Shrimp With Mastiha

Spread the love

img_3786Today I will be jumping back in fasting for Greek Lent. This is the home stretch, “Megali Evdomada” or Holy Week, culminating with a feast like no other on Easter Sunday for Orthodox Christians.

One I say fast, I mean I will be abstaining from any meat or meat by-products until I go to church on Saturday morning to take my Holy Communion.

Fair game are foods devoid of blood, like shrimp, shellfish and cephalopods (squid, cuttlefish, octopus), fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, breads, juices, jams, spices, herbs. I do allow myself olive oil as well but it is not allowed in the strictest sense. I think I’ll be forgiven for this one weakness.

Through the course of the week, I’ll share some Lent-friendly dishes with you, a window on what I’ll be eating through the course of Holy Week.

To kick things off, here’s a dish that uses Mastiha liqueur, as I had img_3791-1introduced to you in my most previous post. Mastiha liqueur is made from a resin (sap) drawn from trees on the southernmost part of the island of Chios.

This recipe is a riff on one I found from a Greek cooking show called the Nistiko Arkoudi (Hungry Bear). The date on the taping of this episode was Februrary 12th of this year – so it’s been kicking around for a couple months.

I loved the idea of using Mastiha with shrimp and thought to be an interesting twist on the usual Ouzo which gets all the attention! I pretty much followed the recipe with the exceptions of reducing the amount of liqueur used (1 cup is crazy sweet) and I added a few splashes of hot sauce in to the mix.

Upon tasting fast, easy, spectaular and easy dish, a Greek (or non-Greek) might even think this dish to be Asian in flavours…seriosuly!

The combo of the shrimp flavour, liqueuer, ground Mastiha, fresh lemon juice and hot sauce make this an exotic meze/appetizer for sure!img_3779

Before I get to the recipe, I must explain that ground mastic can be achieved in three ways:

  1. You buy the mastic in ground form;
  2. You may grind it with your mortar & pestle;
  3. Place your mastic “tears” in plastic cling wrap and use your rolling pin to crush the crystals into a  powder form.


Shrimp With Mastiha img_3780

1 lb of large, head-on shrimp

1/3 cup olive oil

2 scallions, chopped and divided in half

1 shot of  Skinos Mastiha Liqueur

1/2 tsp. of ground Mastic

the juice of 1 fresh lemon

salt and pepperto taste

a few splashes of hot sauce

  1. Season your shrimp with salt and pepper. Pre-heat a large skillet on your stovetop over medium-high heat. Add your shrimp and saute until they are just turning pink.
  2. Add half of your chopped scallions, the Skinos liqueur and reduce to medium and simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add your your ground Mastic and lemon juice and allow the sauce to come up to a simmer again. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, add a few splashes if hot sauce and serve immediately.
  4. Serve on a platter and garnish with the remaining chopped scallions.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.

© 2007-2009 Peter Minakis

© 2009 – 2011,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

39 Comments for “Shrimp With Mastiha”


I’ve only ever had mastic in Turkish Dondurma (icecream). It makes it chewy. Does it add texture like that in your sauce?


hi Arwen, delighted that you’ve tried Dondurma…unique ice cream, huh? To answer your question…no chewyness or elastic texture. A small amount of mastic is in here, it’s ground and not cooked for that long.


This looks so very delicious, it is just calling out to be eaten up.

And it is Lenten food!

Am enjoying your writing and recipes.

Michelle in WEllington, NZ


“is either a fraud or handicapped in the ways of a simple Google search..” here! here! Very well said Peter. I’m sure you will be enjoying the “Big Week”, with these lovely foods.


why is olive oil not allowed? i didn’t know that.

this looks yummy. the shrimp are so vibrant and colorful… and hot sauce makes anything taste superb :)



I am doing some research on offbeat Greek food – something out of the ordinary and rooted in local culture and is popular in one of the local villages. I am especially interested if it has a rich history and a very traditional procedure for acquiring/harvesting and/or cooking. Would really appreciate any input or pointers from you.


I love shrimp dishes just like this with the heads on, full of flavor that way.
Good luck with your greek lent.


This looks delicious! All this talk of mastic on the blogoworld, and I have never used it myself. I feel so unworthy. lol.


I wonder about this: If you invent something, like a recipe combination, with no prior knowledge that it existed before, did you really invent it?

Does the credit just go to the first one with the idea, or everyone who individually invented the dish? Google is making it difficult to get recognition for an original idea that indeed sprung from your own mind, no?

Great looking shrimp Peter. Original or not.


This looks absolutely fab, I tried to not read too much bc this week Im not eating ANY animal origin products before Easter… so I didnt want to start drooling too much over these shrimps of yours!! Btw, I did not know that olive oil normally is not allowed the week before Easter. We just abstain from any animal origin food.


You know Peter, you could have posted A FEW MORE pictures of garides proi proi!!!!
Super! I guess you will not stop until the bottle is empty! Ha!


I have to say, you are really stepping up your game with your photos! This looks amazing.

Also, happy Easter! Do Orthodox Christians have the same Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, rituals too? Do you know why your celebration is a week off of other Christians?


I’m popping over a little bit late, Peter — but those shrimp still look positively drool-worthy.

Those photos… gosh, I could swim in that liquor :)