Cooking Wright

New Orleans–Style BBQ Shrimp


1 medium lemon
8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. chopped garlic
4 bay leaves
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 oz. kosher salt (1 Tbs. if using Diamond Crystal, 1/2 Tbs. if using Morton’s)
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
24 colossal shrimp (12 to 15 per lb.), unshelled, preferably domestic wild-caught and head-on (I just buy the frozen shell on from Costco)

Huge, juicy shrimp dripping with butter, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and spices, this dish is a Crescent City classic. Leave it to eccentric New Orleans; despite the name, there's no barbecue sauce or grill involved. Serve with lots of hot, crusty bread for mopping up the sauce, and plenty of bibs and napkins to keep everyone tidy as they peel and eat the shrimp with their hands. In New Orleans, head-on, shell-on shrimp are standard; see for an online source, or use headless, shell-on shrimp.


Cut the lemon in half crosswise, and juice it. Press each half flat on a cutting board, and then cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips.

Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the lemon juice and peel, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, paprika, cayenne, salt, ground pepper, and cracked pepper. Stir and simmer for about 5 minutes to blend the flavors, being careful not to let the garlic brown.

Add the shrimp and increase the heat to medium. Cook, turning with tongs, until all the shrimp are beginning to turn pink, 4 to 5 minutes.

Cover the skillet and remove it from the heat. Let sit for 15 minutes so that the shrimp can absorb the flavors and finish cooking, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 670; Fat (g): fat g 50; Fat Calories (kcal): 440; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 30; Protein (g): protein g 47; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 13; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 8; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 1270; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 465; Fiber (g): fiber g 2;

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