Aromatic Black Tiger Shrimp Recipe from Cambodia

Aromatic Black Tiger Shrimp

Aromatic Black Tiger Shrimp Recipe from Cambodia
Region / culture: Cambodia | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes | Servings: 4


Aromatic Black Tiger Shrimp
Aromatic Black Tiger Shrimp

The Aromatic Black Tiger Shrimp recipe is a delightful fusion of flavors and textures, bringing together the succulence of shrimp with the vibrant tastes of Southeast Asia. This dish is not only a feast for the palate but also a visual treat, with its colorful array of vegetables and herbs. Perfect for a special occasion or a gourmet home-cooked meal, this recipe promises to transport you to the exotic lands of its origin with every bite.


The origins of the Aromatic Black Tiger Shrimp recipe can be traced back to the coastal regions of Southeast Asia, where seafood plays a pivotal role in the culinary landscape. Inspired by traditional methods of preparing seafood with local herbs and spices, this recipe has evolved over time to incorporate a variety of ingredients that enhance the natural flavors of the shrimp. It is a testament to the rich culinary heritage of the region and its ability to adapt and flourish in the global gastronomic scene.


How to prepare

  1. In a blender, combine cilantro, galangal, lemongrass, coriander seeds, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, and water.
  2. Blend the ingredients until a smooth paste forms. Set aside.
  3. Soak the tamarind pulp in 4 tbsp of hot water for 5 minutes.
  4. Using a spoon, separate the flesh from the pulp to release the tamarind flavor into the water.
  5. Discard the pulp and set the tamarind juice aside.
  6. Heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a wok (or a 12-inch sauté pan) over high heat.
  7. Add the paste to the hot oil and stir constantly for about 2 minutes, until the aroma is released.
  8. Transfer the cooked paste to a bowl.
  9. Add the remaining tablespoons of oil to the wok and add the shrimp. Stir-fry for 15 seconds.
  10. Add the sliced vegetables to the wok and stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes, until desired tenderness is reached.
  11. Add the paste, chicken stock, salt, sugar, and tamarind juice to the wok. Stir-fry for an additional 2 minutes.
  12. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve immediately.


  • For a vegetarian version, substitute the shrimp with firm tofu or tempeh. You can also experiment with different vegetables, such as broccoli, snap peas, or bell peppers, to suit your taste preferences.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best results, always use fresh black tiger shrimp for this recipe. The freshness of the shrimp is crucial to achieving the desired texture and flavor. Additionally, when preparing the paste, make sure to blend the ingredients until very smooth to allow the flavors to meld together perfectly. Lastly, do not overcook the shrimp to avoid a rubbery texture; they should be just cooked through and tender.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the Aromatic Black Tiger Shrimp hot, garnished with fresh cilantro leaves. It pairs beautifully with steamed jasmine rice or rice noodles to soak up the flavorful sauce. A side of lime wedges can be provided for an added zest.

Cooking Techniques

Stir-frying is the primary cooking technique used in this recipe, which is ideal for retaining the crispness of the vegetables while ensuring the shrimp are perfectly cooked. The use of a wok is recommended to achieve the best results.

Ingredient Substitutions

If black tiger shrimp are not available, feel free to use any other type of large shrimp. Lemongrass can be substituted with lemon zest, and galangal with ginger for a similar flavor profile.

Make Ahead Tips

The paste can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, which can save time during the cooking process. The vegetables can also be sliced and kept ready for use.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the dish in a large, shallow bowl to showcase the vibrant colors of the vegetables and shrimp. Garnish with a sprinkle of finely chopped cilantro and a few thin slices of red chili for an extra pop of color and heat.

Pairing Recommendations

A light, crisp white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or a dry Riesling pairs wonderfully with the flavors of this dish. For a non-alcoholic option, a lemongrass-infused iced tea complements the dish's aromatic profile.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently in a pan over medium heat, adding a little water or chicken stock to prevent the dish from drying out.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of the Aromatic Black Tiger Shrimp contains approximately 250 calories, making it a relatively low-calorie option that can fit into various dietary plans.


This dish is relatively low in carbohydrates, with the primary sources being the vegetables and the small amount of sugar added for balance. The total carbohydrate content per serving is approximately 15 grams, making it a suitable option for those monitoring their carbohydrate intake.


The Aromatic Black Tiger Shrimp recipe contains a moderate amount of fat, primarily from the vegetable oil used in cooking. The total fat content per serving is around 10 grams. For a healthier option, you can opt for a lighter oil or reduce the quantity used.


Shrimp is an excellent source of high-quality protein, and this dish provides a generous amount, with approximately 25 grams of protein per serving. This makes it an ideal choice for individuals looking to increase their protein intake.

Vitamins and minerals

This recipe is rich in vitamins and minerals, thanks to the variety of vegetables and herbs used. It is particularly high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and iron, contributing to a healthy immune system, vision, and blood health.


The primary allergen in this recipe is shellfish, which is present in the black tiger shrimp. Individuals with a shellfish allergy should avoid this dish.


Overall, the Aromatic Black Tiger Shrimp is a nutritious and balanced dish, offering a good mix of proteins, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals, while being mindful of carbohydrates and calories.


The Aromatic Black Tiger Shrimp is a celebration of flavors and textures, embodying the essence of Southeast Asian cuisine. With its nutritious profile and vibrant presentation, it is sure to impress both the palate and the eyes. Whether you're a seasoned cook or a culinary novice, this recipe offers an opportunity to explore the rich culinary traditions of the region and enjoy a delicious, healthy meal.

How did I get this recipe?

I have a clear recollection of the first time I saw this recipe for Aromatic Black Tiger Shrimp. It was many years ago, during my travels in Southeast Asia. I had stumbled upon a bustling street market in Thailand, filled with colorful stalls selling fresh seafood, vibrant fruits, and aromatic spices. As I meandered through the crowded aisles, my senses were overwhelmed by the sights, sounds, and smells of the bustling market.

It was then that I came across a small, unassuming stall tucked away in a corner. The stall was run by an elderly woman with weathered hands and a warm smile. She was busy grilling skewers of succulent shrimp over an open flame, while a pot of fragrant broth bubbled away on a nearby stove. Intrigued by the delicious smells wafting from her stall, I approached her and asked her about the dish she was preparing.

With a twinkle in her eye, the woman told me that she was making Aromatic Black Tiger Shrimp, a traditional Thai recipe that had been passed down through generations in her family. She explained that the dish was made with succulent black tiger shrimp, marinated in a blend of fragrant herbs and spices, and then grilled to perfection. The shrimp were then served with a rich and flavorful broth made from coconut milk, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves.

As I watched her expertly prepare the dish, I was struck by her passion and expertise. She moved with a grace and confidence that comes only from years of practice and experience. I could see that she took great pride in her cooking, and that each dish she served was a labor of love.

After sampling a generous portion of the Aromatic Black Tiger Shrimp, I was hooked. The shrimp were tender and juicy, with a subtle smoky flavor from the grill. The broth was rich and creamy, with a perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and tangy flavors. It was a culinary masterpiece that left me craving more.

Before I left the market that day, I asked the woman if she would be willing to share her recipe with me. With a smile, she handed me a tattered piece of paper filled with handwritten notes and scribbles. She told me that the recipe was a closely guarded secret, passed down from mother to daughter for generations. She explained that each family had their own variation of the dish, and that hers was a blend of traditional Thai flavors with a modern twist.

I thanked her profusely for her generosity, and promised to cherish and honor the recipe she had entrusted to me. As I made my way back to my hotel, the scent of lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves lingered in the air, and I knew that I had stumbled upon something truly special.

Over the years, I have refined and perfected the recipe for Aromatic Black Tiger Shrimp, adding my own unique touch to the traditional dish. I have shared it with friends and family, who have all raved about its bold flavors and exotic appeal. It has become a staple in my kitchen, a reminder of that fateful day in the bustling street market in Thailand.

Each time I prepare the dish, I am transported back to that moment, surrounded by the sights, sounds, and smells of the bustling market. I can almost hear the crackling of the grill, the sizzle of the shrimp, and the laughter of the vendors. And as I take that first bite of succulent shrimp, bathed in a fragrant broth, I am filled with a sense of gratitude and joy.

For me, cooking is not just about following a recipe or preparing a meal. It is a way to connect with the world around me, to honor the traditions and flavors of different cultures, and to create something beautiful and delicious to share with loved ones. And in the case of Aromatic Black Tiger Shrimp, it is a reminder of the power of food to bring people together, to evoke memories and emotions, and to nourish both body and soul.

So the next time you find yourself in a bustling street market, surrounded by exotic sights and smells, keep an eye out for that small, unassuming stall tucked away in a corner. You never know what culinary treasures you might discover, or what stories you might uncover. And who knows, you might just stumble upon a recipe for Aromatic Black Tiger Shrimp that will forever change your culinary journey.


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