How To Cook Garlic + Butter + Shrimp

How do you cook garlic buttered shrimps? Let me count the ways...

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You may be in love with garlic shrimp but if there's another ingredient that marries well with shrimp, it's butter. Here's a simple recipe for buttered garlic shrimp:

1. In a large pan or wok over medium heat, melt about 1 1/4 cups butter. (You can use salted butter or unsalted butter; just remember to put less salt later if your butter is salted.)

2. Once melted, let the milk solids of the butter brown slightly before adding the garlic. Sauté garlic until golden but not yet browned. Season with salt to taste.

3. Add deveined shrimps and toss quickly in the hot browned garlic butter. Continue stir-frying until the shrimps are opaque in color and their tails have curled.

4. Season to taste with more salt and ground pepper, toss to season the shrimps, too, and remove from the heat. Plate and serve immediately while still hot. 

Now that you know how easy it is to cook garlic buttered shrimps, you can take these shrimp dishes and elevate them:

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A hefty serving of black pepper shrimps tossed in garlic butter.
Black pepper can be a simple yet game-changing addition to your favorite buttered garlic shrimp recipe!
Photo by Bianca Laxamana
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1 Black Pepper Shrimp Recipe

This might be cooked in oil but who says that you have to follow that part of the recipe? Whether you're hankering for a bit more heat in your garlic butter shrimp dish or you just love spicy food, this is the recipe to try. The addition of the black pepper adds a mellow heat to the already mouthwatering garlic butter shrimp dish, leaving you craving for more after each bite. 

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Hot tip: the finer your black pepper, the more delicate the taste! You can control how peppery your shrimp gets, not just by the amount of black pepper you add, but also by the size of the granules. If you enjoy the kick black pepper gives, you can opt for more coarsely ground black pepper instead of the finely ground variety.

You can even do the same technique and recipe on chicken and tuna

Deveined and heads removed steamed shrimps served with a sesame mayo dip.
Level up this simple steamed shrimp recipe with a simple garlic butter shrimp sauce!
Photo by Patrick Martires
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2 Steamed Shrimps Recipe 

One of the best ways to cook shrimps is to steam them, especially when they have been deveined with heads removed. The gentle steam lets you bring out the shrimp's natural sweetness, and this technique is proof that there is beauty (and deliciousness) in simplicity. This steamed shrimp recipe comes with a delectable sesame mayo dip to add more flavor to the shrimp, but you can also add flavor to the shrimp by simmering it with garlic and melted butter instead of merely steaming it over water.

If you prefer steaming, you can still incorporate that garlic butter goodness to your shrimp dish by melting some butter, adding minced garlic, and letting it simmer until it's softened. For a light garlic butter sauce that will match the delicately steamed shrimps, turn off the heat before the garlic turns golden. Then, season with salt and pepper and toss in the steamed shrimp to coat it in your garlic butter sauce.

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A generous serving of shrimps doused in chili garlic butter sauce.
Spice up your garlic buttered shrimps by adding a dash (or more) of red chili flakes!
Photo by Riell Santos

3 Chili Garlic Shrimp Recipe 

The natural sweetness of shrimps, the powerful garlic flavor, and the richness of butter already form the perfect umami trifecta. But why stop there? If you want to rattle the flavor profile of your garlic butter shrimp recipe, what better way to do it than with spice? This recipe amps up the heat with a full teaspoon of dried red chili flakes to make garlic butter shrimps even more irresistible.

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See Also

Peeled and deveined shrimps tossed in kung pao sauce.
How to level up your kung pao shrimps? Why, add garlic butter, of course!
Photo by Patrick Martires

4 Kung Pao Shrimp Recipe   

Kung pao is a sauce that marries quite a few flavors: it's sweet, sour, savory, and also spicy usually because of the addition of Sichuan peppercorns. Sichuan peppercorns create a lingering tingling sensation on the tongue that makes you keep wanting for more. If you enjoy the kick of spicy food, you can also add or replace the Sichuan peppercorns with the more aggressive heat of chili flakes. 

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You can also switch out half or the whole quantity of oil with butter when you sauté the shrimps to make your kung pao sauce richer. With all that flavor in one sauce, shrimps have no choice but to be tasty!

Sweet garlic shrimps can be served ala carte or peeled and deveined over rice.
Sweet, salty, spicy, and garlicky shrimps are the best kind to pair with rice.
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5 Sweet Garlic Shrimp Recipe 

Spicy isn't the only flavor that pairs well with garlic, butter, and shrimp. What can be more Filipino than to make a shrimp dish that pairs well with rice? For this recipe, you can level up your garlic butter shrimp with Sprite (or any other lemon-lime or orange soda you prefer)! Adding a touch of sweetness that is balanced out by the garlic and mellow spice of banana ketchup makes this sweet garlic shrimp dish the ultimate rice topping!

Creamy garlic butter shrimp pasta dish topped with parmesan.
Creamy, garlicky sauce tossed with sweet shrimp and pasta. Who can resist this creamy garlic butter fettuccine dish?
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6 Creamy Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine Recipe 

Want to fancy up your butter garlic shrimp dish? Try tossing it with pasta! If you add a bit more butter and garlic to the basic garlic buttered shrimp recipe above, you can turn it into a pasta sauce and coat, not just the shrimps but also some al dente fettuccine pasta as well. Add a dash of lemon juice, and you've got yourself a restaurant-quality garlic butter shrimp pasta dish.

Alternatively, you could also add cream (instead of lemon juice) to your garlic butter sauce to make a delectable creamy garlic shrimp pasta dish!

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Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

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