Pan-Barbecued Shrimp

Total time: 12 minutes; active time: 10 minutes

SHRIMP, THE MOST popular of all shellfish, can be purchased fresh or frozen, raw or cooked, peeled or unpeeled. But hands down, the taste of fresh shrimp cooked in their own shells just can’t be beat–there’s a lot of flavor packed within those peels. Served in a simple tangy sauce, they make a delicious dinner in about 10 minutes.

I’m someone who enjoys the slightly messy task of peeling at the table. It saves prep time, and the meat just seems a bit fresher. You can’t help but enjoy your food more after you’ve worked so hard for just one little bite. Simply cover your table with newspapers, and use lots of paper towels for napkins.

If someone in the family is squeamish, or if you’re entertaining, you can always peel the shrimp before cooking. It takes away some of the fun and increases your prep time, but it is a little more elegant.

Deveining (removing the digestive tract that runs along the dorsal side of the shrimp) isn’t necessary when you’re cooking small or medium shrimp, and it’s especially unnecessary for shell-on shrimp. As long as you don’t overcook the meat, it will be delicious. Raw shrimp usually cook in two or three minutes, depending on their size. As soon as they turn pink, they are done.

To complete the meal, toss a green salad and serve with crusty French rolls to soak up the delicious pan juices.

– Judy Feagin

Pan-Barbecued Shrimp


3/4 cup butter, melted
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions, sliced
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper*
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 lemons, cut into wedges
2 pounds unpeeled medium fresh shrimp
Garnish: fresh lemon wedges, sliced green onion


Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in garlic, green onions, and dried crushed red pepper; saute 1 minute, or until onion is tender. Add Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, lemon wedges, and shrimp. Cook, stirring constantly, over high heat. When mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat and cook 2 minutes, or just until shrimp turn evenly pink. Garnish with lemon and green onion, if desired.

*If you don’t want the spiciness of the dried crushed red pepper, you can substitute 1-½ teaspoons Italian seasoning and ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper.

Shrimp Storage
  • Store fresh shrimp in a heavy-duty plastic bag on a bed of ice in the refrigerator, and cook within a day or two of purchase. You can store cooked shrimp two to three days in the refrigerator.
  • To freeze raw shrimp, place in a plastic container and cover with water. Frozen at a temperature of 0 degrees F or below, the shrimp will maintain a fresh quality for approximately six months.
  • Never thaw shrimp at room temperature. Thaw a one-pound package in the refrigerator for 18 to 24 hours, or place under cold running water.
  • Once shrimp have been defrosted, they should not be refrozen.
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    4 servings

    Preparation Method

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