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Thai Shrimp And Watermelon On Jasmine Rice

Thai Shrimp And Watermelon On Jasmine Rice
Susan Russo for NPR /

Shrimp pairs beautifully with many types of fresh fruit. In this Thai-inspired dish, marinated shrimp is cooked until crisp, then topped with sweet and tangy warm watermelon. Serve with jasmine or basmati rice.

Makes 4 servings


4 teaspoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 teaspoons lime juice

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

24 extra-large or jumbo shrimp


5 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, separated

4 teaspoons rice vinegar

8 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 teaspoons light brown sugar

4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

2 Thai chilies, finely chopped (or to taste; the more seeds, the hotter the dish)

3 green onions, thinly sliced

2 cups diced watermelon

2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil, preferably Thai basil**

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped unsalted peanuts

2 cups cooked jasmine or basmati rice

To make the marinade, whisk all ingredients in a bowl. Pour into a large zip-top bag or a plastic container. Add the shrimp, shaking well. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove shrimp from marinade and drain. Heat 4 teaspoons of sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and saute 5 to 6 minutes, turning to ensure that they brown evenly on both sides. When nearly cooked, add rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and chilies. Cook until the shrimp meat is opaque and the sauce is slightly thickened.

Meanwhile, in a separate large skillet over medium-high heat, warm remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Saute green onions until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add diced watermelon for 30 to 60 seconds, just until it sizzles. Turn off heat. Add to the pan with the shrimp. Add basil and cilantro and toss gently.

Divide rice among four plates, top with 1/4 of the shrimp and watermelon, and sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

**Thai basil is a spicy, pointy-leafed basil that can be found in Asian markets or specialty markets.

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