Every once in a while a dish comes together so effortlessly, I almost feel silly posting the recipe. Way too easy. No fancy chef tricks involved at all. This spicy harissa shrimp is one of those but, it was so good, I decided I had to share it with you.
Harissa is a North African spice blend composed of red bell peppers, spicy chili peppers, garlic, herbs and seasonings. You can challenge yourself a little more than I did and make your own, if you like. There are plenty of great recipes out there. However, I generally keep a store bought jar handy for the last minute burst of flavor I like to add to a lot of dishes. I love it on roasted chicken, pork and even with eggs. It’s so complex, spicy and a bit sweet. I sometimes make a yogurt mint sauce to accompany and mellow out the harissa.
This shrimp dish didn’t need any yogurt sauce. I tamed the spice with acidity from the lemon juice and zest I added and then served it over wild rice. The wild rice, with it’s slightly firm natural texture, was a perfect compliment. Go ahead and whip this dish up for dinner any night of the week. However, consider yourself warned. You may become a bit obsessed with harissa.
Note: Wild rice takes about an hour to cook so factor that into your prep time if you decide to use it.
- 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 3 tbsp harissa (I used Mina Spicy Harissa)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp parsley, chopped plus extra for garnish
- zest and juice of ½ large lemon
- ¼ tsp salt or more, to taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup wild rice (I used Lundberg Countrywild), optional
- Cook wild rice according to package directions
- Combine shrimp, harissa, garlic and parsley in a bowl and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 10 minutes
- Add lemon zest, juice and salt to shrimp and toss to spread evenly
- Heat sauté pan over medium-high heat and add olive oil when hot
- Add shrimp and marinade into sauté pan and cook through until shrimp is no longer opaque and marinade begins to stick to the pan, about 6-8 minutes