Shrimp oil

Prawn or shrimp oil

Today we’ll be making this shrimp oil ideal as a handy flavor booster to have on hand to drizzle over pasta, risotto or seafood soup.

Mix it with fresh chilli for a spicy oil or add it to dressings or emulsions to add depth and complexity of flavour.


  • 2 kilograms of heads and shells of fresh prawns or shrimps
  • 10 garlics with skin (do not peel the skins), crushed
  • lemon or lime juice
  • 2 pieces of sliced ginger or 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
  • Cooking oil


  1. Squeeze some lemon or lime juice over the shrimp heads and shells and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  2. Prepare a large wok and add the shrimp heads and shells, sauté over medium heat until they turn pink, then turn off the heat.
  3. Using a pestle and mortar, crush the shrimp heads one at a time, add the garlic and ginger. Then pour in the oil until it covers at least half of the prawns or at most three quarters of the prawns (¾ of the prawns in a 28 cm deep wok).
  4. Turn the heat up to medium and bring the oil to the boil, fry all the ingredients for 30 to 45 minutes or until the prawn heads and shells are crisp, the oil is dark in colour and you can smell a very strong aroma of fried prawns.
  5. Turn off the heat and allow to cool, then strain through a mesh strainer and let the oil continue to drip through the strainer for about 15 minutes.
  6. Once the oil has cooled completely, transfer it to a bottle and store it in the fridge for a couple of months. Take it out of the fridge an hour before using it so that it becomes liquid again.


  • We use 2 kilograms of fresh prawns to prepare this shrimp oil, but you can adjust the amount to your liking.
  • The amount of oil you use to prepare your shrimp oil will depend on the amount of heads and shells you have. The type of oil we use is canola oil but you can use olive oil.
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