor combination.



  • Joyti
    May 16, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    I don’t eat shrimp, but this looks like a delicious and easy dish. I do love aioli, and always have some pre-made in my fridge too.

  • Namitha
    May 16, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    Lovely ! Love your version with a lemony tangy twist ! Great combination 🙂
    My lil girl is just like Arvind,though she loves shrimp she hates the fishy smell 🙂

  • Priscilla M
    Priscilla M
    May 16, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    Absolutely stunning!

  • kale
    May 16, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    These shrimp look so delicious. I was thinking they looked grilled! But it must be the cast iron pan you used. There’s nothing like cast iron!

  • lisa
    May 16, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    how do you make the mustard sauce? or is it something you can buy at the market?

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      May 16, 2012 at 2:42 PM

      Hi, thanks for dropping by. I used a store bought mustard sauce. Forgot to add that in the note. It’s updated now 🙂

      • lisa
        May 16, 2012 at 2:47 PM

        thank you!! one last question, where do you get curry leaves? i googled it and looks like indian markets carry it? can’t wait to try this.

        • Kankana Saxena
          Kankana Saxena
          May 16, 2012 at 2:52 PM

          Yes, you should easily find it in Indian stores. You can however use any other herbs you like or have easy access to 🙂

  • Eha
    May 16, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Oh, Kankana, those prawns [remember I speak that ‘other’ English!] and aioli look so moreish and so very easy to make, have just pushed my planned menus around a bit 🙂 !

  • Reema
    May 16, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Uhmmm cannot stop to try it!!!

  • Tina
    May 16, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Lovely clicks and shrimp..

  • Baker Street
    Baker Street
    May 16, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    The lemon aioli sounds fantabulous and so perfectly paired with the shrimp. Love it. 🙂

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen
    May 17, 2012 at 3:00 AM

    Sounds like my kind of evening! I like to get comfy in my pjs and just chill at home too.

  • Jill~a SaucyCook
    Jill~a SaucyCook
    May 17, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    YUM!! I just adore the sound of the spices you used with the shrimp and it just so happens I have a big ‘ol cast iron skillet! Sadly, my hubby, is also shrimp adverse and has not been converted as easily as yours! That said, he is also willing to try things and perhaps if I offer this up with a couple of other finger foods to his liking….hmmm, worth a shot! We also stay home most Friday nights, but our voyeurism entices us to watch those murder mysteries! We love the music on them…dadadata…..!!!! P.S. Your photography is wonderful.

  • torviewtoronto and createwithmom
    torviewtoronto and createwithmom
    May 17, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    looks fabulous delicious pictures

  • Rose ( Magpie's Recipes)
    Rose ( Magpie's Recipes)
    May 17, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    So pretty as usual Kankana! Thanks for all the tips on the wood. Must try making my own board sometime too 🙂

  • Reem | Simply Reem
    Reem | Simply Reem
    May 17, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    You know I can eat shrimp day n nite… My kids too. But when it comes to my hubby is only eats shrimps cooked in particular recipes…
    I have to try this one…
    B/W I”ll email you the links tonite,SURE. From past 2 days I have been not much on system. I will do it to nite…

  • Reeni
    May 17, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    What a nice little treat for movie night! I am drooling over them! I love the brightness of the aioli with the spicy shrimp. Perfection. And you are so right about the cast iron pan! I use mine almost everyday – it adds such great flavor.

  • myfudo
    May 17, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    My husband is out of the country every few months or so. During the times that he is away from us, we still make it a point to Skype and enjoy a dinner or a lunch date even just in front of our respective laptops. Now that I cannot cook for him, what I do is to send him recipes, (sometimes I simplify them for him 😉
    so he can still enjoy good food even without me doing the cooking for him. He loves shrimps and adores seafood dishes. I am sure he will be trying this recipe real soon…Sending this recipe to him now =)

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      May 18, 2012 at 10:48 AM

      CUTE 🙂 We used to do the same before our marriage, when I was in India and he was here in US 🙂

  • Alisa
    May 18, 2012 at 3:30 AM

    That lemon aioli looks perfect with the shrimps and some crabs perhaps? I’ll save this recipe for the weekend.

  • Roxana GreenGirl { A little bit of everything}
    Roxana GreenGirl { A little bit of everything}
    May 18, 2012 at 8:07 AM

    Friday night out are overrated 🙂 It’s usually a pizza night in our house and we get as comfy as possible waiting for the timer to beep so we can have dinner and watch a movie.

  • Sandra's Easy Cookin
    Sandra's Easy Cookin
    May 18, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    Great photos, Kankana! Making me dig in through the screen! We are shrimp crazy, my whole family is, and we love spending time like your two as well! just good food, pj’s and some great movie! Thanks for sharing, can’t wait to try this recipe! Have a lovely weekend!

  • mjskit
    May 18, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    Your Friday nights sound exactly like ours! We call them date nights, but we stay at home and have dinner and a movie. This does look like the perfect meal for date night! Tasty without all the fuss and cleanup! Totally agree about using castiron for something like this!

  • DB-Foodie Stuntman
    DB-Foodie Stuntman
    May 18, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    I will have to try the aioli. Looks good all around.

  • Alya
    May 18, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Oh goodness! The shrimp look sooo enticing, but what I’m really digging is the lemon aioli. I love all things lemon. Will definitely try this out soon. Thanks for sharing!

  • nipponnin
    May 18, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    I love love shrimp! Aioli sauce is new to me but I’m going to try it. Nice story, good food, great photos!

  • the good soup
    the good soup
    May 19, 2012 at 2:10 AM

    Hi dear Kankana, it’s been awhile since I’ve wondered round to my favourite blogs, as life outside of computer land is taking over! (in a nice way). I just wanted to say, your blog looks DIVINE. I love the work Arvind’s done. and your photos just keep getting better. you’re an inspiration. xx angela

  • Magic of Spice
    Magic of Spice
    May 20, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Delightful balance of flavors…perfect for a lazy evening for sure!

  • sally
    May 20, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    What a great looking dish! The lemon aioli sounds fantastic.

  • Laurie
    May 20, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    I love this recipe.. It sounds and LOOKS amazing!! The lemon aioli is an amazing touch with the shrimp.

  • Vijitha
    May 20, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    Awesome! You should make this for me. I love shrimp and love the creamy aioli to go with it. Yum! and as always brilliant pictures. I like the addition of curry leaves and that’s my most favorite herb.

  • tigerfish
    May 21, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    I love love shrimps, just that local farmed ones are seasonal and hard to find. Love your spice mix on the shrimps and the creamy aioli dip! Scrumptious!

  • Alya
    May 21, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Hello! I’ve nominated you for the NEW Food Stories Award for Excellence in Storytelling. Go to the award site for all the details!:

    Thanks for writing!

  • Anzz
    May 22, 2012 at 6:54 AM

    Looks lovely.Absolutely delicious..1

  • IshitaUnblogged
    May 22, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    I love shrimps. Loving it actually. Specially the twist with the chilli flakes and mustard. I love the tray – seems like you’ve painted it right? Half my furniture looks like this – painted white or other colours (depending upon what my mood was at that point in time!) with the brush strokes showing through…

    Do you blur the bg over photoshop or are the photographs taken like these?

  • Kala
    May 22, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    All of your images are wonderfully composed with excellent DoF! And the recipe sounds delicious.

  • Jennifer (Delicieux)
    Jennifer (Delicieux)
    May 22, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    Hehe you two sound exactly like my fiance and I. We love nothing more than spending time together, doing things such as cooking and sharing a simple meal at home.

    Your images in this post are just stunning, as usual. You really have a great talent for telling a story with food and capturing it at it’s best.

  • Ira Rodrigues
    Ira Rodrigues
    May 22, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    I love your dipping sauce recipe and since my son really devoted to fish, i will try to work with it 🙂

  • Ms. Becky
    Ms. Becky
    May 23, 2012 at 7:09 AM

    your photographs are amazing! and the shrimp looks divine. I’m trying that sauce. happy day to you.

  • Nidhi
    May 23, 2012 at 7:28 AM

    Firstly, please accept my compliments on your blog.The photography is awesome and the food looks extremely inviting. I came across your blog through Foodbuzz when your Khandvi recipe was featured as one of the top nine..Well Done and Congratulations!

  • Yadsia @ShopCookMake
    Yadsia @ShopCookMake
    May 23, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    Lemon aioli equals yummyness!

  • Sukanya
    May 23, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    the wooden bowl captivates me looks so ravishing… and coming to shrimp well am such a seafood fanatic, i can gobble them ny way, but lemon ailoli sounds great.

  • reese@SeasonwithSpic
    [email protected]
    May 26, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    That’s our way of spending a Friday night too. The only difference is we don’t wear PJs, but just regular home clothes. Haha! Yummy stir-fried shrimp. Sounds even better with lemon aioli. I like your idea of having these bites as your finger food. Some beer please!

  • Shobha
    May 28, 2012 at 4:33 AM

    Loved this shrimp recipe and the lemony sauce…as I am a gr8 fan of prawns, will try this out.

  • Manju
    May 31, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    Wow Kankana,
    I loved this post…My hus is allergic to shellfish, so I do not prepare shrimp at home , but I did make once when my in-laws were here…I loived this flavor combo of urs and I love aioli sauce 🙂 Pics as usual are simply perfecto!!

    Do stop by my space when time permits…

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.c
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.c
    June 6, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    Anything acid (lemon) would definitely help remove a lot of the fishyness from seafood.

    Lemon aioli shrimp looks darn delicious 😀