The Completely Wrong Way to Cook Shrimp. Deliciously.

No politics today. Giliell¹ got me drooling so I cooked myself really generous lunch today and now, two hours later, I am still barely able to move. And because I did not follow any recipe anywhere and was more “freestyling” I have decided to make pictures just in case. And write-up the recipe and share it, because it turned out very tasty.

The Ingredients. ©Charly, all rights reserved

The ingredients are, as you see, one very big tomato, one lime, two cloves of garlic, about one half of a leek and a very, very small pattypan. The lime and the leek are store-bought, the rest is the courtesy of our garden. Not shown here is rice, because rice is rice and there is nothing interesting about it.

However with rice I started, because I like natural rice and that takes half an hour to cook. So first thing I have done was to start cooking rice, start the timer for half an hour and then proceed to make the next step.

Shrimp Bath. ©Charly, all rights reserved

Next step was prepare the water for cooking shrimp, because those need a bit of time to cook too. For this I have used the lime and I squeezed all the juice out of it into about half a liter of water. I added white pepper, shredded caraway, about a tea-spoon of salt and splashed in some olive oil with garlic essence (If I did not have olive oil with garlic essence, I would have thrown in third clover of garlic). I have set the water to boil and proceeded to cut or otherwise preparing other ingredients.

Preparing the shrimp was easy. Take the bag out of the freezer, take out one serving of shrimp, give shrimp into a mug, give the bag with the rest of the shrimp into the freezer.

Chopped up veggies . ©Charly, all rights reserved

Rest of the ingredients had to be chopped. Well, except the peas. The pattypan into about 20×20 mm bits 5 mm thick, the leek into rings and the garlic into tiny bits, but not too tiny. And the tomatoes into thin crescents, although ring would work just fine too.

I cut all the green stuff out of the tomato and toss it away. It has unpleasant taste and contains unhealthy toxin, so it hardly counts as wasting food.

The pattypan was rather harder than I thought it would be, To cut it and peel of the 1 mm waxy skin I had to use a small knife, because the big one was not a safe option for that task.

At this stage the water for shrimp started to boil, so in they went, still frozen. I had to ramp up the power afterwards for a bit so it starts to boil again quickly, and once it did I have put a lid on it and let it slowly boil for about 15-20 minutes.


Leek Rings. ©Charly, all rights reserved

Frying pattypan. ©Charly, all rights reserved

I put a generous amount of sunflower oil into a frying pan, heated it up to 150°C and fried slightly the leek rings. When they just about started to turn transparent, I have thrown in the pattypan bits and also fried them to the point when they surface started to turn transparent and darkened. As I said, I was freestyling, but I had a reason to do it this way – the darkening signifies the breaking of cell walls and it is the point where the veggies start eventually lose water and suck in the fat. And I did not want too much of that.

Simmering Veggies. ©Charly, all rights reserved

When I judged the leek and pattypan to be at the right stage, I tossed in the tomato with a pinch of salt and the green peas and with occasional stirring gently simmered it under cover for about ten minutes.  The tomato was very juicy, but still I had to add a bit of water twice, because I have kept the temperature relatively high.

Tomatoes actually lose a lot of taste to fat, but this was exactly the reason why I used generous amount of oil at the beginning. Because I have done similar thing before, with different vegetable mixes, but the cooked shrimp were always relatively bland and without much taste – they were not bad, exactly, but they were not delicious either.

Frying Shrimp. ©Charly, all rights reserved

Therefore this time I had another plan for the shrimp than just to cook them. When the veggies were cooked I put them into saucer and I poured as much of the sauce and oil back into the frying pan as I could manage. And after that I have thrown in the shrimp with the finely chopped up garlic and ramped up the powah.

The shrimp simmered with the garlic for a bit in the sauce, and when the water evaporated and only mostly oil remained, they started to fry as well. I was frying them for just a few minutes, until they changed colour from opaque white-pink into just-barely transparent gold-brown, but not as long as to burn the garlic which would have turned bitter. When I considered them finished I took them out of the oil and onto the veggies and rice in the saucer they went.

And here it is. It turned out also to be ever so slightly more than one serving, so if you decide to reproduce my recipe, take that into account when scaling for more people. However I cannot guarantee you will enjoy it as much as I did. This time, the shrimp were juicy and their unique taste was finally brought out with just a touch of garlic and not completely outcompeted by the vegetables.

A very generous serving. ©Charly, all rights reserved

1 –  Not blaming, quite the opposite.


  1. rq says

    Oooooh yum! I’m glad I already had dinner!
    Also cooking things the ‘wrong’ way is the best. Taking pictures of the process? Genius.

  2. Raucous Indignation says

    And I’m hungry. My Delightful and Lovely Partner made a most acceptable clam risotto this weekend.

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