Spicy Shrimp with Lime

Here is the very definition of a Nice Problem: A healthy dinner that cooks too quickly, allowing for no time to savor a glass of wine while one prepares it. I’m not kidding. This spicy shrimp (adapted over the years from an old Cooking Light recipe) takes about 10 minutes from start to finish — and closer to five if you have the spices mixed already. Phoebe requests the dish often, so we periodically prepare a stash of the smokey paprika rub to have it ready to go — the spice mixture even gets its own special jar painted with her name. Of course, in the eyes of the little sister, there is no more flagrant example of condiment injustice, so we painted a jar for her, too and filled it with McCormick’s California Garlic Powder.

Spicy Shrimp with Cilantro and Lime

Below are the spice amounts to sprinkle over one shrimp dinner for four. Triple or quadruple if you want to make a stash to have on hand for the next time.

Phoebe’s Spice
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
pinch cinnamon

1. Mix together the above spices. Sprinkle over 1  1/4 pounds of peeled shrimp.

2. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp to pan — try to get the spiced side down — and saute 5 minutes until done, adding more spice as they flip around and cook.

3. Toast a few pieces of Nan (such as Kontos brand) and serve with cooked shrimp, a spoonful of plain yogurt, chopped cilantro, sliced almonds and a squeeze of lime.

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I made this tonight for the first time and my husband and I both loved it!!! So easy and delicious! Thanks for this recipe and for everything on the blog…I love your stories and pictures and recipes.


Heavens opening up, angels singing. Made this tonight and both kids loved it! Not the usual one liked it and one hated it, or one liked it and the other tolerated. Both ate it with gusto. Hallelujah!


I’ve just discovered your blog and it is my new favorite. I love the tone of your writing and your practical recipes! I’ve already tried the pork with kale and the gorditas.

Do you think this spice mix would be good rubbed on a nice, neutral fish, like tilapia?


KILLER yummy. Served w/cilantro lentils, rice, squeeze of lime. Thank you! (Avid reader in Bernal Heights, SF)


Made this tonight. A definite keeper. I added some chicken stock to the pan to give it a bit of sauce and served over rice. Yum, and thanks!


I made this tonight but used chicken since I didn’t have any shrimp. And it was absolutely delicious!!!! I can’t wait to try it with shrimp!


I love this spice mix! Do you use it for anything else besides the shrimp?


I just made this recipe last night after seeing it in EDF. So good! And so quick to make. My husband also says it’s a keeper to add to my recipe rotation.


Thank you so much for this recipe. I use this spice all the time on all sorts of things and it is delightful. I tried on shrimp and it was a hit, so then I tried it on chicken, and now I’ll put it on pretty much anything. I especially like to put a pinch of it in the yogurt I serve with meat. It works great with shish kebobs!


So happy tonight that I took your advice last time and made extra spice mix for tonight. Everyone loves Pheobe Shrimp.


i made this not too long ago for my husband and small child. my kid apparently has an unsophisticated palate as he declared it “too spicey”. anticipating that claim, i sauteed a few unspiced shrimp so he was happy. but…as delicious as the spiced shrimp was, the smell was even better! my house smelled incredible for two days!


I just made this today for my lunch and I really enjoyed it! I just finished the book and was looking to expand my palate in eating and cooking. I’ve never used curry powder and was really happy to give it a shot.
I’m happy to say that I think I can put this on my busy, weeknight dinner rotation! It was less expensive and much more healthy than my usual stop at subway when I’m tired and need to eat something really quick!
Can’t say enough good things about it!


Thank you for posting this online! I could not find my DALS cookbook tonight and I had already planned Phoebe’s Shrimp! I looked on your site hoping it was posted! ❤️