Stir Fried Shrimp with Lemon Aioli

Stir fried shrimp is one of my fav seafood appetizers! It’s super quick, very easy and you can change it up by adding different variety of spices every time. With zingy Lemon Aioli, this stir-fried shrimp turns into finger licking good.

You can serve this as an appetizer or toss some veggies, add some noodles or left-over rice, and turn into a meal.

All it takes it just 15 minutes!

I prepare stir fried shrimp quite frequently and the trick is to NOT OVERCOOK it. If you have a cast iron pan, definitely use that. It gives the best char and cooks evenly, keeping the shrimp tender and perfectly cooked.

Stir fried Shrimp - ready in 10 minutes

Spices I used for this Stir-Fried Shrimp:

I used Spice Tribe MOMBACHO CAFÉ. A brilliantly flavored spice mix. It has roasted garlic, citrus zest with a hint of espresso.

As soon as you open the bottle, the aroma comes though right away, and you can’t help but dip your finger and taste the spice.

This spice mix worked perfectly with stir-fried shrimp.

The spice mix also works great on beans, pork chop or you could make flavored butter too for grilled meat.

Spice Tribe Mombacho cafe

How to prepare the Stir-Fried Shrimp


There are of course several different ways you can stir fry seafood.

This is how I do it:

Marinate the shrimp with the spice, little oil, salt and I added little paprika powder too. Leave it aside for 15 minutes.

Then heat a cast iron skillet at medium high heat and brush little oil.

Once the skillet it hot, layer the shrimp in one layer. Let it cook for about 3 minutes. I used medium size shrimp. It will take more time if you use large size shrimp.

Then flip and fry for few more minutes.

The shrimps will get cooked through and remain tender inside.

Drizzle some lemon juice and serve right away.

Stir fried Shrimp - ready in 10 minutes

How to prepare Lemon Aioli

Aioli is very much like mayo which can be flavored up the way you like.

You could use store bought mayo and add lemon juice, zest, grate a garlic clove, little Dijon mustard if you have at home. Give a mix and it’s ready.

Different ways to serve 

  • My personal fav is as an appetizer.
  • It goes great in Taco
  • Inside Bao Buns with a sticky sauce.
  • With rice or noodles.

Stir fried Shrimp - ready in 10 minutes

I have also fried some red onion in the skillet to serve along with the stir-fried shrimp, but it is totally optional.

This is not a dish you want to reheat. You want to make it fresh and serve right away!

Stir Fry Shrimp with Lemon Aioli

Stir Fry Shrimp with Lemon Aioli

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Stir fried shrimp is one of my fav seafood appetizers! It’s super quick, very easy and you can change it up by adding different variety of spices every time. With zingy Lemon Aioli, this stir-fried shrimp turns into finger licking good.


  • 1 lb medium size shrimp, shell removed, deveined and cleaned. Tail intact or removed.
  • ½ medium size red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Spice Tribe MOMBACHO CAFÉ
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon oil plus little more to brush on the hot skillet


For the lemon aioli

Mix mayo with lemon zest, lemon juice, dijon mustard if you have at home and 1 garlic clove, grated.

For the pan fried shrimp

  1. In a mixing bowl, marinate the shrimo with the spice mix, salt, paprika and oil. Leave it aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat a cast iron pan and brush little oil.
  3. Fry the slcied onion for few minutes. Then take it off to a serving plate.
  4. Brush little oil on the same skillet and layer the shrimps. Let it cook for about 3 minutes. Then flip and cook for 3 minutes. (Keep in mind if the shrimp are very large, you will need more time and if small then less time)
  5. Once done, take it off and layer on top of the fried onion.
  6. Serve right away with the lemon aioli.


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.

Spice Tribe Mombacho cafe
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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  • 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 😀

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