Orange Peel and Citrus Shrimp with Tarragon

Crossfit Northeast Regionals was an exciting event to watch! All these strong athletes with amazing endurance are just inspiring. WoD of 100 wall balls, 100 chest to bar pullups, 100 pistols, 100 dumb bell snatches…my goodness! And that’s just one of the many events. This particular event was a nail biter for the women. Athletes neck to neck on the final set of snatches each digging deep to finish those last reps. Watching the winner race to stamp her feet on the finish platform, then collapse in a moment of relief and accomplishment was just amazing! Here I am crying when I have to do anything greater than 10 wall balls!

I have an idea of how intense their training can be but I wonder what they eat. Oh what am I thinking! They’re Crossfit athletes….they eat a lot of good quality food! I was a bit amused at the food vendors at the event. Tons of grilled meats, massive turkey legs, extra cost for a bun, almond flour dark chocolate brownies. Bacon immediately runs out. Yea…a Crossfit event all right!

photo from Crossfit North East

Crossfit North East


As for me? You know I cheat with some delicious cake and occasionally eat rice. I’m recently attracted to the “Perfect Health Diet,” (PHD) which is similar to Paleo, but with white rice as a “safe starch.” So in addition to the known Paleo starches of sweet potatoes and squashes, white rice makes it on the PHD board for being a benign source of carbohydrates. (More here).


I run A LOT and Crossfit three times a week and am terribly drained on perfect Paleo. I’m happy eating rice and I’m stoked that there are some nutritionists out there rooting for white rice! But honestly, I would eat it anyway. Read about the good and the bad, and eat what you want. :o

And it’s nice to pair saucy meats with white rice! Particularly, shrimp with orange peel, citrus sauce, and tarragon! Yum! Tarragon has a bit of a licorice (HA) taste and marries well with shellfish and citrus. I’m not a huge fan of licorice, but I found tarragon in this dish very enjoyable.


I started by chopping some green onion, orange peel, and orange pulp. The orange peel, onion and some garlic are sautéed together under medium heat. The pulp is added to a citrus blend of orange, lemon, and lime juice.

I wanted a thick citrus sauce so I melted ghee with arrowroot starch to form a little bit of a roux. I prefer to make thick sauces this way than just adding starch. I think it gives a smoother textures. I let the ghee and starch get all pasty and add the citrus juice blend is very slowly while vigorously whisking under low heat.

When the juice and roux are happy together, coconut aminos are added for a little salty flavor. Alternatively, soy sauce may be used. The sauce is topped off with lemon zest and the sautéed orange peel, onion, and garlic and allowed to simmer under very low heat, with an occasional stir.


While the sauce is under low simmer, devined and butterfly-sliced shrimp is sautéed in ghee (or butter) in a separate pan. I prefer cooking shrimp outside the sauce simply for a better texture, especially with the sliced surface down tails up. They don’t take long to cook, just a few minutes.


Tarragon is very flavorful and loud and should be chopped and added at the final stage of the process. It also shouldn’t be finely chopped because it may oxidize before adding to the dish and give a bad taste. Simply tear the leaves from the stems and give it one slice, no more than two. Immediately toss them in with the shrimp and sauce, give one final stir and it’s ready to eat! Top off with a dash of sesame seeds for garnish and YUM!


Orange Peel and Citrus Shrimp with Tarragon
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 4
  • 2 Tablespoons of Arrowroot Starch
  • 2 Tablespoons of Ghee (or Butter)
  • 1 Tablespoons of Ghee (or Butter), or Cooking Fat
  • 1 lb of Extra Jumbo Shrimp
  • 1 Orange
  • ¾ cup Orange Juice
  • 2 Tablesppons Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
  • Lemon Zest
  • 2 Tablespoons Whole Tarragon Leaves
  • 3 Green Onion Stalks, Chopped
  • 2 teaspoon Chopped Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoon of Coconut Aminos (or Soy Sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon of Sesame seeds for Garnish (optional)
  1. Peel and devine the shrimp. Slice butterfly slits along the length.
  2. Peel the orange and slice about ½ worth of the orange of the peelings.
  3. Chop half of the orange insides for the pulp and squeeze the juice from the other half into a glass. Add the pulp, rest of the orange juice, lemon juice, and lime juice to the glass and aside.
  4. Sautée the orange peel, onion, for a few minutes just enough to get them seeping and set aside.
  5. Melt 2 Tablespoons of ghee under medium low heat in a separate saucepan.
  6. Add the Arrowroot starch and cook until the consistency is pasty.
  7. Set to low heat and very slowly add the citrus and pulp juice while vigorously whisking.
  8. Add the sautéed orange peel, garlic, and onion and keep under very low heat. Add the lemon zest and coconut aminos (or soy sauce). Occasional stirring may be needed.
  9. Melt about 1 Tablespoon of ghee/butter or cooking fat in a frying pan under medium high heat.
  10. Add the shrimp with tails up, butterfly side down and cook for about a minute.
  11. Toss the shrimp around to cook evenly, until pink and opaque. The total cooking time shouldn't be no more than 5 minutes.
  12. Tear the tarragon leaves in no more than three pieces. Add the tarragon and shrimp to the sauce and give a final toss.
  13. Enjoy!!

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