Spicy Penang Shrimp with Spinich and Zuccini

written by:brian rountree

Hugh and I are on a fairly restrictive diet in terms of fat intake. We have been experimenting with different spices and preparation techniques that allow us to have tasty food and stay on plan. The following recipe for a spicy penang shrimp is healthy, spicy and filling

a shrimp

Total time: 45 minutes. 30 minutes prep, 15 minutes cook.


  • 14 ounces of shrimp, cleaned
  • 1 bunch, chives
  • 1 stalk, lemongrass
  • 1 cup of bail, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 poblano pepper, roasted, seeded and chopped
  • 24 ounces spinach, chopped small
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of water v2 tablespoons of penang curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons of grapeseed or olive oil

You can really swap in whatever vegetables in that you like, we had zucchini and bell pepper on hand. The poblano is optional but adds a different type of heat plus a little sweetness. I chopped the spinach fairly fine as I was going for a final consistency of something akin to saag. You can omit the water and add some additional oil as the quantities above reflect the restrictions of our current diet. Also, this results in more of a broth style dish. If you wanted to thicken the broth into more of a sauce, you could add more oil, or butter, or corn starch, or any of the other things that are not on our plan at the moment.

In a dutch oven, or heavy, deep saute pan heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook for a minute or so on each side until they are pink on the outside but not cooked through. Remove shrimp.

Add veggies, lemongrass, garlic and chives and saute in the remaining oil. Brown bits should start appearing in the bottom of the pan. Deglaze the pan (to keep on plan I had to use water for this, but you could use mirin or white wine).

Once the pan is deglazed and all the brown bits are dissolved, add the soy sauce and the penang curry powder and stir into the liquid to dissolve.

Add the spinach and basil and stir all the veggies and the greens together to start the wilting of the greens. This will release more liquid into the pan and provide the cooking liquid to finish off the shrimp.

Once the spinach is mostly wilted, reduce the heat to medium low and add the shrimp back into the pan (there will be enough residual heat in the pan to finish the cooking of the shrimp). Continue to cook everything for 3 - 5 minutes, stirring to coat the shrimp with the broth and the hot vegetables to finish off their cooking.

Once the shrimp are opaque, you are done. Serve in a shallow wide bowl.

You could also serve this over rice, but rice is not on our diet right now.

Hi, my name's Brian.

I am the Director of Control Panel Engineering for the Rackspace, the Open Cloud Company. I am a seasoned software professional that slings code, build teams, launch products and fosters a passion for continuous improvement. Before Rackspace, I had a hand in creating 3 of the largest web properties in existence while I was a Senior Software Architect at Yahoo.

Get in touch