Serves people

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Barbecue Shrimp


  • 3 lbs. fresh Gulf shrimp with heads on, 16-20 count to the pound
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 Tbs. black pepper (or more!)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 loaf French bread


Rinse the shrimp and shake the excess water from them. Put them in a large skillet (or two) over medium heat, and pour the lemon juice, wine, Worcestershire, and garlic over it. Bring the liquids in the pan to a light boil and cook, turning the shrimp over with a spoon every two minutes or so, until all the brown-gray color in the shrimp is gone. Don't overcook! At the first moment when you think the shrimp might be done, they will be: lower the heat to the minimum.

Cover the shrimp with a thin but complete layer of black pepper. You must be bold with this. When you think you have enough pepper in there, you still need a little more. Add the paprika and salt.

Cut the butter into tablespoon-size pieces and distribute over the shrimp. With a big spoon, turn the shrimp over. Agitate the pan as the butter melts over the shrimp and emulsifies into the liquid at the bottom of the pan. When no more solid butter is visible. Remove the pan from the burner.

Serve the shrimp with lots of the sauce in bowls. Serve with hot French bread for dipping. Also plenty of napkins and perhaps bibs.


by El El
I made the mistake of buying jumbo shrimp (9-12 to the pound) and was disappointed in the final product. The shrimp were so big that they picked up none of the flavoring from the sauce. Won't do that again.

by Tom Fitzmorris
This sounds like a case of frozen shrimp, or shrimp that were too large for the dish. I get 16-20 count shrimp for this dish. Larger than that don't pick up the sauce, as you noted. Tastefully yours, Tom Fitzmorris

by Danny Danny
I tried this recipe out a couple of weeks ago and the sauce was delicious, but the shrimp themselves seemed a little bland. Do you let the shrimp soak in the sauce a while before serving? I even peeled the shrimp and poured some sauce on them, but the flavor never seemed to "soak in" the shrimp. I ate half a loaf of French bread myself though dipping it in the sauce.

by Tom Fitzmorris
We never seem to have any left over, so I haven't encountered this problem. But my guess is that you are right. Pour off the sauce and bag the shrimp for the refrigerator. Steam them back to warm and add the sauce back in. Or make less to begin with. Tastefully yours, Tom Fitzmorris

by Tom Fitzmorris
You will note that in the instructions I say to put in the dripping wet shrimp from the sink into the pan. A lot of liquid comes from that. It also makes a difference how big the pan is. Those are the measurements that work for me. . . if you've found better, then enjoy! Tastefully yours, Tom Fitzmorris

by Jim LeSaicherre
Your BBQ shrimp recipe call for 2-3 lbs heads on large shrimp in a pan with 1 Tbs. lemon juice, 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 cup dry white wine ,2 cloves garlic, chopped. I've tried this and this is not enough liquid to fill the bottom of the pan much less "boil". This barely keeps the shrimp from burning on the pan. Why such a small amount? I've doubled these quantities and everything turned out great!

by Joe Joe
I recently made barbequed shrimp. Pretty close to your recipe. I had some left over. So the next day I warmed it. Most of the re-heated shrimp were mealy. I believe having them soaking in the liquid overnight caused the problem. What is the proper way to handle left over BBQ shrimp?

by Ann Duey
Thanks Tom... My favorite version of peeled bbq shrimp is Drago's crescent city shrimp, one of my favorite dishes of all time. I had a guest in from Denver he didn't order BBQ shrimp but I did and both times was disappointed, the dishes tasted good but wasn't what I wanted at the time. Thanks for the advice.....

by Tom Fitzmorris
I am a big believer in asking many questions when ordering in a restaurant. It's part of the dining strategy I call "defensive dining." Barbecue shrimp is, as you say, a unique dish whose name, unfortunately, is misleading. There's no barbecue aspect to it at all. This leaves a wide door open for interpretations. I want to know: Are they heads-on shrimp? What color is the sauce? Do they make it to order? Any tomato in it (let's hope not)? And there are other issues, which vary from eater to eater. If you know what's coming, it's easier to avoid disappointment. Tastefully yours, Tom Fitzmorris

by Ann Duey
Tom, I have found that the term BBQ Shrimp has become as generic a term as Martini. When I order BBQ Shrimp I have a specific dish in mind, the last two places I ordered it (College Inn and Ignatius) were NOT BBQ Shrimp just peeled shrimp in a chef prepared sauce. , it's very frustrating to have a taste for BBQ Shrimp and get something completely different. Crazy Johnnie's had BBQ Shrimp, that's what I expect when I order it, can you please add this to your crusade along with noise, ceiling fans, and table cloths. Thanks! (Do you agree?)

by Tom Fitzmorris
It's just a garnish I had that day. Recipes (other than for baking) admit of less than mathematical rigor. You may add or subtract! Tastefully yours, Tom Fitzmorris

by Rusty Bothe
Why does the photo appear to have rosemary in the sauce, yet it is not mentioned in the recipe? Is this a photo of another BBQ shrimp recipe or was the rosemary left out of the recipe by mistake?