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Spicy Cilantro Lime Shrimp

Affiliate Disclosure | in Recipes | by | with 17 Comments

Friends Don’t Let Friends Eat Imported Shrimp

. . . says the sign behind the counter. A man with warm eyes and weathered hands doles two scoops into a bag. “Don’t worry about the ice, those shrimp won’t last five minutes in my kitchen,” I say, and it’s done.

Back home I know the faces of those who sell me meat, milk and produce, so there is a certain charm in buying these sweet morsels directly from the man that caught them. Still, I’m not above raiding the Whole Foods freezer back home and wherever you are, I hope you won’t be either.

Shrimp Are Powerhouses of Nutrition

They’re rich in selenium (a trace mineral with cancer prevention properties), mood boosting tryptophan, Vitamins D & B12 plus iron and phosphorous. And, they’re oh-so-very-yummy!!! Daddypotamus LOVED this spicy, tangy dish so much he actually stopped mid-dinner to take a pic and tweet about it. Success!

Note: I used to be afraid to eat seafood due to the mercury/contamination factor, but I’ve since learned that most seafood is rich in selenium, which binds with mercury and prevents absorption. My rule of thumb is to select seafood listed as low in mercury by the Seafood Watch Program and then eat as much as possible :)


  • 1½ pounds wild caught shrimp
  • ½ cup coconut oil (melted but not hot)
  • 3/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup finely chopped cilantro (loosely packed)
  • ½ jalapeno, minced
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • cayenne to taste
  • sea salt to taste (where to buy sea salt)


  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together coconut oil, lime juice, minced garlic and cilantro
  2. Peel and devein shrimp (for a video tutorial on this click here)
  3. Place shrimp in the mixing bowl with the other ingredients and marinate for 1-2 hours
  4. Place a little marinade in a nonstick skillet (I use cast iron) and heat to medium high. When the pan is hot add the shrimp with a little more marinade, reduce heat to low medium and stir frequently. The shrimp are ready when they have turned pink (about 3-5 minutes)
  5. Season generously with cayenne and add a pinch of salt


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17 Responses to Spicy Cilantro Lime Shrimp

  1. Elizabeth Neblett Schneiderman via FB says:

    yum yum yum! we love shrimp and will enjoy this recipe very soon! thank you for sharing!

  2. Julie Charbonnet Whetstine via FB says:

    since we moved here i miss the fresh seafood bought from friends who caught it themselves — or better yet caught by my papa — but i do have a few 5 lb packs in my freezer! when i bring some out we have them for every meal for a few days (forrest gump flashback) and we have shrimp omelettes, shrimp salads, shrimp cocktail — and now i can add cilantro-lime shrimp to the list! thx!

  3. Brenna Aschbacher via FB says:

    I encourage all shrimp lovers to seek out gulf shrimp and wild alaska shrimp/prawns. Please avoid farmed shrimp!

    • Krystal Wight Armstrong says:

      I Love shrimp and seafood, and this looks delicious. My husband has actually warned me not to eat too much shrimp because he’s heard of seafood mercury poisoning. Hearing that maybe that’s not an issue is great (thanks, Heather!).
      But I’ve heard so many conflicting opinions from both sides, on what’s better between farmed and wild-caught. And because I need an educated answer for Husband when I say I’m now just buying a certain kind of food- would one of you ladies mind spelling it out for me, or just pointing me to a resource that explains *why* wild-caught is in fact different/better?
      Thanks so much, I really appreciate it! :)

  4. Mommypotamus via FB says:

    @Brenna – Oops! I totally forgot to mention that! It goes without saying in my kitchen, but really shouldn’t in recipes. Correcting now . . .

  5. Mommypotamus via FB says:

    @Julie – I’ve never had shrimp omelettes. Care to share your recipe???

  6. Mommypotamus via FB says:

    @Elizabeth – You’re welcome!

  7. Julie Charbonnet Whetstine via FB says:

    shrimp omlettes:
    first your shrimp should be pre-cooked: heavily salt the water and bring it to a boil then add 1-2 Tbsp zatarain’s crab boil per pound shrimp and the shrimp. return it to a boil then turn it off and let it sit 2 minutes — drain, rinse & peel the shrimp. refrigerate and use within 2 days.
    now for the omelette: chop some red onion and green onions and garlic and get them sizzlin in some oil then if you like you can add some mushrooms & bell pepper and cook that down a little too. then add your whipped eggs & cooked shrimp (i usually use large shrimp and cut them in thirds) and voila! you can top it with a little shredded cheese but don’t overpower it — try provolone or a milder creamy cheese…

  8. Elizabeth Neblett Schneiderman via FB says:

    i always buy wild shrimp (alaskan) however I do worry about the gulf shrimp…do we think it’s safe to consume again…?

  9. Jessica Boniface via FB says:

    This looks amazing!!! Thanks for sharing. 😀

  10. Justyn says:

    Heather, that looks so delicious! I can hardy wait to try it!

  11. Mommypotamus via FB says:

    Thank you, Julie!

  12. Blackened Salmon With Pineapple Mango Salsa « The Mommypotamus says:

    […] in pineapple mango salsa a SUPERPOWER?  Seriously, if I spend the next three years craving spicy cilantro-lime shrimp, creamy shrimp bisque and copycat Whole Foods salmon dip  I hold you responsible. Consider […]

  13. Angelina says:

    Just this morning I was thinking about the fact that my kids don’t eat fish (I’ve avoided it heartily for years because of the mercury issue), and having just read the book French Kids Eat Everything (loved it!), I am wondering if I’m doing the right thing. And now, only a couple of hours later, I read this (thank you for this information!). How cool is that?! So we CAN eat fish and shrimp, yay!! Printing your recipe now. All that’s left is figuring out how to get wild caught shrimp…

  14. Wendy says:

    Hi Heather. I know we’re supposed to avoid farmed seafood but was wondering what your thoughts on Whole Foods’ farmed seafood practices?

    Love your website. Thank you for generously sharing your knowledge with us other momma potamuses!

  15. Naturally Loriel / Step 2: Cook From Scratch as Often as Possible says:

    […] Spicy Cilantro Shrimp […]

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