Shrimp Creole

  • Yield 12-15 servings

Traditionally a roux-and-tomato-based dish, Shrimp Creole in this new version has Vietnamese influences; it’s spicy and sweet, full of herbs and flavor.

Ditte Isager


5 pounds jumbo Louisiana or wild American shrimp, peeled and deveined
-- salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh lemongrass
1/2 cup olive oil
3 medium onions, diced
10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 -- bell pepper, red, green, or yellow, seeded and diced
5 pounds overripe Brandywine or other heirloom tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 -- bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
-- leaves from 2 branches fresh basil, chopped
-- leaves from 1 sprig fresh mint, chopped
-- sugar
-- 6-8 cups cooked white rice


  1. Put the shrimp into a large bowl, season with salt and pepper, then mix in the lemongrass. Heat ¼ cup of the oil in a large deep skillet over moderate heat. Add the shrimp, stirring and tossing them with a spatula. Sauté until they turn pink, about 2 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside while you make the sauce.

  2. Into the same skillet with the oil and shrimp juices, put the remaining ¼ cup oil and the onions, garlic, celery, and bell peppers and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and when the sauce comes to a simmer add the bay leaf, allspice, and red pepper flakes. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp back to the skillet along with the basil and mint. Cook for a minute or two. Season with salt and pepper. If the sauce tastes too tart, add a little sugar to balance the flavor. Remove the bay leaf. Serve over steamed Louisiana white rice.

Reprinted with permission from My New Orleans by John Besh, Andrews McMeel Publishing



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 173 other followers