Shrimp and Calamari in Cream Sauce

By Resident Chef: Harvey Pincis


On the seafood hit I am getting these days my much better half decided to buy half the fish market last weekend. Well, not quite, but she was determined to go shrimp and calamari buying plus hamour and she found some roes as well, so it was obviously going to be a Fish Friday, but no hint of fasting. I am reliably informed the shrimps were Iranian, though I never saw their passports. The result was most satisfying and even if the shrimps were Iranian, very few carbon miles so good for the planet. Good for us too and for our good and gentle Kuwaiti readers I hardly need recommend the Fish market as one of the pillars of Kuwait. 


For expatriate readers, especially those new to Kuwait, I suggest they go there and it really is an experience, besides, being well priced for what is the catch of the day, literally. Also, although as a newcomer the experience may seem overwhelming, even when I was new, I have yet to have had a bad experience there in thirty years. For those Londoners who have seen wet fishmongers disappear from the High Street, Even just to see and experience the place is worth it. Plus they clean the fish and with shrimps there are guys for a small fee per kilo devein shrimps for you like they were born to the task, one of whom is an ex-British Embassy employee when I worked there on a project. One is in safe hands.


So to the recipe. Take about 300g of dressed shrimp and 300g of sliced calamari and marinate for at least 2 hrs. with the juice of a lemon, three cloves of garlic, a teaspoon of paprika, salt and pepper. When ready, heat olive oil in a pan and sweat about an inch of ginger with a garlic clove. I said sweat the garlic and ginger, we do not want to fry them, and add the shrimp, calamari mixture to the medium on the low side, heated and by now flavoured oil. Keep the mixture bubbling for about 15 to 20 minutes and then adding half a carton of sour cream. Keep stirring. Keep the mix cooking at the same temperature for an additional ten minutes or so, we want the seafood cooked, but not burnt or dry, so this stage needs some supervision. After testing, this will be ready to serve.


On a separate note, the rice. 1 cup of Basmati rice rinsed and washed till the water runs clear; any cloudy water feed your plants! Once the rice is cleansed, heat 4 tbs. of oil and add a finely chopped onion and fry until translucent, then add about a tablespoon’s worth of chopped fresh coriander and 2 tbs. of tomato paste with a teaspoon of cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Once the mix is combined add the washed rice and cook for 5 minutes, stirring, and add 1 ½ cups of water. Cook until the water is absorbed, say 15 to 20 minutes and then put the medium heat to low for another 15 to 20 minutes. If some of the rice makes a slight crust, do not worry, it is the best part! We do not want burnt offerings! It has to be said, a little toasted ‘hagakukka’ is quite delicious and softens with the creamy sauce. There is also the option of adding some prawn to the rice while it is cooking.


Serve the rice and shrimp with maybe some tahina sauce and garnished with parsley.




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