Kwame's Pepper Shrimp

Infused with layers of heat from Scotch bonnet chiles and fresh ginger, Kwame Onwuachi’s pepper shrimp are inspired by a beloved Jamaican street food. Deveining the shrimp but leaving the shell on helps protect against overcooking. Onwuachi fell in love with this recipe when traveling in Jamaica.

Pepper Shrimp
Photo: Photo by Caitlin Bensel / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop styling by Christine Keely
Total Time:
20 mins


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (4 ounces)

  • 5 large garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 fresh Scotch bonnet chile, stemmed, unseeded, and minced (about 1 tablespoon)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger

  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice

  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar

  • 1 thyme sprig

  • 3 pounds unpeeled head-on raw large shrimp, deveined

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium. Add garlic, chile, and ginger; cook, stirring often, until aromatic and tender, about 5 minutes. Add lime juice, vinegar, and thyme; bring to a simmer over medium. Increase heat to medium-high; add shrimp, and cook, stirring often, until shrimp are opaque and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with salt, and serve immediately.

Suggested Pairing

Malty Jamaican dark beer.

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