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sweet chili shrimp

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SHRIMP IS ON SALE! Bet you never thought that you could eat shrimp on a budget, did you? Well, this week I found shrimp on sale for $4.99 per pound. Not bad and according to my Budget Byte principles, you CAN use expensive ingredients as long as you bulk them up with other inexpensive ingredients (like pasta or rice… or pineapple) to make them go further. This recipe is so quick and easy thanks to the already prepared sweet chili sauce that I bought at the Vietnamese grocery store today. If you dont have an Asian grocery in your area, you may be able to find sweet chili sauce in the Asian section of your local grocery store. Its fairly common and grocery stores that have good variety and selection should carry it.

Sweet Chili Shrimp

Sweet Chili Shrimp

5.0 from 2 reviews

sweet chili shrimp
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Total Cost: $7.17
Cost Per Serving: $1.79
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. raw shrimp $5.00
  • 20 oz. can pineapple chunks $1.49
  • 12 cup sweet chili sauce $0.47
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.21

Instructions
  1. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray it with non-stick spray. Drain the pineapple chunks and spread them out on the cookie sheet. Place them on the top rack of your oven under the broiler. Keep an eye on them and remove from the oven when they have browned on the edges (about 10 minutes). This will caramelize some of the natural sugars and give the pineapple a great flavor. When they are finished broiling, set them aside.
  2. While the pineapple is cooking, peel the shrimp (if you purchased unpeeled shrimp). Using a small, sharp paring knife butterfly the shrimp so the sauce will have more surface area to adhere to (this wonderful tip was given to me by my devilishly handsome fish monger… yes, being handsome does make him a better monger). If you have never butterflied a shrimp before, here is a great video on how to do it. It is really fast and simple, dont be intimidated.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium/high heat. When the skillet is very hot (but the oil is not smoking), add the shrimp and stir-fry (just stir it around as it cooks) until the flesh is white and they have a pink blush on the outside (this will only take a few minutes). Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the pineapple letting a little bit of their juices release from the pans radiant heat.
  4. Stir in the sweet chili sauce and youre done!

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broiled pineappleSTEP 2: While the pineapple is cooking, peel the shrimp (if you purchased unpeeled shrimp). Using a small, sharp paring knife butterfly the shrimp so the sauce will have more surface area to adhere to (this wonderful tip was given to me by my devilishly handsome fish monger… yes, being handsome does make him a better monger). If you have never butterflied a shrimp before, here is a great video on how to do it. It is really fast and simple, dont be intimidated.

peeled shrimppeeled shrimp on right, empty peels on left.

STEP 3: Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium/high heat. When the skillet is very hot (but the oil is not smoking), add the shrimp and stir-fry (just stir it around as it cooks) until the flesh is white and they have a pink blush on the outside (this will only take a few minutes). Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the pineapple letting a little bit of their juices release from the pans radiant heat.

shrimp and pineappleSTEP 4: Stir in the sweet chili sauce and youre done!

NOTE: I served the shrimp over some coconut rice that I can make for approximately $0.61 per serving. This huge portion of shrimp, pineapple and rice only costs $2.40. You could also serve it over regular rice for mere pennies. If youre not into rice, try serving it over garlic noodles for only $0.41 more per serving. If youre looking for a vegetable side to serve with this, a sweet and spicy thai cucumber salad would be nice!

As I mentioned, my shrimp were on sale for $4.99/lb. They were headless but not peeled. Peeling is easy, just use your fingers to lift off the scale-like shell. If you buy shrimp with the head on, you may need to buy more than a pound seeing as some of the weight will be removed with the head. I live in Louisiana where fresh seafood is plentiful but if you are not able to buy fresh shrimp, check the freezer section of your grocery store.

Sweet Chili ShrimpUPDATE: The Walmart Neighborhood Market that I was just at had oyster sauce, sesame oil and about 3 or 4 different kinds of sweet chili sauce while the Super Walmart I was at last week had no oyster sauce or sweet chili sauce. So, if you dont have an Asian grocery store, be sure to check all of your markets because even if they are the same company, their stock can very from location to location!

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