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Barbecue Shrimp

Adapted from a post card I picked up while in New Orleans once
2 generous servings
Prep info
20 min prep + 3 hours marinade + 15 min bake + 30 min prep + 10 min bake
Prep time
Not set
Cook time
4 hours, 15 minutes
Time required
4 hours, 15 minutes
Oven preheat
Mains - Misc
new orleans


  • 1 lb large uncooked shrimp (headless, peeled, & deveined weight)
  • 113 g butter
  • 1.5 fl oz olive oil
  • 1 T dried bay leaves (crumbled)
  • 1.5 T fresh lemon juice
  • 2 t Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 t minced garlic
  • 1 t minced fresh parsley
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 t hot pepper sauce
  • 1 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 T sweet chilli sauce
  • 1/2 thinly sliced lemon
  • crusty bread (for serving, optional)


Spread out the shrimp in a shallow baking pan.  Combine all remaining ingredients except the bread in a saucepan and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.  Pour this mixture over the shrimp and mix thoroughly.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.


Place the shrimp in a 300F preheated oven and bake the shrimp until just done, about 15 minutes.  Serve piping hot, with plenty of sauce to be soaked up by the bread.


From the postcard: "The origins of the name of this dish seem to be a complete mystery.  Say "barbecue shrimp" in New Orleans, however, and everyone not only knows exactly what you mean, but will shamelessly use every trick in the book to invite themselves over for dinner.

"This is a messy, sloppy, drippy dish, meant to be eaten with the fingers.  Just dig in, peel shrimp, and pop into your eager mouth.  Serve with chunks of French bread to soak up the delicious sauce, and keep tons of paper towels handy.  Most restaurants will supply you with a paper bib to protect clothing - this is a very good idea.

"Heaven on earth!"


SJ Notes 25 August 2009: This was most excellent, even without having the time to marinade the shrimp.  Not really all that spicy, just flavorful.  Need to make sure to get the whole shrimp next time.


SJ Note 10 Aug 2010: This was good, but peeling the shrimp at the table made the shrimp go cold, so I've altered the recipe to avoid that in the future.  With the whole shrimp, I found I needed more sauce, so I've increased the measures listed here.  If you use headless shrimp, make half this sauce.  It looks decadent with the butter and oil, but you don't eat the vast majority of that, so don't let that put you off.  It's really, really flavorful.


SJ Note 28 Feb 2012: This could rightly be called spicy shrimp scampi (US definition of shrimp scampi).  Anyhow, we used peeled & deveined shrimp this time for this dish, it was plenty flavorful enough, so I've altered the recipe (again!) to reflect that.  If you want to use whole shrimp, I'd suggest you: marinade them whole, cook them part of the way while whole, then peel & devein, finish cooking, and serve.  If you don't, this makes a really quick and easy weeknight meal.


SJ Note May 2014: Not as good as I remember it being. Have downgraded it.  Might be the lack of head-on shrimp, as originally called for, but head-on is hard to find and a pain to deal with.