Thai Sweet & Sour Shrimp

iJules Thai Sweet & Sour Lemongrass Shrimp

This recipe was inspired by needing to use up some cucumbers and tomatoes, it seems you always have some type of a go-to pasta or salad dish you make with them.  We had just been to our local Thai restaurant a couple weeks ago and we had ordered a similar dish, I thought while I was devouring it, I could make this at home, and make it even better {more healthy}!  I have lemongrass that grows like weeds and  give it away to everyone I know.  I’ve been known to trade the local nail salon, bags of lemongrass for services, it’s a win-win!  You don’t have to use lemongrass in this recipe, I just do because I grow it.  You can usually find it at your local Asian market, larger grocery stores or maybe even your local farmers market.  Lemongrass has a refreshing lemon-lime taste with a tinge of mint and ginger, the aroma has a  a delicate, floral rose like fragrance mixed with a fresh and grassy aroma.  Note: This is not your typical bright PINK overly sweet thick gooey sweet & sour sauce you get from take out or Betty Crocker!

There are about ten organic lemongrass plants lining the back yard, I use them for a privacy fence, they keep the mosquitoes at bay by the pond and, I’ve been told they keep the snakes away, although the black harmless snakes still slither through them occasionally.  There are another fourteen plants around the lanai that keep the sandhill cranes from putting holes in the screens, I guess they are an all purpose plant.

iJules Organic Lemongrass

Another ingredient that has a taste of it’s own is Thai basil, maybe my favorite herb. It has a stronger flavor {than sweet basil} and it’s aroma has hints of licorice, cinnamon, and mint.  I grow this year round by letting the basil flower and go to seed, collecting them and replanting after they have dried out. The flowers are beautiful purple, and attract bees & butterflies!  If you want to keep the leaves growing, you need to pinch back like crazy, this will make the plant bushy and keep producing green leaves for cooking.

iJules Organic Thai Basil

These are just some ingredients I used, again you don’t need to use them all, it’s just what I had and I will make note if you can omit them or substitute in the recipe.  I have cilantro seedlings now although they are not large enough for harvest, it’s hard to keep cilantro growing, I tend to use more than I plant.

iJules Organic Lemongrass Thai Basil Ginger Cilantro

I used  shrimp in this recipe, letting it marinade in fish sauce for ten minutes before I stir fried it in coconut oil.  You can omit fish sauce and just use soy if you like, or just omit the shrimp all together.

iJules Fresh Thai Sweet & Sour


iJules Cucumber & Tomato ThaiCucumber and tomato are what separate traditional Chinese sweet & sour from Thai style, it’s a flavorful mouthwatering bliss.  Note: Recipe can easily be doubled!


  • 2 Tbs Fish-Sauce {can use soy sauce}
  • 1/2 Lb Shrimp Raw peeled or Chicken raw  {you can omit this entirely}
  • 1-2 Tbs Coconut Oil {can use canola or vegetable}
  • 1/2 Cup Ketchup {I use sugar free}
  • 1/2 Cup White, Rice, or Apple Cider Vinegar {I use Bragg’s shaken 😉 }
  • 1 Tbs Raw Agave Nectar {can use honey or 3 Tbs sugar to taste}
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper Cut into Chunks
  • 1 Thai Chili Pepper sliced thin with seeds {optional} { jalapeno works}
  • 1 Cucumber Cut into Chunks
  • 3 Tomatoes Cut into Chunks {I used roma}
  • 1 Cup Pineapple Chunks w/ 1 Cup of it’s own Juice {fresh is best, didn’t have any}
  • 1 Lemongrass Stalk Pounded and Chopped Thin {can omit}
  • 1 Tbs Grated or Chopped
  • 1 Tbs Garlic Chopped or Pressed
  • Cilantro ~Handful {can omit}
  • Thai Basil ~Handful {can use sweet basil}
  • 8 Scallions Sliced Diagonally
  • Lime {optional}
  • Coconut Milk {optional}

 Method to the Madness:

If you using shrimp or chicken marinate it in either fish or soy sauce for 10-15 minutes, then stir-fry in a hot non stick skillet or wok on high heat that has about a tablespoon of coconut oil, shrimp take about 3-4 minutes {if your using chicken, it needs to be cooked until juices run clear and no longer pink inside.}  set aside when done and now were ready to stir fry round two.

In you wok or non stick skillet add about a tablespoon of coconut oil, add ginger, garlic, lemongrass, Thai chili pepper & red pepper.  Stir-fry about one minute on high, this is done quickly, not sauteed mushy soft.  Now you can add the ketchup, vinegar, agave & pineapple juice, mix well heating until bubbly. {you can mix all together in a small bowl before adding, although, it didn’t seem to make a difference the last couple times I made it.} Now you can add the pineapple, cucumbers, and tomatoes, stir mixture just enough to get sauce over everything, bring to a soft bubbly boil, and turn off burner, again, not mushy. {this is where you can add a couple splashes of coconut milk, I do if it’s on hand}  Now add the already cooked shrimp or chicken, scallions & Thai basil. Garnish with fresh squeezed lime juice and cilantro.  Serve over rice or quinoa of your choice, I use brown short whole grain rice.

iJules Thai Sweet & Sour Shrimp

Again, whatever you have in the kitchen works, switch it up, make some changes so your shopping list isn’t out of control.  You can use snow peas, carrots, water chestnuts, celery, clean out the fridge!  The best recipes are always low maintenance when you don’t have to shop for them!  Another make it simple is, nothing I make is ever done with precision, splash of this, splash of that, drizzle, scoop and sprinkle.  Only when I bake do I need to measure everything!  Feel free to add more or less of any ingredient, it wont make much of a difference.

Bon Appetit!

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