Hot Honey Shrimp with Summer Slaw. Photo by Rey Lopez/The Washington Post

When I lived in south Louisiana, I ate shrimp maybe every other week. It might be in an étouffée or with a rémoulade. Or, I’d whip up a stir-fry with leftover rice, make a scampi, or chop them and make a creamy shrimp salad stuffed in a buttery roll.

They cook so quickly and, down there, fresh Gulf shrimp are readily available, reasonably priced and reliably delicious. In the late spring and early summer, during brown shrimp season, however, I might eat them even more often, especially when my husband’s family still trawled for the crustaceans. We’d remove the heads from pounds of them and freeze them for the future. When the family trawling days were over, I’d often pull over on the side of the road and buy them from shrimpers selling their catch from ice chests.

Then, we’d boil a big batch and eat them night after night with kicky cocktail sauce and buttered saltines.

Man, I miss those days. While I don’t have as easy – or as cost-efficient – access to local seafood as I once did, I do still crave shrimp, especially in the summer. It’s almost like a conditioned response. Weather warms. Shrimp must be eaten.

Frozen shrimp often are my go-to these days, but I find I need to zhuzh them a bit more than I did the fresh catch. The flavor and texture are different, so rather than rely on old favorite recipes and be a bit let down by the outcome, I look for new ways to cook them.

That’s how I decided to try this Summer Slaw With Hot Honey Shrimp in “Salad Seasons” by Sheela Prakash. The recipe is, of course, in the summer chapter of the cookbook, which offers a variety of salads for every season. Each makes smart use of ingredients at their peak.


To Prakash, salad is a broad term. She defines it as “a dish that’s produce-first, with a dressing that ties all of the components together, and layers of flavor and texture that make for fun and interesting forkfuls.”

This simple recipe checks all of those boxes, and, frankly, if you use frozen shrimp, it could easily be a bright dish for winter, too, when cabbages abound.

For this salad, peeled shrimp are tossed with hot honey, olive oil and garlic, then spread on a sheet pan for a quick roast. While they cook, you whip up a simple slaw of red and green cabbage, scallions and carrots and toss all of that with a cilantro-lime dressing with a hint of hot honey, too.

When ready to serve, you lay the shrimp on top of the slaw and sprinkle the whole thing with crumbled tortilla chips. You could also try crisp, seasoned homemade breadcrumbs if you prefer. I love the fresh taste and the variety of crunchy textures in each bite.

You can buy hot honey, but Prakash offers a recipe for making it, too, so I made extra, warmed it slightly, and served it tableside so folks could zhuzh some more.

It tasted like summer on a plate and scratched my shrimp itch – for now.


Hot Honey Shrimp With Summer Slaw

4 to 6 servings

Hot honey is used to glaze quick-cooking shrimp, which then top a citrusy coleslaw. Cookbook author Sheela Prakash notes that a scattering of salty tortilla chips just before serving gives the summer salad a little extra crunch. Buy hot honey or make your own.

To make hot honey, in a small pot over medium-low heat, stir 1/2 cup mild-flavored honey, such as clover or orange blossom, with 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes. Stir the mixture occasionally until just warmed through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for at least 10 minutes. Taste, and if you’d like it spicier, continue to steep until it’s to your preferred heat level. While it’s still warm, strain through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing down on the solids with the back of a spoon, into an airtight jar or storage container. Stir in 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and store at room temperature for up to 1 month.

If you like, you can gently heat the hot honey on the stove or in the microwave and put it on the table, so guests can add as they desire.

Storage: Refrigerate without the chips for up to 2 days.


8 ounces green cabbage, thinly sliced (3 cups)

8 ounces red cabbage, thinly sliced (3 cups)

1 teaspoon fine salt, plus more as needed

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon hot honey, such as Red Clay or Mike’s, divided, plus more for serving (see headnote)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

3 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated, divided


1 pound peeled/deveined tail-on shrimp (16 to 20 count), defrosted if frozen

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup loosely packed finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus a handful of cilantro leaves, for serving

Juice of 2 medium limes (1/4 cup)

3 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)

2 scallions, thinly sliced


1 cup coarsely crushed tortilla chips, for serving

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.

Place the shredded cabbages in a colander set over a bowl or in a sink, and sprinkle with the salt. Massage and squeeze the cabbage to help it release its liquid and begin wilting. Drain for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of the honey, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and half of the garlic.

Pat the shrimp dry and transfer them to a large, rimmed baking sheet. Lightly season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with the hot honey mixture. Toss to coat and spread out in a single layer. Roast, tossing halfway through, for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the shrimp are opaque.

While the shrimp roast, in a large bowl, stir together the cilantro, lime juice, the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of hot honey and garlic, a few pinches of salt, and several grinds of pepper.

Using your hands, squeeze the cabbage one handful at a time and add to the bowl of dressing. Add the carrots and scallions, and toss to combine. Taste, and season with additional salt and/or pepper, as needed.

To serve, portion the slaw into shallow serving bowls and top with the shrimp. Drizzle each bowl with a bit of hot honey, if desired, and sprinkle each with crushed tortilla chips and cilantro leaves.

Nutrition | 192 Calories Per serving: (1 1/2 cups), based on 6: 17g Carbohydrates, 122mg Cholesterol, 7g Fat, 3g Fiber, 17g Protein, 1g Saturated Fat, 326mg Sodium, 10g Sugar

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