Sunday Supper: The Simplest, Best Shrimp Dish Ever

[This week I wrote about shrimp in my column at Kitchen Daily–offering up tips for buying, prepping, and cooking this beloved crustacean. Lots of good info in that piece, but if you just want to make something fabulous tonight, this recipe is one of my faves. In fact, it’s the best take-to-a-party or stay-at-home shrimp dish I know of.]

The Simplest and Best Shrimp Dish

Makes: 4 servings

Time: About 30 minutes

Adapted from How to Cook Everything

Excuse the superlatives; this spin on a Spanish tapa is my favorite, and everyone I serve it to loves it. The shrimp juices infuse the oil, and the sum is beyond delicious. It’s good with bread, over rice, tossed with pasta, or stuffed into tacos.

Other seafood you can use: similar-sized scallops (or larger, though they’ll take longer to cook).

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, or more as needed

3 or 4 big cloves garlic, cut into slivers

About 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, 20 to 30 per pound, peeled, rinsed, and dried

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons hot paprika

Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

1. Warm the olive oil in a large, broad ovenproof skillet or flameproof baking pan over low heat. There should be enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan; don’t skimp. Add the garlic and cook until it turns golden, a few minutes.

2. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the shrimp, some salt and pepper, the cumin, and the paprika. Stir to blend and continue to cook, shaking the pan once or twice and turning the shrimp once or twice, until they are pink all over and the mixture is bubbly, 5 to 10 minutes. Garnish and serve immediately.

Posted in Recipes, Spanish


  1. operagirlcooks said...

    This does look truly delicious and simple. I will surely try it sometime.

  2. Anonymous said...

    I first tried this recipe a month ago. Since then, I’ve had it weekly. So simple, so quick, and ridiculously delicious!

  3. kathdedon said...

    I made the Shrimp Scampi variation of this recipe in How to Cook Everything. Best version I’ve ever made, and so simple!

  4. Barbara Russum said...

    sounds delish! but i wonder how much longer we will be able to afford shrimp or get any at all?

  5. jerseycook said...

    This really does sound fabulous. Do you think I can sub sweet paprika + a little cayenne?

  6. Anonymous said...

    Just made it Mark’s way, with minor adaptations: sweet smoked paprika and cayenne in place of hot paprika, tossed the finished shrimp with fusilli pasta, stirred in a squeeze of lemon juice and dusted with grana cheese. Right: Italians seldom mix cheese and seafood. This ain’t Italian.

  7. lagloriacubano said...

    FANTASTIC!!! Made it last night with smoked instead of hot, and some brown rice… after, i mixed the rice into the pan, and it soaked up all that flavored oil… (and you’re right, in our house, we NEVER mix seafood and cheese…)

  8. Nussy1664 said...

    Kind of a newbie to cooking, but this seems simple enough even I can’t screw it up. One question tho, is there a reason the skillet has to be "ovenproof"? It seems like its all being cooked over the stove top.

  9. lagloriacubano said...

    i made mine in a cast iron skillet…

  10. MeredithCooks said...

    I have to disagree. I think the simplest, best shrimp dish ever is New Orleans style BBQ shrimp.

  11. lagloriacubano said...

    well, if we're going to open this up to other suggestions… steamed shrimp, maryland style, with Old Bay… hands down!

  12. Nancy said...

    Im the kind of cook that hardly makes things twice. But this is a recipe I keep coming back to, over and over – easy and awesome!

  13. Vicki Kron said...

    i have loved this easy, delicious recipe and have made it for years, ever since the first edition of Mark Bittman, Food My Way. And, it’s diabetic-friendly!

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