Home / Blog / Chef Beth’s Achiote Sea Shrimp Citrus Salad [Recipe]

April 10, 2024

Chef Beth’s Achiote Sea Shrimp Citrus Salad [Recipe]


Ahh, the beloved bite-sized crustacean that’s downright delicious in a buttery sauce: shrimp. But do you know whether your shrimp is supplied from a safe, sustainable source? Beyond consumers crediting the biggest difference between wild-caught and farmed shrimp to taste, the benefits may add up beyond just personal preference. 

Also known as fish farming, aquaculture accounts for almost half of the seafood humans eat worldwide (Edwards et al., 2019).[1] This diverse and growing industry produced 82 million metric tons [2] (mt) of seafood in 2018 (FAO, 2020), recognizing that some practices, by their very design, will only partially avoid or mitigate the impacts noted—no matter how careful. Whether it’s unapproved antibiotics in your food or converting high-quality, cheap, nutritious protein sources into fish feed, creating an artificial environment for farmed fish to thrive can come at an environmental cost. 

But, it doesn’t have to. 

Not only are hand-harvested sea shrimp caught by cast net—a circular net that is cast flat on the water and sink to capture shrimp—by small, artisanal fishermen, but bycatch isn’t a concern with this selective fishing method. 

Considering the nutritional quality of the shrimp you buy depends on the quality of food eaten by the shrimp, wild shrimp can feed on their natural diet considering the sea is their native environment. Eating sustainable seafood is about opening your mind (and fridge) to a vast array of fish and shellfish you might not have considered before—and the Caribbean Sea is blessed with an abundance of wild species, including sea shrimp. On your next craving for a shrimp-based meal, try this elegant (albeit still simple to execute) Achiote Sea Shrimp Citrus Salad by Chef Beth. 

Achiote sea shrimp citrus salad

Achiote Marinade

1 orange, juiced

½ lime, juiced

1 teaspoon garlic, minced/grated 

1 tablespoon achiote paste 

Salt & pepper to taste 

1 tsp neutral oil

Blend all ingredients and set aside. Clean the sea-caught shrimp by removing its shell and deveining. Add the achiote mixture to the shrimp to marinate for a minimum of 15 minutes and up to 12 hours for a deeper flavor. 

To prepare shrimp, heat a sautee pan with 1 teaspoon of neutral oil for 1-2 minutes on each side, until sea shrimp become opaque and slightly pink. Deglaze the pan with white wine or shrimp stock for another minute; let the liquid evaporate slightly and set aside. 

Candied Pepitas 

1 cup pepitas/pumpkin seeds

2 egg whites 

⅓ cup brown sugar


Whip egg whites until fluffy, toss with remaining ingredients, and bake on low at 250F for 1 hour, turning the seeds every 15 minutes. Let cool completely. 

Citrus Dressing

¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar

¾ cup Olive oil

2 tbsp Honey

1 tbsp Dijon Mustard 

1 clove garlic, minced 

½ a lime, juiced 

½ tsp sea salt

½ tsp ground black pepper 

Add all ingredients to a sealable container, such as a reusable glass jar, and shake well to combine. Set aside. 


To dress the greens, add ½ tsp of olive oil to your bowl of watercress and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. 

To assemble the salad, set down a bed of watercress and top with segmented oranges, julienned jicama, and halved cherry tomatoes. Set the sauteed sea shrimp atop and garnish with candied pepitos and balsamic dressing.

At 18 years old, Chef Bethany Ferrier began her training as a baker before finding her way into professional kitchens two years later. Beth is passionate about creating globally inspired dishes crafted with locally grown ingredients with an emphasis on seasonality—insisting that fresh is best, where seasonality becomes her craft. Maximizing not only strengthens an understanding of where the food comes from, but also improves sustainability, supports the local economy, and promotes community engagement. Today, you can find the award-winning Chef Beth as the head chef of Hambre Restaurant in the City of Belmopan, Belize, where she draws inspiration from her Belizean heritage for Latin-inspired cuisine.