Tama's Killer Shrimp

Finger-lickin' good--enjoy a big bowl of juicy, spicy, buttery, garlicky shrimp with chewy bread to mop up the sauce.

Servings: 4-6

Cook Time: 1 1/2 hour

Pair With: A bright, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc.

Source: Courtesy Tama Takahashi, Touring & Tasting Food Editor


2 tablespoons rosemary

2 teaspoons thyme

1/2 teaspoon fennel seed

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon chile pepper flakes

1 stick butter

3 tablespoons minced garlic

2 stalks celery, minced fine

1 quart chicken broth

8 ounces clam juice

1 6 oz. can tomato paste

1/2 cup good white wine

2 pounds cleaned shrimp, with shell

1 loaf crusty French bread

salt to taste


Cooking the shrimp with heads on adds flavor, but is not necessary. Do not use peeled shrimp because the shells add flavor to make this dish truly delicious. Make sure the shrimp are cleaned by slitting down the back with a sharp knife and removing the digestive "vein".

Crush the rosemary, thyme, fennel, black pepper and chile flakes together in a mortar and pestle or herb grinder. Melt the butter over low heat in a heavy saucepan and add the garlic, celery, and herbs and cook for a few minutes. Add the broth, clam juice, tomato paste and wine and mix well. Bring just to a boil. Turn down the heat immediately to low and simmer for an hour until the broth is reduced by at least 1/3.

Taste the broth and add salt only needed, then add the shrimp. Cook until shrimp are just cooked, turning them over as they cook. They are done when they have turned pink (about two minutes). Don't overcook or they will be tough.

Serve with French bread to sop up the tasty broth. Serves four big eaters or six moderate eaters.


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Chef's Notes:

The addition of salt to this recipe will depend on the saltiness of the clam juice and chicken stock used. If both are pre-salted, additional salt will probably not be necessary. Since it's easier to add salt than remove it from a dish, I recommend using low-sodium chicken stock and adding salt at the end if needed.