Sweet Basil Shrimp with Bean Sprouts and Roasted Buckwheat

Shrimp is a fantastic brainfood, contianing high amounts of Omega 3 fatty acid, folate, calcium and magnesium.

So simple to cook and versatile, it is usually our Saturday brunch staple after I come back from the market with a super fresh bunch.

I often toss them in some lime and ginger and serve them with the shells on (with fresh chili on the side for the adults). We peel them one by one at the table, our fingers soggy and dripping with shrimp juice.

But this recipe is a cleaner version of that, with the peels stripped off in the kitchen after boiling them quickly in salted water, are wrapped loosely with Thai sweet basil. I served it on a warm bed of lightly wilted bean sprouts with sesame oil, a few raspberries, some slices of cold cucumber and a sprinkle of roasted buckwheat for good crunchy measure – a great combination of varying textures, flavors, temperature colors.

If you can’t find Thai basil, Italian basil works beautifully as well.

Using the basil as a wrap allows Magnus to use his hands to eat the shrimp – shrimp and bread is about as much as we let him eat with his bare hands now that he is almost four years old.

Sweet Basil Shrimp with Bean Sprouts and Roasted Buckwheat


 ½ pound shrimp

two bunches fresh basil (Thai basil or Italian basil), washed

2 cups bean sprouts, washed and drained

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons mirin

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon roasted buckwheat

2 tablespoons fresh raspberries

Few slices of cucumber

Few young lettuce leaves

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Bring to boil a large pot of water.

2. Add the shrimp with shells on and cook for 4-5 minutes until the grey shells turn bright pink.

3. Drain and let cool.

4. Heat a pan on medium heat with sesame oil.

5. Add the bean sprouts in the pan, then add the soy sauce and mirin. Cover the pan and cook until the bean sprouts begin to wilt, about 4-5 minutes. You don’t want to overcook the sprouts – you want it to retain the crunch, so it is important not to cook it too long.

6. Peel the shrimp and loosely wrap each shrimp with a basil leaf. Salt and pepper lightly.

7. Serve the bean sprouts on a plate, with the shrimp on top. Sprinkle the buckwheat on top, and accompany the plate with raspberries, cucumbers and a leaf of young lettuce.


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