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Caribbean Okra and Shrimp Recipe

This Caribbean Okra and Shrimp recipe is a simple, spicy, and flavourful stew featuring plump shrimp, crisp okra and scotch bonnet peppers.

This Caribbean Okra and Shrimp recipe is a simple, spicy, and flavourful stew featuring plump shrimp, crisp okra and scotch bonnet peppers.

This Caribbean Okra and Shrimp Recipe is a really wonderful spicy and flavourful stew.   It is my take on traditional Guyanese Fry Okra and Shrimp with a Jamaican twist to it.  It gets raves from my husband whenever I make it and was more recently told I had to make it more often. 

For all of its flavour it is actually really quick and simple to make and it will not result in slimy Okra as long as you follow the instructions! 

Instead you will have Okra right at the perfect point of crisp and soft – trust me even those who don’t normally like Okra will love this dish!

Note: This post for Okra and Shrimp stew has been updated to include more details and information about making and storing this recipe, along with new photos of the final dish and preparation. The recipe itself has not been changed. – Elizabeth

This Caribbean Okra and Shrimp recipe is a simple, spicy, and flavourful stew featuring plump shrimp, crisp okra and scotch bonnet peppers.
This Caribbean Okra and Shrimp recipe is a simple, spicy, and flavourful stew featuring plump shrimp, crisp okra and scotch bonnet peppers.

What is Okra?

Okra, also known as lady’s fingers or gumbo, is a green fruit/pod vegetable used in many Caribbean, Creole and Southern dishes.

Okra can also be found in many parts of the world and has been used for centuries. Okra is widely recognized for it’s thickening properties and ability to absorb flavors.

Okra is available year round and can be found in most local grocery stores. (Yes, even here in Canada!)

This Caribbean Okra and Shrimp recipe is a simple, spicy, and flavourful stew featuring plump shrimp, crisp okra and scotch bonnet peppers.

How do You Make Okra Not Slimy?

One of the most common Okra problems is sliminess. It really divides people and can turn people off from eating Okra dishes. For this stew we are going for an Okra that is just perfectly soft with a hint of crispness and zero slime.

  • Ensure you start off with really fresh Okra, choose pods that are small and crisp. Avoid pods that are bruised. To store fresh okra, wrap it up and keep it in the crisper in your fridge for up to 3 or 4 days. Using immediately is best, of course.
  • Make sure Okra is dry to start with. Some people swear by air drying Okra slices about an hour before cooking. Other soak them in vinegar then pat dry. I don’t do either, I simply rinse with water and pat dry before slicing, and my Okra is never slimy.
  • Do not cut the Okra smaller than 1 inch slices for this recipe.
  • Cooking the Okra fast at high heat, will prevent Okra from becoming slimy. So follow the recipe as directed! We are going for a fast cooked stew with a thin “gravy”, not slow cooked and thick.
  • Acidity does help cut down on the slime. This is where the tomatoes and added lime juice come in. So don’t skip these.
  • Always add your salt at the very end. Salt can draw out the slime from the Okra, so we don’t want it sitting in salt until absolutely necessary.
This Caribbean Okra and Shrimp recipe is a simple, spicy, and flavourful stew featuring plump shrimp, crisp okra and scotch bonnet peppers.

How to Tell When the Shrimp is Perfectly Cooked

If you’ve tried your hands at a shrimp recipe before, and they turned out sad, rubbery and chewy, you’re not alone. Shrimp usually becomes chewy when it is overcooked.

So how do you know if your shrimp is cooked perfectly? Well, it is actually pretty easy.

  • If your shrimp is straight and hasn’t changed color, it is probably undercooked. O-shaped shrimp is possibly overcooked, and unfortunately, irreparably.
  • Shrimp cooks fast, and nobody wants rubbery over-cooked shrimp. Shrimp that is soft, but has a C-shaped structure is just perfectly done.
  • The best way to make sure you cook your shrimp for just the right amount of time is to follow the recipe, and tweak the cooking time a bit depending on the size of your shrimp.
  • While I used large shrimp, you can use any size shrimp you would like, just be sure to adjust the cook time accordingly.
This Caribbean Okra and Shrimp recipe is a simple, spicy, and flavourful stew featuring plump shrimp, crisp okra and scotch bonnet peppers.

What to Serve with Shrimp and Okra Stew

Okra and Shrimp Stew can be served with rice, naan bread or other flatbreads. It’s also pretty great when served with green boiled bananas, festival (fried dough), fried plantains, Jamaican dumplings, or rice and beans.

If you are looking to make this a low carb meal, pair with cauliflower rice instead.

This Caribbean Okra and Shrimp recipe is a simple, spicy, and flavourful stew featuring plump shrimp, crisp okra and scotch bonnet peppers.

How to Store Okra and Shrimp Stew

Okra and Shrimp Stew can be stored in a refrigerator for up to three days in an air tight container. You can also freeze the Okra and Shrimp stew if you need to store it for longer.

This Caribbean Okra and Shrimp recipe is a simple, spicy, and flavourful stew featuring plump shrimp, crisp okra and scotch bonnet peppers.

How to Freeze Okra and Shrimp Stew

To freeze Okra and Shrimp Stew, transfer contents of Okra and Shrimp Stew into a freezer container or bag.

Ensure Okra and Shrimp Stew is completely cooled before transferring to container or bag. Seal Okra and Shrimp Stew container or bag after removing as much air possible without compacting Okra and Shrimp Stew.

Okra and Shrimp Stew can be stored in a freezer for up to three months before quality may begin to decline.

When ready to enjoy, Okra and Shrimp Stew can also be thawed in a refrigerator overnight before gently re-heating in a pot on the stove.

Remember that freezing will slightly change the texture, eating this dish fresh is always best!

Ingredients for okra and shrimp

About the Ingredients for Caribbean Okra and Shrimp

Vinegar – Vinegar helps break down the meat a little bit so that the soy sauce can penetrate the meat.

Soy sauce – Gives the shrimp a bit of salty, savoury flavour that works well with the sweetness of the meat.

Oil – Vegetable oil or olive oil is fine here. Anything really neutral flavoured.

Curry powder – We use Jamaican style curry powder. Any yellow curry powder should be fine.

Onion – Yellow or white onion.

Scallions – You might know them as green onions or spring onions. Jamaicans call them scallions.

Garlic – You can add more if you really like to. I wouldn’t add less.

Bell pepper – I use red because the sweetness works really well with this dish.

Scotch bonnet – The scotch bonnet is pretty hot, so be sure you wear gloves when handling it. If you want to reduce the heat then de-seed the pepper before slicing. You can substitute with any other hot pepper you like.

Tomatoes – I typically use canned tomatoes, but you can also use fresh plum tomatoes if you like.

Thyme – Fresh sprigs of thyme are best, I usually use dry sprigs because we usually buy it in bulk and dry the whole thyme sprigs as they are.

Water – If you want a little more flavour to the broth swap with seafood broth.

Okra – You want nice fresh Okra. 1 lb is about 30 pods but you can use less if you want a less okra forward dish. Do not use frozen okra, it will end up slimy which is what we are trying to avoid.

Shrimp – Large fresh shrimp, you can use extra large as well here. Make sure they are cleaned well. You can cook with or without the tails on. I usually cook this with the tails off as it’s easier to eat, I kept them on in the photos for aesthetics.

Lime juice – Adds a hint more acid that plays well with the other flavours. You could substitute with lemon if necessary but I prefer lime here.

Salt – Balances all the flavours and makes each one really shine. It’s important not to season until the end so the okra stays crisp.

This Caribbean Okra and Shrimp recipe is a simple, spicy, and flavourful stew featuring plump shrimp, crisp okra and scotch bonnet peppers.

Looking for More Caribbean Inspired Dishes?

Check out some of my families favourites from Authentic Jamaican recipes to more recipes inspired by the region.

This Jamaican jerk chicken pasta will have your family licking their plates, this Rasta Pasta Recipe is a Jamaican-inspired meal you’ll love!

This Jamaican Rice and Peas recipe is an authentic recipe for the traditional Jamaican side dish featuring fragrant thyme and coconut milk! 

This Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup is filled with dumplings, Jamaican Pumpkin & Beef. Perfect for a delicious and filling family dinner!

Learn how to make Jerk Chicken with Sweet & Spicy Pineapple Salsa, the combination of flavors in this recipe will leave you wanting more!

This Caribbean Okra and Shrimp recipe is a simple, spicy, and flavourful stew featuring plump shrimp, crisp okra and scotch bonnet peppers.

How to Make Caribbean Okra and Shrimp

Yields: 6 Servings | Prep time: 10 Mins | Cook time: 20 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 scallions, White and Greens, sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet or hot chili pepper, chopped or minced
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 Sprigs Fresh thyme or 1 tsp dry
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 lb okra, trimmed, cut in 1 inch rings
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 2 tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1/2 tsp or more sea salt

Directions:

Marinade shrimp in vinegar and soy sauce for 20 minutes.

Heat oil in large pot on medium-high heat. Add curry powder and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.

Veggies sauteeing in a pot.

Add onion, green onion, garlic, red pepper, hot pepper, and black pepper.

Onions cooked through and translucent.

Cook until onions turn transluscent.

All the ingredients in the large pot.

Stir in tomatos, thyme, water and okra. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high, then reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes. Avoid stirring too much since this will break up the okra.

This Caribbean Okra and Shrimp recipe is a simple, spicy, and flavourful stew featuring plump shrimp, crisp okra and scotch bonnet peppers.

Stir in the shrimp, lime juice and salt. Cover the pot , reduce to a simmer, and let cook until shrimp is cooked through & has turned pink – about 3 minutes.

This Caribbean Okra and Shrimp recipe is a simple, spicy, and flavourful stew featuring plump shrimp, crisp okra and scotch bonnet peppers.

Serve with Rice, Festival or Boiled Green Bananas.

Caribbean Okra and Shrimp
Yield: 6 Servings

Caribbean Okra and Shrimp

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This Caribbean Okra and Shrimp recipe is a simple, spicy, and flavourful stew featuring plump shrimp, crisp okra and scotch bonnet peppers.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 scallions, White and Greens, sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet or hot chili pepper, chopped or minced
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 Sprigs Fresh thyme or 1 tsp dry
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 lb okra, trimmed, cut in 1 inch rings
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 2 tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1/2 tsp or more sea salt

Instructions

  1. Marinade shrimp in vinegar and soy sauce for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in large pot on medium-high heat. Add curry powder and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
  3. Add onion, green onion, garlic, red pepper, hot pepper, and black pepper. Cook until onions turn transluscent.
  4. Stir in tomatos, thyme, water and okra. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high, then reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes. Avoid stirring too much since this will break up the okra.
  5. Stir in the shrimp, lime juice and salt. Cover the pot , reduce to a simmer, and let cook until shrimp is cooked through & has turned pink - about 3 minutes.
  6. Serve with Rice, Festival or Boiled Green Bananas.

Notes

Note: The salt is added at the end to prevent the okra from getting slimy.
Great Tip: If you find the heat too strong, add more lime juice to cut it.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 221Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 160mgSodium: 1151mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 7gSugar: 6gProtein: 21g

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This Caribbean Okra and Shrimp recipe is a simple, spicy, and flavourful stew featuring plump shrimp, crisp okra and scotch bonnet peppers.

Valerie

Saturday 2nd of October 2021

One of the best okra dishes I've made. It was perfect! I have made it several times now since and my husband also loves it! ***** Thank you.

Anita

Friday 3rd of January 2014

Would it be ok to use frozen okra or do you have to use fresh okra?

Elizabeth

Friday 3rd of January 2014

I haven't used frozen Okra with this recipe, but it should be fine.

Susan T.

Wednesday 25th of December 2013

Thanks for the tip about preventing slimy okra! I have always been too afraid to try to make it myself!

Anne Taylor

Friday 1st of November 2013

Omgosh, we could eat this every day for dinner and never get tired of it! Thanks for the recipe, it sounds absolutely amazing!

amy lovell

Sunday 20th of October 2013

yummiies looks super good!

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