Jubilee’s Louisiana Barbecued Shrimp

Louisiana Barbecued Shrimp
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Credit: Jerrelle Guy

You won’t find any barbecue sauce in model/chef/restaurateur B. Smith’s dish of shrimp in spiced butter sauce: “Barbecue shrimp” is just the name Louisiana Creole cooks assigned to shrimp braised in wine, beer, or garlic-butter sauce.

I like to make this dish spicy, in a cast-iron skillet, and serve it in shallow bowls with hunks of crisp French bread to soak up the sauce. It’s classic NOLA. Shaking the pan back and forth during cooking time is a trick that helps give the sauce more body than stirring.

A Note About the Fish Stock: Boiled fish heads, bones, or shrimp shells (or a combination) are the basis of this rich cooking stock, but do not use the heads of fatty fish that have strong tastes of their own, like salmon.

Toni Tipton-Martin’s Jubilee is Kitchn’s February pick for our Cookbook Club. See how you can participate here.

Louisiana Barbecued Shrimp

Serves 2 to 4

Nutritional Info


For the shrimp:

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    cayenne pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon


  • 1/4 teaspoon

    crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    dried thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon


  • 2

    bay leaves, crushed

  • 4 tablespoons

    butter (1/2 stick)

  • 2

    garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/4 cup

    white wine

  • 1/2 cup

    fish stock (see below)

  • 2 tablespoons

    fresh lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons

    Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 pound

    shell-on shrimp

  • 2 tablespoons

    minced fresh parsley

  • Hot crusty French bread, for serving

For the fish stock (makes about 3 1/2 quarts):

  • 5 pounds

    fish heads, bones, and/or shrimp shells

  • 2 cups

    large chunks celery, including leaves

  • 2

    medium onions, peeled and quartered

  • 2

    bay leaves

  • 1 sprig


  • 1/4 teaspoon

    whole black peppercorns


Make the fish stock:

  1. In a large heavy saucepan, combine 4 quarts water, the bones, celery, and onions. Add the bay leaves, parsley, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over medium- low heat (it will take a while, but gentle heat is what keeps this stock clear and fresh tasting), then reduce the heat to low and gently simmer, uncovered, 1 to 2 hours, skimming off any foam that rises to the top of the pot. The broth develops stronger flavor the longer you let it simmer. Strain the broth through a colander to remove the bones and vegetables. Then strain it again through a fine mesh sieve and discard any solids. Refrigerate the broth until fat floats to the top. Use a slotted spoon to skim fat and discard. Store tightly covered for up to 3 days in the refrigerator, or freeze.

Make the shrimp:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the cayenne, black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, thyme, oregano, paprika, and bay leaves.

  2. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the butter over medium-high until melted and sizzling. Add the garlic, seasoning mixture, wine, fish stock, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens enough to lightly coat a spoon, about 5 to 7 minutes; shake the pan as it cooks to help bring the sauce together.

  3. Add the shrimp, reduce the heat to low, and cook, turning once, until the shrimp turn pink and firm, 3 to 5 minutes.

  4. Sprinkle the shrimp with the parsley and serve immediately with hot French bread.

Recipe Notes

Reprinted with permission from Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking by Toni Tipton-Martin, copyright © 2019, Clarkson Potter, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc.