The Easy, Flavorful Way To Temper Spice On Your Jalapeño Shrimp

Jalapeño shrimp is quick, easy, and full of flavor. But while jalapeños rank on the lower end of peppers in terms of spice, they can still pack a punch, and may not be easy to consume for kids or those sensitive to heat, especially if the seeds aren't removed. These peppers aren't as tear-inducing as habaneros, but they're still spicier than pepperoncini and poblanos, with a Scoville rating of anywhere from 2,500 to 8,000 heat units.

So, if you or your family members are squeamish when it comes to heat, how can you enjoy the delicious flavors of jalapeño shrimp without lighting your tongue on fire? The simplest way is to add an element of dairy. While most overly spicy foods have us reaching for a glass of milk, that wouldn't go so well poured on top of our meal in this case — but what will work flavor-wise is a little added yogurt. The creaminess and tanginess pairs well with the seafood, jalapeño, lime, and garlic flavors, and the protein in milk-based products (called casein) helps to clear away the spicy elements in our mouths.

Make a cooling yogurt sauce or dip

For best results taste-wise, you're going to want to choose a plain yogurt without any fruit preserves or other ingredients at the bottom (cookie dough wouldn't exactly pair well with jalapeño shrimp, for example). Also, to get the full effects of the mouth-soothing casein, you'll need to pick a dairy-based yogurt that is made from cow's milk. Try to go for a whole milk option, since the added fat will help dissolve capsaicin, which is what makes your mouth burn from spice. Greek yogurt and Icelandic skyr will work, although you may want to thin them out with a little water or milk. If you don't eat dairy, vegan yogurts made from almond, cashew, and coconut milk may be able to help flavor-wise, although not quite as much when it comes to cooling your mouth.

It's easy to incorporate yogurt as a delicious additional ingredient in your jalapeño shrimp dish. You can make a sauce out of it, which involves combining it with a little water before drizzling it over your seafood or serving it on the side for dipping. To spruce up your sauce, add ingredients like lime juice, lime zest, chopped cilantro, garlic, agave, salt, or pepper. It will also make the perfect topping for tacos, nachos, and quesadillas involving jalapeño shrimp. Plus, you'll actually be able to enjoy your food instead of just burning your tongue.