Trini Cookin’: Pepper Shrimp Recipe

Pepper shrimp is a traditional Chinese dish that us Trinis adopted and put our own spin on. It is absolutely delicious. The heavy seasoning and the kick of the pepper is so mouthwatering-ly good. Pepper does ‘bun yuh but you cah stop eating it!

The initial burn hurts so good! Then the burst of flavor just hits your palette a jumpkick. It’s that good! It’s one of my favorite things that one of my aunties makes, and even though I can barely get a word in between my ravenous chewing and constant ‘sooskay’, bet your bottom dollar I’m back in that pot for seconds.

It’s simple to make and full of flavor and will be super easy for you to show your guests you’re an expert in Chinese cooking. Sit and wait for them to be wowed! Followed by many requests for some water and ice!

Quick note, when making the pepper shrimp, the first step is to fry the pepper in oil and this BURNS your eyes and makes you sneeze so just be mindful of that and take precautions. Also I don’t suggest doing this part if you’re asthmatic, someone else can do the first part and you do the rest.


  • 3 lbs shrimp, deveined and shelled (feel free to leave the shell on, this is a matter of preference)
  • 2 small onions, layers separated
  • 1 head of garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs chive
  • 1 knuckle of ginger, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced
  • 1 sweet pepper, cubed (I don’t like these so I didn’t put these)
  • 1 pimento, minced
  • 1 scorpion pepper, sliced
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 cup soya sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds


  1. Clean and season the shrimp with green seasoning, chili flakes, ginger, ketchup, soya sauce, salt and black pepper and allow to marinate for an hour
  2. Scrape carrot and use a fork to make a pattern down the sides
  3. Slice carrots and set aside
  4. Cut onion into quarters and separate the layers

  5. Mince garlic and add to sesame oil on medium heat until brown (a wok works well here but a regular frying pan does the trick)

  6. Add sliced peppers and pimentos to pot (watch out for the noxious fumes)

  7. Add the shrimp to pot and coat with garlic and pepper, fry until pink begins to disappear

  8. Add soya sauce and ketchup

  9. Allow to cook for a minute in the juices that shrimp gives off and the ketchup and soya sauce
  10. Add carrots and onions to pot

  11. Stir and let cook for a minute
  12. Cover pot and cook until sauce thickens (about 5 minutes)
  13. Add salt and black pepper to taste and remove from heat
  14. Add diced chives

  15. Transfer to dish and garnish with chives and sesame seeds