5 Ingredients or Fewer

Speedy Shrimp With Horseradish Butter

June 16, 2021
9 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom. Prop Stylist: Andrea Foti Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog
Author Notes

A simple, scampi-inspired dinner that needs neither a lot of time, nor a lot of ingredients. The key is to swiftly simmer the shrimp—done right, these cook in less than 5 minutes—and to rely on extrovert ingredients for seasoning. Lemon juice and lemon zest deliver loads of sunny acidity. So much so that we’re also using water, not stock, to stretch the brightness, and to ensure that there’s enough sauce for bread-sopping. (On that note: A crusty baguette is my go-to here. But what about you? Hot spaghetti, fluffy couscous, or big beans would all work well.) Lots of butter adds richness, and dill, freshness, but prepared horseradish is the overachiever here. Try to find one with a minimalist ingredient list, and enough vibrancy that when you open the jar, you feel like you might sneeze. Adding horseradish at the start builds a savory foundation; adding it again at the end, a kicky zing. And if dill isn’t your thing, so be it. Feel free to swap in parsley, cilantro, or even chives. —Emma Laperruque

  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Serves 2
  • 2 lemons, preferably organic
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, plus more to taste
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound large to extra-large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 handful chopped dill
  • Crusty bread, hot pasta, or whatever starchy thing you want, for serving
In This Recipe
  1. Finely grate the zest of 1 lemon and set aside. Now juice both lemons into a liquid measuring cup—you should get about 6 tablespoons. Add enough cold water to reach 1/2 cup of liquid total.
  2. Melt 1½ tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon of horseradish, the lemon water, and a big pinch of salt.
  3. As soon as that comes to a boil, add the shrimp and another big pinch of salt. Simmer for 2 to 4 minutes, flipping each shrimp halfway through, until pink and firm.
  4. Stir in the remaining 1½ tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of horseradish. Taste and increase the horseradish, if you’d like.
  5. Top with the lemon zest and dill, plus a sprinkle of salt (flaky is nice if you’ve got it), and serve with crusty bread for mopping up the sauce.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ann Weiss-Lagravenese
    Ann Weiss-Lagravenese
  • chop chop
    chop chop
  • hattie
  • Jessica
Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles on the fly, baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., and writing about the history of pie in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's award-winning column, Big Little Recipes (also the cookbook in October 2021!). And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

5 Reviews

chop C. June 16, 2021
Prepared this dish tonight. Super easy to make and guest worthy! As a personal preference I will probably leave out the zest next time and add a touch more horseradish. I used dill and chive as the herbs. This will be a recipe I come back to in the future.
hattie June 14, 2021
This sounded exciting but it was way too acidic.
Jessica June 14, 2021
I really liked this! my expectations were not high because of the short list of ingredients and the short cook time but this was so good! I think I'll add a minced clove of garlic and maybe a little red pepper flake next time to the sauce. Thanks for a great, easy, recipe that is also delicious.
Ann W. June 12, 2021
I think the watering down of the lemon juice to create more sauce is genius and I imagine it can be applied to other dishes like chicken Francaise or any fish. Excited to try it.
Carola June 8, 2021
This sounds so delicious and so quick and easy! What more can we ask?