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Spicy Shrimp in Tomatillo Sauce


Beautiful tomatillos in their cute little papery wraps are impossible to pass up at the market but the first time you interact with them, it can be a little daunting. If you have the perseverance to learn, you can make spicy, savory recipes like my spicy shrimp in tomatillo recipe below! Tomatillos are related to tomatoes and grow in hot climates like Mexico or Texas. When you start prepping them, remove the outer wrapping on each one and use some veggie spray or very mild soap to remove the sticky coating on the skin of this fruit. Tomatillos are very firm so I like to take a sharp knife and scoop out the top stem area before I get into cooking with them. Once you have them washed and dried, there are so many things you can do with tomatillos. See my simple shrimp recipe below – a lovely warmer recipe blended with fresh herbs, spices and peppers.

I write about spice a lot. I write about spice on Food&Nutrition magazine’s Stone Soup Blog, I write about spice on and I made a realization…I only truly love foods that are spicy! Click To Tweet. Another favorite original recipe is my Firecracker Garlic sauce – check it out here.

Do you love spice, too? Why or why not? Let me know how you feel in the comments and be sure to sign up for my newsletter for more spicy recipes!

Spicy Shrimp in Tomatillo Sauce

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Servings: 4
Author: Ginger Hultin


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 large fresh Poblano chilis (seeded and diced)
  • ½ yellow onion (chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced, divided)
  • 1 pound tomatillos (husked, rinsed, quartered)
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar or sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ½salt (divided)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 pounds large fresh shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red chilli pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves (coarsely chopped)


  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add chilis, onion, and half the garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. Add tomatillos, one teaspoon of salt and agave or sugar. Cook mixture on medium-low for about 10 minutes, until tomatillos are soft. Remove from heat and puree tomatillo sauce in a blender, food processor or with an immersion blender. Meanwhile, melt butter in a skillet and add shrimp, half teaspoon of salt, pepper, hot pepper flakes, cumin and remaining garlic. Cook 3-4 minutes or until shrimp are completely pink. Add blended tomatillo sauce to the shrimp and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Serve hot over rice and sprinkle with fresh cilantro.


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Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO

An award-winning, nationally recognized nutrition expert and media spokesperson.

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