Ginger, Shrimp and Citrus Showcase Hawaii’s Multicultural Food Heritage

In Cook Real Hawai’i, Sheldon Simeon intertwines traditional Hawaiian recipes with the state’s contemporary, multicultural fare to tell the story of the eclectic cuisine enjoyed throughout the islands. This version of kinilaw, a dish with origins in the Philippines, is modeled after one he would eat with his grandparents while growing up in Hilo, Hawaii, which was made with tiny freshwater shrimp known to leap from mountain streams. While he recommends using whole shrimp and sucking the juices out of the heads as you eat, you can use headless shrimp if you prefer.

Jumping Shrimp Kinilaw 

Adapted from Cook Real Hawai’i: A Cookbook, by Sheldon Simeon with Garrett Snyder (Clarkson Potter, 2021) 


  • 2 pounds large head-on, tail-on raw shrimp, peeled and deveined 
  • 1½ cups calamansi juice, or ½ cup orange juice plus 1 cup lime juice 
  • ¾ cup shoyu (Japanese-style soy sauce), like Kikkoman 
  • 3 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine or grated  
  • 1 green apple, sliced thin 
  • ½ large red onion, sliced thin 
  • 6 Hawaiian chile peppers or 3 bird’s eye chiles, sliced thin 
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic 
  • Cilantro sprigs, for garnish 

In large bowl, combine shrimp, citrus juice, shoyu, ginger, apple, onion, chilies and garlic, and mix well. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 2–4 hours. Drain excess liquid, and divide among plates. Garnish with cilantro sprigs. Serves 4–6. 


Pierre Sparr 2019 Grande Réserve Gewürztraminer (Alsace) 

“With lots of apricot, tropical fruits, honey and spice, this is incredible with ginger,” says Simeon. “A touch of sweetness softens the fire from the chile, and the acid in the wine stands up to the acid in the dish.” 

Published on May 23, 2021