This honey sriracha shrimp is a delightful dance of sweet and spicy flavors in the mouth. Juicy shrimp smothered in a vibrant sauce that combines sriracha and honey and is balanced by a lemony zing.
Quick, easy and utterly delicious!
Here are some helpful notes on ingredients you'll need. See the recipe card below for exact quantities.
- Shrimp – Use raw, peeled and deveined shrimp (or prawns) – preferably large or jumbo-sized. Smaller sizes work too but will cook faster. Both tail-on and tail-off are fine. If using frozen, make sure to thaw completely before you begin. Check out these thawing methods by Kimberly Holland. You'll need 1 pound (454 grams) of thawed/fresh shrimp. If using tail-on shrimp, increase that amount to 1.5 pounds (680 grams). If using store-bought frozen ones, add about 25% more to the total weight to account for the weight of ice.
- Ground black pepper and salt – for seasoning the shrimp. Plus you need a little salt for the sauce too.
- Olive oil – or any other cooking oil with a high smoke point.
- Unsalted butter – for making the base of the honey sriracha sauce. If using salted butter, omit the added salt.
- Fresh ginger and garlic – both should be grated or very finely minced. Garlic or ginger powders are not good substitutes here.
- Honey – for balancing the heat.
- Sriracha – use any brand you prefer. The taste and spiciness will vary between brands. Some may be milder/sweeter while others may pack more heat – so you might have to adjust the quantities of sriracha and honey. If unsure, begin with a smaller amount and do a taste test before you add more.
- Ketchup – for some tomato-ey goodness.
- Lemon juice and zest – these add a bright and tangy contrast. Avoid the white pith when zesting lemon – it's bitter!
- Crushed red pepper flakes – use more or less depending on your heat preference.
- Parsley – some chopped fresh leaves for a pop of green. Flat-leaf parsley is preferred.
- Lemon slices/wedges – for serving on the side – in case anyone wants an extra spritz of lemon juice.
How to make honey sriracha shrimp
Follow these simple, photo-assisted instructions to prepare this recipe. Check out recipe card below for a printable version that has quantities, instructions and notes in one place.
Step 1: Mix shrimp, salt & pepper together in a large bowl.
Step 2: Heat olive oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook each side exactly 1 minute. Then transfer to a plate and set aside.
Step 3: Turn the heat down to low, melt butter in the same pan and saute ginger and garlic for about 2 minutes.
Step 4: Next add honey, sriracha, ketchup, lemon juice, lemon zest, red pepper flakes plus salt. Stir to combine. Turn up the heat to medium and let the sauce cook 2 minutes.
Step 5: Return the cooked shrimp to the pan and mix until they get evenly coated by the honey sriracha sauce. Cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
Step 6: Plate your honey sriracha shrimp, garnish with parsley and serve with lemon slices/wedges on the side.
- Shrimp sticking to the pan – that may happen when the pan isn't hot enough or there's not enough oil. A non-stick pan/skillet can help make the cooking easier.
- Rubbery shrimp – it's important to not cook shrimp more than a minute per side. Overcooking at this stage can lead to rubbery shrimp. Also don't cook it straight out of the refrigerator. Let it come to room temperature or the cooking will be uneven.
- Excessive oil splatter – pat dry the shrimp with paper towels before you mix it with salt and pepper. Don't turn up the heat too high and consider using a splatter screen to reduce mess.
- Sauce too thick or thin – If it's too thick, add a splash of water/broth. If too runny, let it simmer a bit longer.
- Sauce too sweet or too spicy – the heat of sriracha sauces can differ among brands. So adjust the quantity to your taste preference. If it's too spicy, add more honey. If too sweet, a little extra sriracha.
Substitutions and variations
- Lemon alternative – feel free to use lime juice and zest instead of lemon.
- Vinegar – replace lemon juice with rice vinegar or white vinegar for a slightly different tangy touch.
- Crunchy topping – sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds or crushed peanuts on the dish before serving.
- Umami touch – add a splash of soy sauce to the sauce for more flavor complexity.
- Mustard – mix in half a teaspoon of spicy brown mustard or Dijon mustard in the sauce for a more nuanced taste.
- Fresh green chili – add finely chopped chili to the sauce if you want to up the heat.
What to serve it with
- Rice – jasmine or basmati rice pairs wonderfully with honey sriracha shrimp. Coconut rice will also be great.
- Noodles – soba noodles, rice noodles or even spaghetti will make for a filling Asian-style meal.
- Stir-fried veggies – think bell peppers, snap peas, broccoli and/or carrot – sauteed with some minced garlic.
- Quinoa or couscous – excellent grains for soaking up that sauce.
- Slaw – made with cabbage, carrots and a citrusy dressing.
- Grilled or roasted veggies – think asparagus, zucchini or eggplant.
- Crusty bread – some warmed-up crusty bread is perfect for mopping up that delicious sauce.
Storage and reheating
- Storage – place leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 2 days.
- Reheating – transfer to a skillet and gently warm over low heat. Do not turn up the heat high as shrimp can become rubbery with excessive heat. Stir occasionally and if the sauce seems too thick add a splash of water/broth. Avoid using the microwave – it will likely result in uneven or overheating and affect the texture.
Just so you know
- Sriracha sauce is said to have originated in Thailand. Named after the coastal city of Si Racha – it's now a staple in various cuisines.
- This dish has a nice kick but won't set your mouth on fire – the heat is nicely balanced by the sweetness from honey.
- This honey sriracha sauce isn't just for shrimp. Toss with chicken wings, roasted veggies or use as a dip for snacks – it's very versatile.
- Different types of honey can vary in flavor intensity and sweetness. Feel free to experiment with what you have on hand – be it clover, wildflower or even manuka honey.
For cooking shrimp
- 1 pound (454 g) shrimp - or prawns – use raw, peeled and deveined ones (Note A)
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For honey sriracha sauce
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter
- 1 inch ginger - finely grated
- 4 cloves garlic - finely minced or grated
- 3.5 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons sriracha - (Note B)
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- some chopped fresh parsley
- a few lemon slices/wedges
- Mix together shrimp, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
- Heat olive oil in a pan or skillet on medium-high heat. When heated, add the shrimp in a single layer. Don't crowd the pan – work in batches if you have to.
- Cook each side for 1 minute (not more or they will overcook later). Then transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Turn the heat down to low and add butter to the same pan. When it melts, put in ginger and garlic and stir 2 minutes.
- Next add all the remaining sauce ingredients (honey, sriracha, ketchup, lemon juice, lemon zest, red pepper flakes plus salt). Stir to combine.
- Turn up the heat to medium and let the sauce cook 2 minutes so it slightly thickens.
- Put the shrimp back in the pan and mix until evenly coated by the sauce.
- Cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes – you just want the shrimp to warm up. Remember – the sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Plate the shrimp, garnish with chopped parsley and serve with lemon slices/wedges on the side. Enjoy!
- Step-by-step photo instructions
- Recipe troubleshooting
- Substitutions and variations
- Serving ideas
- Storage and reheating
The nutritional information provided here is calculated using a third-party nutrition calculator. These values are estimates, and we cannot guarantee the correctness of the displayed numbers. Please see our disclaimer page.