Shrimp Scampi

(Q) What’s the most delicious meal you can make in under 25 minutes? (A) And there is only one answer: Shrimp Scampi.

Chris Kimball’s recipe is here. Cook the shrimp on the stovetop for 2 minutes (no more), set aside, reduce the wine for 5 minutes, let the shrimp finish cooking in the sauce and you’re done. It all happens so fast that you had better have pre-chopped the parsley!

Problems:

  1. I always forget two things when making Shrimp Scampi. (a) Start heating the water for the pasta as soon as you start thawing the shrimp.  Really, it’s not too soon. (b) Even though fresh pasta is ready in less than 2 minutes, it still needs to the stirred.  I usually forget and the clumpy mess makes me wish that I had just used dried pasta. But when I remember (on nights such as tonight) it makes for a wonderful 5-star meal.
  2. Don’t overcook the Shrimp. It’s so easy to do. The first step only requires cooking the shrimp 3/4.  The final 1/4 will happen when you finalize the sauce.
  3. To concentrate the flavor, I double the wine (to 1/2 cup) and let it reduce in the pan for 5 minutes. (Something Chris Kimball doesn’t tell you about, and my only variation from the CI recipe.)

Rating: 5-star.
Cost: $7 for 3 to 4 servings. (1-lb shrimp)
How much work? Tiny.
How big of a mess?  Low.
Start time 6:00 PM. Dinner time 6:25 PM.

Best possible meal in 25 minutes.

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5 Responses to Shrimp Scampi

  1. Victor says:

    I’ve all but stopped eating shrimp after I read about “by-catch” (I think that’s the phrase they use). Shrimp are obviously pretty small, even jumbo shrimp, so to catch them you need nets with very small holes. Supposedly, for every pound of edible shrimp caught, about 10 pounds of other fish with no commercial value are caught, die in the process, and are thrown back in the sea. Is there such a thing as farmed shrimp? Are they contaminated or environmentally bad like some other aquaculture (farmed salmon)?

    • Hi Victor,

      Yes, I also heard the same statistics about wild-caught shrimp, but most shrimp in our local supermarkets is farm-raised. Look at the ingredients section on the back of the shrimp bag. I want it to read: “Ingredients: Farm-raised Shrimp”, (salt is okay too). Usually it reads “Ingredients: Farm-raised Shrimp, Sodium Tripolyphosphate (or whatever preservative)”. The more chemicals they add the worse the texture once thawed. More than one preservative and I never buy it.

      I am not sure about environmental concerns of aquaculture. But since I won’t eat wild-caught shrimp for the exact reasons you give, all that’s left is farm-raised shrimp. No matter what, it can’t be as bad as bacon, right?

      Mark

  2. Skip says:

    I’m always amused to read the hype about farmed seafood, shrimp and salmon etc, and see recipes that call for “wild shrimp” or “wild salmon” even when all the other ingredients are farm-raised … they never call for wild peppers or wild dill or wild potatoes or wild tomatoes or wild eggs or wild pork or wild anything except the seafood. They have been farming all of our food for hundreds of years and are still learning there are problems and agriculture is not a panacea, farming everything else pollutes the environment too

  3. Lyn Fisher says:

    I was trying to find your recipe (from ATK) for Shrimp Scampi. But everything I clicked on, led me back to his website where the recipe is blurred.

    • Yes, unfortunately since I posted the Shrimp Scampi post 1yr and 4 months ago, Chris Kimball has tightened his security to his websites restricting access to paid subscribers. The next time I make shrimp scampi I will post my own descriptions, which are pretty closely based upon Chris Kimball’s original recipe.

      Mark

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