Harissa Shrimp

Recipe Date: October 22, 2023
Difficulty: Easy
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Cooking the shrimp in the shell can be messy for the eater but the reward is juicy, flavorful, succulent shrimp. The messiness is well worth it! Serves 4 to 6


  • 2 pounds extra-large shell-on 16/20 shrimp, about 32
  • 2 tablespoons Harissa, store-bought or recipe follows
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced into thin wedges


1. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to split the shrimp down the back and devein. Loosen the shell a little on both side of the meat.

2. Whisk the harissa with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the lemon juices, season to taste with salt. Pour over the shrimp and toss.

3. Heat a ¼ inch layer of olive oil in a large pan. Add the onions and fry them until they are all golden brown. Remove onions to a serving dish as they brown to prevent them from burning. Continue to transfer the golden onions to the bowl with a slotted spoon until they are all cooked. Season with salt to taste.

4. Add the shrimp to the same oil as the onions. Reserve any remaining marinade.

5. Cook until the shrimp are pink and tightly curled about 2 minutes on each side. They will be plump and juicy. Turn the heat down if the pan begins to smoke or the bits that are sticking start to blacken. Place the cooked shrimp on top of the onions.

6. When all of the shrimp are cooked drain the excess oil from the pan and add the leftover marinade with ¼ cup water and bring to a boil scraping the pan with a spatula to loosen any adhered bits. Reduce the liquid until slightly thickened and pour over the shrimp.

7. Serve the shrimp with smoky eggplant and pita or the accompaniment of your choice.