April 9, 2018

Ask A Chef: Jamaican Peppa Shrimp And Pineapple Skewers

Recipe: Craig Wong

Chef Craig Wong of Patois shares his recipe for Jamaican Peppa Shrimp And Pineapple Skewers.

Q: “I love visiting Patois when I’m in Toronto because of their bold, unexpected flavors. Their Jamaican Peppa Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers are fiery and tender with a hint of sweetness from the pineapple. I’d love to try this at home!” — Vince, Cobourg, Ont.

A: Chef Craig Wong specializes in intense flavors, and his menu is often referred to as “Asian-meets-Caribbean soul food.” The spicy kick in these shrimp skewers comes from the Scotch bonnet peppers (he suggests removing the seeds to control the heat). Some pineapple juice and a touch of rum in the marinade balance out the heat perfectly.


  • 6 bamboo skewers
  • 12 large tiger shrimp, U10 (about 50 g each)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for grilling
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 1 whole Scotch bonnet pepper, seeds removed, minced
  • 2 sprigs thyme, picked and chopped
  • 2 tbsp spicy paprika
  • 1⁄3 tsp ground allspice
  • 1⁄3 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tbsp rum, preferably amber (but if you’re feeling boozy, try Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum)
  • 1⁄2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp pineapple juice
  • 1 quarter pineapple, peeled
  • 1 zucchini
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • Salt, to taste


Yield: Makes 6 Skewers

  1. Soak skewers for 30 minutes in cold water. Peel and devein shrimp.
  2. To make marinade, add 1 tbsp of oil to pan and sweat garlic and ginger for 2 minutes over low heat. Add Scotch bonnet pepper, thyme, paprika, allspice and cayenne, and toast until aromatic. Add rum to deglaze pan, then add ketchup and cook for about 5 minutes, until marinade thickens slightly. Add pineapple juice. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Add shrimp to marinade and let soak for 2–3 hours.
  3. To prepare skewers, preheat barbecue to medium-high. Cut pineapple into 1⁄2″-thick pieces. Cut zucchini into 1⁄2″-thick rounds. Skewer 2 shrimp, 1 piece of pineapple, 1 cherry tomato and 1 piece of zucchini onto each skewer.
  4. To grill, brush skewers with oil and season with salt. Grill for 3 minutes on each side.

Photography by Ian Brown Photography (Craig’s portrait); Bill Leonaritis (skewers)


House & Home September 2017