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"Intimate Connection" Beer Steamed Shrimp with Jollof Spice

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Quick and easy beer steamed shrimp recipe featuring plump, succulent, and juicy shrimp seasoned with Jollof seasoning mix and steamed in beer for a delicious appetizer.

Shrimp, beer, and a better than Old Bay seasoning mix - what could be a better move on warm day.

This is is similar to an old bay steamed shrimp recipe but with way more flavor. So if you have an old bay recipe, you'll follow the same technique, but swap out the spice mix with the Jollof seasoning.

What is Jollof Spice?

Jollof seasoning is a mix of spice ingredients blended together and used as a base in West African dishes. I think of its usage as sort of like how Creole or cajun spice mixes are used. I've used it to season fried catfish and will use it in a fried chicken recipe at some point soon. Most people only think of jollof rice, but Jollof seasoning is amazing as a flavoring agent. It marries several different spices that all come together and surprisingly are well balanced.

beer steamed shrimp on white plate

Beats and Eats

Shrimp is every day, but the Jollof spice mix is special occasion, change it up, and straight-up funky kinda thing. This version of steamed shrimp needs to be paired with stellar funk music and Kleeer's "Intimate Connection" is definitely stellar! The track is probably most known as the main sample for DJ Quick's "Tonight" but it's a groovy track that brings the feel good and will help get a party started.

What Ingredients Are Needed For Beer Steamed Shrimp

The spice list is long, but the recipe is actually simple and easy. I know many of the ingredients people don't equate with shrimp or seafood but it works. And if you look at an Old Bay ingredient list you'll actually see similar (not all or exactly the same) ingredients.

  • Shrimp, shells and tails on
  • Beer
  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon
  • Butter or oil
  • Leeks (feel free to use shallots)
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Dried thyme
  • Garlic powder
  • Ground ginger
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground coriander
  • Nutmeg
  • Cayenne
  • Smoked paprika
  • Black pepper
  • Kosher salt

How To Make Beer Steamed Shrimp

Mix the dry spices together in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.

Season the shrimp with the Jollof seasoning mix and let them marinate for about 30 minutes.

seasoned shrimp in a clear glass bowl

Pre-heat a skillet over medium heat. Add butter, then saute the leeks for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and some of the seasoning mix.

Squeeze lemon juice into the pan and drop the lemon in there as well. Add the beer, water, and vinegar. Mix well, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.

Add pasta insert or steamer basket to the skillet, then add the shrimp plus top with the lid. Steam the shrimp 4-5 minutes.

bamboo steamer basket
Bamboo Steamer Basket

Remove shrimp from the steamer basket to a plate. Finish the fully steamed shrimp with some more of the seasoning. Serve.

beer steamed shrimp in a pan

Steamed Shrimp Recipe Notes

  • If you're partial to Old Bay Seasoning it's cool, go ahead and stick to your guns and use it in this recipe. But if you are open to fresh, new, and interesting make this spice mix and enjoy.
  • Buy large to jumbo shrimp. The more surface area the more opportunity for the seasoning. Be somewhat careful though, as you don't want shrimp so big that you undercook them.
  • I like to leave the shells on the shrimp and then just peel them. Be forewarned though, things can get a little messy with your fingers.
  • I like to use butter in this version. It adds more flavor than olive oil and pairs well with the complex spice mix.
  • Vinegar is a critical element. It gives the shrimp a bit of tanginess.
  • Cook time will depend on size of the shrimp.
  • This dish can be served hot, cold, or at room temperature. It's really up to you.
  • Serve the steamed shrimp with basic cocktails sauce or use my favorite combination of ketchup and horseradish.

Frequently Asked Questions About Steamed Shrimp

Which size of shrimp is the best for steamed shrimp?

If using frozen shrimp, go with 16-20 pounds size. If using fresh shrimp you'll want to use shrimp somewhere between large and jumbo. Jumbo-sized shrimp can be on the hard side after steaming.

Which is better for steamed shrimp, frozen or fresh shrimp?

It's a preference thing. I typically buy fresh shrimp and cook the same day. Frozen shrimp is more than adequate as a substitute. You'll just have to thaw them out fully so they cook evenly during steaming.

Is it better to steam or boil shrimp?

I'm a steamed shrimp vs. boiled shrimp guy. Boiling disturbs the texture (makes it almost rubber-like) more and can be tricky, as it's easy to overcook shrimp using a boiling technique.

What if you don't have a steamer?

A steamer basket, especially the bamboo-based steamers are ideal. It's what I use and it steams everything perfectly every time. They are also super easy to use and represent a great value. Before buying a bamboo steamer, I used a pot with a pasta insert.

If you have neither, try making your own set-up. Use a pot of any size then place the shrimp in a mesh strainer and straddle it atop the pot as you steam. Whatever your set-up, make sure the shrimp doesn't directly touch the steaming liquid.

What Kind of Beer Works Best?

I like a good lager. And some of your basic Mexican brews like Corona, Dos Equis, Tecate, etc. are perfect for making steamed shrimp. I don't drink many mainstream big American brands, but they do have utility in steamed dishes. I'd stay away from IPAs and darker beers.

What goes with steamed shrimp?

This is a great appetizer. I use it as a starter for a seafood menu to go along with dishes like jerk snapper, smoked trout, smoked mussels, or Colombian seafood stew. Or you can include it as part of an appetizer menu featuring other starters like Nigerian beef suya, crispy fried okra, or lemon pepper wings. Jamaican steamed cabbage makes for a great side dish pairing.

For Other Shrimp Based Recipes Try These:

Hearty Shrimp Stew

Peel and Eat Shrimp

Shrimp and Grits

Nashville Hot Shrimp Sandwich

Piri Piri Shrimp

Grilled Jerk Shrimp

New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

Spicy Coconut Shrimp

Mofongo Rellenos

BBQ Shrimp

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beer steamed shrimp on white plate

Beer Steamed Shrimp w/ Jollof Seasoning

Succulent and juicy beer steamed shrimp with West African Jollof seasoning for a twist on Old Bay Seasoned shrimp.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Servings: 3 people
Calories: 262kcal
Author: Marwin Brown

Ingredients

  • 1 lb shrimp shells and tails on
  • 1 cup beer
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup leeks sliced (feel free to use shallots)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • ½ tablespoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

Instructions

  • Mix the dry spices together in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • De-vein the shrimp by running the tip of a sharp pairing knife down the spine and through the shell of the shrimp. Using the tip of the knife and pull the vein out.
  • Season the shrimp with the Jollof seasoning mix and let them marinate for about 30 minutes.
  • Pre-heat a skillet over medium heat. Add butter, then saute the leeks for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and some of the seasoning mix.
  • Squeeze lemon juice into the pan and drop the lemon in there as well. Add the beer, water, and vinegar. Mix well, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.
  • Add pasta insert or steamer basket to the skillet, then add the shrimp plus top with the lid. Steam the shrimp 4-5 minutes.
  • Remove shrimp from the steamer basket to a plate. Finish the fully steamed shrimp with some more of the seasoning. Serve.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • If you're partial to Old Bay Seasoning it's cool, go ahead and stick to your guns and use it in this recipe. But if you are open to fresh, new, and interesting make this spice mix and enjoy.
  • Buy large to jumbo shrimp. The more surface area the more opportunity for the seasoning. Be somewhat careful though, as you don't want shrimp so big that you undercook them.
  • I like to leave the shells on the shrimp and then just peel them. Be forewarned though, things can get a little messy with your fingers.
  • I like to use butter in this version. It adds more flavor than olive oil and pairs well with the complex spice mix.
  • Vinegar is a critical element. It gives the shrimp a bit of tanginess.
  • Cook time will depend on size of the shrimp.
  • This dish can be served hot, cold, or at room temperature. It's really up to you.
  • Serve the steamed shrimp with basic cocktails sauce or use my favorite combination of ketchup and horseradish.

Nutrition

Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 7022mg | Potassium: 707mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 5861IU | Vitamin C: 71mg | Calcium: 199mg | Iron: 6mg
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