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  • Writer's pictureNina Dudko

Cajun Shrimp

Are you ready for my first recipe post? Because I am excited to write it! For the past week I’ve been lounging and enjoying some much-needed rest and relaxation in Florida, and while basically roasting at the beach, my mind was buzzing with what my first recipe post would be. I’ve been gorging myself on seafood from the Gulf of Mexico, and it clicked! I must share my Cajun Shrimp recipe!

Well, first a disclaimer . . . it’s not really my recipe. My mom found this in a magazine years ago and has made this for us dozens of times, which is rare for her, because she doesn’t like to repeat recipes. Shows how terrific this dish is. I’ve made it countless times for barbecues, friends who come to visit, or just for myself when I’m craving shrimp.

I remember one weekend senior year, Mallory (the same Mallory who joined me at The Fainting Goat) had friends from high school staying with us in the apartment, and we ended up having a big family dinner together. I think it was snowing or something, so we weren’t going anywhere. I made this Cajun Shrimp recipe, and everyone loved it! When one of her friends wanted the recipe weeks later, I had a brain fart and couldn’t remember which shrimp recipe we had. My mind thought we had this other shrimp dish I make with pasta and scallions (recipe coming soon!), but Mallory insisted it was the Cajun Shrimp one. After going back and forth, I sent her friend this recipe, and she was very happy all over again.

When Mallory came to visit me a few weeks ago, we made this dish together, and as we’re sitting down eating, she goes, “Yeah, this is definitely the shrimp we made when my friends came that one weekend.” Three years later, and we’re still unsure. Finals . . . they do things to your brain.

Anyhoo . . . there are a few reasons why this recipe is so terrific:

1. Difficulty—This recipe is so darn easy. All you need to do is make the marinade (which is essentially putting all the ingredients except the shrimp in a bowl), let the shrimp sit for a bit, cook, and enjoy.

2. Time—This recipe doesn’t require much time at all. It’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.

3. Cost—Shrimp can be expensive depending on the type and size you buy, but, if you buy frozen shrimp on sale, this dish is perfect for those on a budget, since a lot of the ingredients are household staples.

4. Taste—The best part of this dish is the marinade. I mean, yes, the shrimp are delicious, but I could drink the marinade (safely—I’ll explain how momentarily). It’s a medley of tang with a little beat of heat and a pop of citrus. Just so good.​


Cajun Shrimp

Servings: 4


2 pound shrimp, peeled and rinsed


½ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup red wine

¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup minced flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsps red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon minced garlic

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add the shrimp to the marinade and let sit for 10–30 minutes, stirring once. Do not leave the shrimp in the marinade longer than that, because the shrimp will begin to cook in the acidic liquid, and change their texture.

2. Using a strainer, drain the marinade into a small saucepan. Bring the marinade to a boil, then reduce the temperature to medium-low heat and simmer for 4 minutes. That makes it safe to consume the marinade with the shrimp.

3. Sauté the shrimp in a large skillet over medium-high heat, until pink, 5 to 6 minutes.*

4. Serve with the hot marinade as a dipping sauce.


*Note: You can also cook the shrimp on a grill, or roast them in an oven at 450 degrees, for the same time.

You can slice a few pieces of crusty bread to dunk in the marinade. Your taste buds will thank you.

Now you know why I said I could basically drink the stuff.

Did you make this? Let me know how it came out in the comments!

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