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Shrimp Scampi

The ultimate shrimp scampi cooked to perfection in a garlicky, buttery white wine sauce. The game-changing element of this dish is a part of the shrimp typically thrown away although it’s packed with flavor: shrimp shells. To enhance the shrimp’s presence in this dish, the browned shrimp shells are simmered in some white wine to build the base for the sauce.

Shrimp Scampi

Recipe by Anna BembryCourse: Fish & SeafoodCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time



The ultimate shrimp scampi cooked to perfection in a garlicky, buttery white wine sauce.


  • 3 tablespoons salt

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 quart / 950 ml of cold water

  • 1 1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp (16 – 20 per pound), peeled, deveined, and tails removed, shells reserved

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup / 250 ml dry white wine

  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 57 g or 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


  • Dissolve salt and sugar in the cold water in large container. Submerge shrimp in brine, cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Remove shrimp from brine and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add reserved shrimp shells and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to turn spotty brown and skillet starts to brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully add wine and thyme sprigs. When bubbling subsides, return skillet to medium heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Strain mixture through colander set over a large bowl. Discard shells and reserve liquid (you should have about 2/3 cup). Wipe skillet clean with paper towels.
  • Combine lemon juice and cornstarch in a small bowl. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, pepper flakes, and pepper in the now empty skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic is fragrant and just beginning to brown at the edges, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add reserved wine mixture, increase heat to high, and bring to simmer. Reduce the heat to medium, add shrimp, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are just opaque, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using a slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to a bowl or deep plate.
  • Return skillet to medium heat, add lemon juice-cornstarch mixture, and cook until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, whisk in butter and parsley until combined. Return shrimp with all accumulated juices to skillet and toss to combine. Serve, passing lemon wedges separately. Add a baguette, a green salad or both to make this delicious shrimp a satisfying meal.

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