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Grapefruit and Curry Shrimp Saute

I wouldn’t normally make this type of recipe out of the blue or just for having both grapefruit and shrimp somewhere in the kitchen. I made this recipe because a fellow website editor was asking for recipe writers, cooks and cookbook authors to come up with a recipe where ‘grapefruit is the main feature’.

This is my own version of a recipe for a Grapefruit Shrimp Curry recipe I saw in an old Florida cookbook that’s been on my shelf for years. If you would like the information for the original recipe and cookbook, please see the information at the end of this post.

I made this recently, and I can tell you, it is wonderful! It tasted like a familiar dish from a Thai restaurant, very filling, but not too heavy. 

I served it on a bed of coconut basmati rice. You might also want to add a small bowl of fish or vegetable soup before or afterwards. 

Grapefruit and Curry Shrimp Sauté


4 TB. butter
3 cloves garlic, smashed
pinch of saffron

1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (about ½ cup)

5 TB flour
2 tsp. salt
½ TB. curry powder (1 TB. if you like it really spicy!)

2 cups coconut milk
½ cup freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice (about ½ grapefruit)

2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined and cleaned
1 cup grapefruit meat (skin removed), quartered and cut in half

4 Tb.(or more, to taste) fresh cilantro, roughly chopped


*Note: Prepare all ingredients ahead of time and organize them well. Once you begin this recipe, the steps go fast and you will not have time to leave the stove lest you burn the butter, dry out the roux or curdle the sauce.

Step 1: Make the Roux

  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter on low with the garlic and saffron, approx. 5 min. Do not burn. There is no need to stir.
  • Once the butter mixture is done, pour into a separate large sauté pan. Add onions. Over medium-high heat, sauté the onions but do not brown them, approx. 5-7 minutes.
  • With a wooden spoon, blend in the flour to make a rough paste, or roux. Add the salt and curry powder and blend. Keep blending to avoid burning the roux, until all ingredients are well mixed.

Step 2: Add the Coconut Milk and Thoroughly Blend

  • Turn heat to medium-low. Add coconut milk and blend until the roux is completely free of any lumps. Add grapefruit juice and keep stirring to smooth out the mixture and avoid curdling of the coconut milk. Cook until thick, approx. 3-5 minutes.

Step 3: Add the Shrimp

  • Add shrimp and stir, until you see that some have begun to turn pink.

Step 4: Add the Grapefruit & Finish

Next, add the grapefruit sections and continue stirring the mixture to avoid anything from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Turn heat to low, if necessary. Be sure that shrimp is cooking well by turning pink and becoming a bit smaller than when raw. This may be a bit difficult to see through the pinkish color of the sauce, but keep turning the shrimp in the pan to look for this color. Cook in this manner for approximately 10 minutes.
Serve on a bed of white sticky or jasmine rice and top with roughly-chopped cilantro.

Serves 4-6, depending on the appetites!Bismillah and Buon Appetitto!

The original recipe was for Grapefruit Shrimp Curry, found in Maurices Tropical Fruit Cookbook, by Maurice de Verteuil. Great Outdoors Publishing Compnay. 4747 28th Street North. St. Petersburg, FL 33714. p. 30

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  1. HMM!! LOOKS YUMMYYY. Anything out of your kitchen is good. I can’t have shrimp but , its because you made it I want to have some.

  2. Love the sound of it. I am not a fan of shirmp OR grapefruit…but I can totally see the coconut milk and curry bringing it together.
    I wonder why the original cookbook recipe didnt use coconut milk but rather used regular milk!!! Thats crazy! Also the original recipe definitely needs cilantro, Yvonne, you nailed by including that.
    I would like to see maybe some glassy rice noodles served with it (i think the squishy texture would bring together the shrimp and grapefruit together nicely). I would also maybe top it with something fresh…like sprouts or red cabage or something to add some crispness and brighten it along with the cilantro (and so the cilantro doesnt feel lonely on top of the plate…like a third wheel or something! LOL)

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