This recipe for poached shrimp with spicy stew is absolutely going into my regular rotation! Buttery, tender shrimp are paired with a thick, spicy stew and fluffy white rice. It’s divine.
Poaching is one of my favorite methods for shrimp but before I get into that, let me tell you where this recipe evolved from.
I made a soup the other night with the intention of sharing the recipe. It was simple but absolutely delicious. The base was very similar to the stew for this recipe: mirepoix, crushed red pepper, butter, tomato paste, and homemade shrimp stock. I added shrimp and escarole and loved the way the soup tasted. Unfortunately, it just didn’t photograph well. The shrimp were quite small and I’ve found that I really don’t like to cook shrimp right in a tomato broth because they always turn orange. Taste-wise, it’s delicious but for photography, it never looks quite right.
Because I loved the concept so much, I decided to tweak the idea and landed on this poached shrimp with spicy stew. It’s very similar but with a few changes. The stew is cooked down until very thick. It’s served over rice. The shrimp are not cooked in the stew, but instead are poached in lemon water and then coated in butter.
How to make this recipe:
The only downside to this recipe? You need three pots, which is like two too many for more. BUT, the final product is worth it, I swear.
- First, start with the stew. Simply sauté diced onion, celery, and carrots until softened. Add some finely chopped or puréed roasted red bell peppers. You can also add a little matbucha if you like. It’s a fiery tomato condiment.
- Next, add butter, tomato paste, and crushed red pepper.
- Pour in water or chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and hard simmer for 25–35 minutes or until thickened and reduced.
While the stew simmers, cook the rice and keep it warm. Lastly, prepare the poached shrimp. Start with a pot of salted water and squeeze all the juice from a lemon into it. Bring to a boil and add the lemon halves and then immediately turn off the heat. Add the shrimp, cover, and let stand off the heat for 5 minutes. The residual heat from the boiling water will gently poach the shrimp.
Finish the shrimp by using tongs to remove them and adding them to melted butter that has been seasoned with parsley and garlic powder.
Serve it up by spooning the rice between bowls and ladling the stew on top. Pile those beautiful buttery shrimp on top and that’s it! If you like a little sweet heat finish, you can drizzle with a nip of your favorite hot honey.
Looking for more shrimp recipes? Check my archives!
Poached Shrimp with Spicy Stew
- Large pot
- Small saucepan for the rice
- Large saucepan or large pot for the shrimp
- Food processor optional, for the roasted red peppers
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
- 4 ribs celery with leaves trimmed and diced
- 4 carrots peeled and diced
- 5 ounces roasted red peppers drained and minced or puréed
- 2 tablespoons matbucha optional
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper more or less to taste
- 5 cups water or homemade shrimp stock
- 1 pound shrimp peeled, tails on or removed depending on your preference
- 1 lemon
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon dry parsley or 1/4 cup freshly minced parsley
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder or 4 cloves minced fresh garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups cooked white rice warm
- A drizzle of hot honey for garnish, optional
Prepare the stew:
- Heat 1 tablespoon neutral oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook, stirring regularly, for 7–8 minutes until just beginning to sweat and soften. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Add the roasted red bell peppers and matbucha if using, and toss to coat.
- Melt the butter into the vegetables. Once bubbly and melted, add the tomato paste and crushed red pepper. Stir to coat the vegetables in the paste and cook for 2 minutes.
- Pour in the water or stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and hard simmer for 25–30 minutes. Stir occasionally and add more liquid as needed or reduce the heat if the stew reduces too quickly—taste and season with salt and pepper. The stew should be thick, not soupy, so be careful not to add too much water.
Cook the rice:
- While the stew simmers, prepare the rice according to package instructions. For 3 cups of cooked rice, you’ll need 1 cup of dry white rice. Set aside and keep warm.
Poach the shrimp:
- Bring a large saucepan of generously salted water to a boil. Once boiling, cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice from both halves into the pot. Add the lemon halves to the pot and turn off the heat. Immediately add the shrimp, cover, and let stand off the heat for 5 minutes. The residual heat from the boiling water will gently poach the shrimp. Next, remove the lid and check the shrimp for doneness. Cover and let stand in hot water for an additional minute or two if they aren’t fully opaque.
Finish the shrimp:
- Melt the butter into a bowl. Add the parsley and garlic powder. Using tongs, pick the poached shrimp from the pot and add them to the bowl of melted butter. Toss to coat. Taste and season with salt, if needed.
- Divide the cooked rice between shallow bowls and ladle the hot stew around the rice. Pile the poached shrimp on top. Finish with a drizzle of hot honey, if you like. Enjoy!