Shrimp scampi makes one of the easiest and quickest meals ever, meaning the recipe is so straightforward that even an amateur cook could make it with ease. It takes just a few minutes to prepare but will make you feel like you’re eating out at an Italian restaurant.
Now get all the ingredients ready, put on your apron — it’s time to make this to-die-for shrimp scampi!
What is Shrimp Scampi?
The term “scampi” means a type of edible lobster found in the North-Eastern Atlantic Ocean, from Norway to Portugal, as well as in the Mediterranean Sea. The lobster also goes by the name of “Norway lobster” or “Dublin Bay prawn”.
In bygone days, this type of lobster was favored by the Italians— a Mediterranean country, and since butter and wine are crucial parts of their cuisine, “scampi” was born. It’s a remarkable dish made by cooking the lobster with butter, white wine, and aromatic garlic.
Unfortunately, when the Italians first moved to America, they realized that their favorite “Norway lobster” was hard to find. As a solution, they tried to cook regular prawns in the same way, and the result was just as satisfying. Thus, the name of the dish changed to “shrimp scampi”, strange, but logically understandable.
Now, “shrimp scampi” isn’t famous for the scampi itself, but is widely known as regular prawns cooked and coated in a rich, delicate sauce of garlic, butter, and white wine.
Can You Make Shrimp Scampi Without Wine?
Seafood, in general, is preferably cooked with white wine. The alcoholic beverage not only eliminates the strong odor of seafood, but it also adds an exceptional flavor to the scampi sauce.
If you want to make a child-friendly version of shrimp scampi, or if you simply don’t have white wine, using chicken stock instead is also a great option. Although not as fragrant as white wine, chicken stock can add depth of flavor to your shrimps.
Some recipes we found call for apple cider vinegar as a substitute for white wine. Technically, vinegar can also remove the shrimps’ nasty smell. It also adds a mildly sweet aroma. We decided to keep things traditional because we actually prefer white wine or chicken stock.
Thickening the Scampi Sauce
Most shrimp scampi recipes don’t call for a thickening agent. This is because white wine evaporates pretty quickly, and usually, what’s left is thick enough to coat the shrimps.
However, if you’re using chicken stock, the shrimps can get kind of watery. To fix this, you could try using corn starch. Mix one tablespoon of cold water and one teaspoon of cornstarch, then dump it into your cooked shrimps. Stir it for a bit on low heat, and the buttery sauce will thicken.
There’s also another option, but only if you’re cooking pasta. Save some of the pasta water, and put one teaspoon of it into your shrimps. It’ll have a similar effect to the cornstarch.
What to Serve with Shrimp Scampi
Spaghetti is the most common partner for shrimp scampi. The thickened scampi sauce adheres to the noodle strands, evenly distributing the flavor throughout the dish. You can also use other kinds of pasta with a similar shape. Spaghettini also soaks up the flavor well.
On the side, we’re thinking of a simple salad and an easy drink to add more calories to your meal. It also, makes it more wholesome with plenty of interesting flavor:
|Recipes||Course||Calories (kcal)||Saturated Fat (g)||Sodium (mg)|
|Shrimp Scampi||Main Course||440||5||566|
|Greek Salad||Side Dish||176||3||279|
Shrimp Scampi Recipe
- 1 lb raw shrimp 6.7 oz deshelled shrimp
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp garlic half minced, half sliced
- 1/2 tsp salt divided
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper divided
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz linguine pasta uncooked
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tbsp lemon peel grated
- 1/2 tbsp parsley minced
- 4 tbsp parmesan grated
- Boil the pasta, following the instruction on the package. Ours says 10 minutes.
- While it’s cooking, deshell the shrimps and butterfly them if you're using fresh shrimps. If you use deshelled shrimps, marinate the shrimps with minced garlic, 1/4 tsp kosher salt and 1/8 tsp ground black pepper (half the kosher salt and black pepper mixture) for 10 minutes.
- Preheat the pan on medium heat. Add butter and when it’s melted, sear the shrimp, 3 minutes on the first side. Flip the shrimps and add wine. Cook for another 3 minutes and take the shrimps out with a tong.
- Don’t clean the pan! Add oil, sliced garlic and fry on low heat for 2 minutes (or until the garlic is slightly golden).
- Add pasta, the rest of the salt and pepper, give it a mix.
- Add shrimps, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, lemon peel, parsley, parmesan and mix. Turn off the stove.