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Spice-crusted shrimp and Asian Slaw – Slow Carb

Spice-crusted Shrimp on Asian Slaw

Spice-crusted Shrimp on Asian Slaw

I usually have three main criteria in mind when adapting recipes for the Slow Carb Lifestyle:  quick, easy and robust flavors.  This cabbage slaw marinated in Asian flavors, topped with spice-encrusted sautéed shrimp meets all of the criteria, making it a perfect fit for a slow carb lifestyle dish .  The heirloom tomatoes on the side are a bonus.  This time of the year, heirloom tomatoes accompany just about every dish I make since we grow them for market and always have an abundance to work with.  The dish is just as good without the tomatoes, but they do add color and interest if you have them.  The tomatoes shown in the photo are a French heirloom variety called Juane Flamme.

Seafood, and shellfish in particular, is great to work with on the slow carb lifestyle because it is so quick to cook and packed with nutrition and flavor.  The problem is that many of the fried or sautéed seafood dishes you find in restaurants or cookbooks are first breaded with cornmeal, flour, crackers, etc.  While I love breaded and fried food, it is not compliant with the slow carb lifestyle so I’m always trying adaptations.  These shrimp are “spice-encrusted” rather than breaded, meaning they are generously rubbed with five-spice powder, salt and pepper before sautéed or fried.  You don’t get as much crunch as a breading would give, but they are delightfully tasty.

Spice-Crusted Shrimp and Asian Slaw:

(inspired by a recipe in Eating Well magazine)

Five-spice crusted shrimp on Asian slaw

Five-spice crusted shrimp on Asian slaw


  •  1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 4 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar (omit sugar if on strict slow carb protocol)
  • 1/2 head cabbage, napa is good – I used a red cabbage because it’s what I had available
  • 2 orange or red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 1/2  tsp five-spice powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 lb. pkg of frozen raw shrimp, medium to large
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. Thaw out shrimp and pat them dry with a paper towel.  Get them as dry as possible.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar (if using).
  3. Remove the tough core from the middle of the cabbage and shred the 1/2 head of cabbage into bite size pieces with a knife.  Add the cabbage and chopped bell peppers to the marinade and toss to combine.
  4. In a clean bowl whisk together the five-spice powder, salt and pepper.
  5. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat (look for oil to start smoking a bit to tell if it is hot enough).  While oil is heating, toss the shrimp in the spice mixture, coating the shrimp thoroughly.  Add the shrimp to the pan when the oil is hot and cook, stirring often, until they are pink (this only takes about 3 minutes).  Add the pepper flakes if using, and cook about 30 seconds longer.
  6. Serve the shrimp over a bed of  the Asian slaw.

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  1. Annie Riley on October 8, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Dorothy, where did you get the 5 spice powder? Thanks.

    • dorothy stainbrook on October 9, 2014 at 6:30 am

      Annie, I got it at Cub. You can get it at most stores in the spice section, but sometimes it is filed under “C” for Chinese Five-Spice Powder. Another (cheaper) brand is in the section at Cub where they have Asian and Mexican foods.

      • Annie Riley on October 9, 2014 at 9:22 am

        Thanks, Dorothy. That recipe is for dinner tonight. Last night I made the Basque chicken and Chorizo skillet supper (we both loved this, especially Roy). And we’re roasting the tomatoes this afternoon for the pork ragu and spaghetti squash recipe. Thank you so much for sharing your delicious recipes. Just wish I was having as much luck with the weight loss.

        • dorothy stainbrook on October 9, 2014 at 9:34 am

          Annie, I’m so glad you like the recipes. It took me quite a while to lose the weight and I had to follow the rules really closely when I was on the diet. I lost about 1 lb a week, for a total of 25 pounds. I followed Tim Ferriss’ book “The 4-Hour Body” and I followed it scrupulously. The good thing about this diet is that once I lost the weight I have kept it off for 2 years now and I’m not nearly as strict. I don’t really do the cheat day anymore but I have little cheats throughout the week (dark chocolate at night with my wine, occasional cookies or desserts and cream in my coffee). There are three keys for me: 1) I developed some clean eating habits that have stuck with me, 2) I cook at home a lot more and never do outside fast food, and 3) I keep a close watch on the scale and whenever I have gone up by more than 3 pounds, I spend a week back on the stricter diet. It is slow and steady….don’t give up!!!

          • dorothy stainbrook on October 9, 2014 at 9:35 am

            One more key factor in keeping it off….I always eat a high protein breakfast shortly after getting up. Even if the rest of the day is not perfect, I usually get in the 30 grams of protein for breakfast.

  2. Beth Camero on October 3, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    That is a BEAUTIFUL dish! Can’t wait to try it!

    • dorothy stainbrook on October 3, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      Thank you Beth. I meant to make it with Napa green cabbage but I had the red cabbage in the fridge and it worked!

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