Many dishes can be made with spicy shrimp, including various types of pasta. There are salads, soups and sauces that feature this crustacean. Many Cajun, Mexican, Italian and Thai recipes show some of the ways to use spicy shrimp.
One popular way of serving spicy shrimp is in a sauce over pasta. Traditional shrimp scampi recipes call for generous amounts of onions, garlic and red pepper in a classic tomato sauce. Spicy seafood pasta sauces can include lobster, scallops and clams as well as shrimp. These sauces can be traditional red, tomato-based sauces or might be pink — which are made by adding heavy cream to a tomato sauce. Spicy seafood sauces routinely contain cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
Mediterranean shrimp recipes add a different touch to the classic pasta sauce. Sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, black olives and artichoke hearts are common ingredients. Generous amounts of garlic, onions, red pepper and shallots provide a robust spiciness to these dishes.
There are a number of Mexican recipes featuring spicy shrimp, such as shrimp a la Diabla. This shrimp dish has a tomato base that is spiked with hot sauce, red pepper flakes, serrano and jalapeño peppers. It usually is served with rice and refried beans. Mexican shrimp cocktails usually come in a large goblet filled with hot spicy sauce and shrimp. Some Mexican shrimp soups are made with a broth containing serrano, pasilla, poblano or jalapeño peppers.
Thai dishes can be ordered as mild or spicy in most restaurants that serve them. Spicy Thai dishes can be painfully hot to the uninitiated. Shrimp dishes are often made with basil, tomatoes, galanga, Thai chilies and lemongrass, and they might be served with fragrant basmati rice. Thai spiced shrimp soups usually are made with a broth that also contains lemongrass, cilantro, hot Thai chilies, ginger and fish paste.
Cajun cooking is known for its spicy shrimp dishes. Shrimp is often paired with andouille sausage and served in a spicy crème sauce over rice or grits. It also is a major ingredient in gumbo, which is a spicy stew filled with okra, green peppers, Cajun spices, sausage and other seafood. Shrimp is also served with rémoulade, a spicy dressing.
Shrimp salads are yet another way of preparing spicy shrimp. Shrimp can be marinated in lemon juice, olive oil and red pepper, then served over fresh romaine lettuce. Rotelli pasta and shrimp tossed with olive oil, onions, garlic, red pepper flakes and capers makes a rich and distinctive pasta salad.