Sauteed Shrimp with Turmeric Fennel Sauce

Sauteed Shrimp with Turmeric Fennel Sauce

Here is another favorite dish of mine. If you plan to surprise your spouse or companion with a nice dinner this is a great dish. It’s a very light dish although I have to admit I used more butter than the recipe suggest. The starch in this dish is brown rice and the vegetable is organic baby kale. This dish reminds me when I used to cook in the Caribbean. Although it has nothing to do with Caribbean cuisine it fares well in a hot climate, since it is so light. It is not only healthy, but what I really like is the anise flavored sauce. I love anise whether it is the spice or in drinks such as Pernod. I know anise is not everyone’s taste, but it’s just like with caviar, you either love it or hate it.

Shrimp Dish

Sautéed Shrimp with Turmeric Fennel Sauce

Try this recipe with lobster tail instead of shrimp. It will blow your mind. However make sure you use a raw lobster tail and cook it very slowly so it can absorb all the flavors. If lobster and shrimp are not your taste or if you allergic to it try sea-bass or cod.


Fennel and Ruby Red Grapefruit work well together. If you don’t like Pernod use Nolly Prat or just go with white wine.

Sauteed Shrimp with Turmeric Fennel Sauce
Recipe Type: entrée
Author: Frank Kraemer
Prep time: 25 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 4
With this recipe you’ll have the choice of adding cream to it. If you rather keep it light leave the cream out. I actually cooked it without cream, although the cream makes this a perfect dish which compliments all flavors. This shrimp dish also pairs well with pasta.
  • 1 lb shrimps of 21-25 count per lb, shelled, deveined & cleaned
  • Olive oil for sauteing
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 3-4 gloves of garlic
  • 1 fennel halved & thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp Pernod
  • 1 cup fish or vegetable stock
  • 2 ruby red grapefruit cut in segments
  • 2 -3 tbsp cold butter, diced
  • Salt & pepper
  • A few dashes of Tabasco
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream (optional)
  1. Heat olive oil in heavy bottom pan over medium heat.
  2. Saute shrimp from both sides only for a few seconds. Set shrimps a side.
  3. Use the same pan to saute the onions over light heat. Do not brown the onions, but cook them until they are translucent. Add the garlic while occasional stirring.
  4. Add the turmeric and fennel, saute until almost cooked.
  5. Than add the tomatoes and Pernod.
  6. Do not add the Pernod while the pan is over the heat, that might result in a large flame. Just pull the pan aside add the Pernod and bring it back over the heat.
  7. Now is the time to add the shrimp, lemon juice and the stock. Bring it to a boil.
  8. If you like cream in your sauce – add it now. Reduce sauce by 1/3.
  9. Season with salt, pepper and Tabasco.
  10. Reduce heat to very low.
  11. Stir in the cold butter until well incorporated. (Do not add the butter if you are using cream)
  12. Add the grapefruit segments to the sauce. Let stand for a few seconds.
  13. Serve immediately

These days you have a great choice of shrimps. It is up to you what type and size you wish to cook. I don’t like to purchase cooked shrimps, because they will not absorb the flavors of the sauce and therefore taste kind of stale. I for myself prefer to buy raw frozen Northern Shrimp which are wild caught in a sustainable environment. If you have to buy farm raised shrimp, buy US farmed ones. You may learn more about sustainable caught shrimp or seafood at For this dish I didn’t have large shrimp, as you can tell from the picture so I used what I had. However, a beautiful size is 16-20 per lb.

Wine Pairing: This dish pairs well with a Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc


grapefruit segments

Cutting grapefruit segments

The grapefruit gives the sauce the acidity it needs to bring balance between the richness of the butter and strong anise flavor. I find it is important not to break up the grapefruit segments, due to stirring, because they bring such a great flavor to the sauce. That’s why I add them to the end. The tomatoes are actually added only to give it some color.

Sauteing fennel and onions

Sauteing fennel and onions with turmeric

It is important to cook the fennel until it is almost tender. As you can see from the picture the turmeric is already added infusing all ingredients with its flavor. Turmeric or Curcuma is a spice found in curries as well as in mustard. Many studies have suggested that turmeric is one of the most health beneficial spices that may prevent a wide variety of diseases.

Tip: Instead of turmeric you can use saffron, which gives the sauce a very elegant flavor. Try both varieties to taste the difference.

sauteed shrimp

The best part is when the warm grapefruit juices burst in your mouth bringing the dish to another level. Try it and let me now if you liked it.


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