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Chef John's Deviled Shrimp Ragu

Rated as 4.35 out of 5 Stars

"This subtly sweet, fairly fiery shrimp ragu served over my creamy corn custard would make a fantastic first course for any dinner, and it's certainly rich enough to be enjoyed as a entree. You can also pour this over rice or noodles with complete confidence."
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50 m servings 146
Original recipe yields 4 servings


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  1. Place shrimp shells into a saucepan with bay leaf and 1 pinch of smoked paprika over medium-low heat; cook and stir shells until they turn pink, about 5 minutes. Pour in water, bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and simmer shrimp stock for 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Mix lemon juice, ketchup, brown sugar, ground chipotle pepper, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, garlic, 1 pinch of salt, and cayenne pepper in a bowl.
  3. Strain shrimp stock into a bowl; discard shells and bay leaf. Whisk shrimp stock into ketchup mixture and set aside.
  4. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat until small wisps of smoke rise from the skillet. Cook shrimp in the hot oil until bottom sides of shrimp are seared and browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in shrimp stock mixture and cook until shrimp are opaque, about 3 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a bowl using a slotted spoon, leaving sauce in skillet.
  5. Bring sauce to a boil and cook until sauce has reduced and thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in cold butter, turn off heat, and let residual heat of pan melt butter. Stir until butter has incorporated into sauce and sauce is slightly thickened.
  6. Stir shrimp into sauce and toss with chives. Serve shrimp with sauce.


  • Serve this shrimp on Chef John's Creamy Corn Custard.
  • Cook's Notes:
  • To serve with corn custard, unmold a ramekin of corn custard into a deep soup plate, surround with shrimp, place a shrimp on top of the custard, and drizzle with sauce.
  • Makes 4 appetizer servings or 2 main dish servings.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 146 calories; 8.6 8.2 9.7 94 270 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 8
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Followed recipe exactly since it was the first time I made it.....chipotle adds a nice kick. Chef John never disappoints. Corn pudding made a nice change from rice or pasta. Great date night mea...

OMG! That was off the charts! Excellent! We loved it!! I did not change a thing! I did not need to!

Where do you come up with these recipes??? i am very grateful! Thank you. Try this.....

All of John’s recipes have been great.

This was amazing!

This is wonderfully delicious! I served mine over polenta and my husband’s over mashed cauliflower since he eats low carb. Used Splenda brown sugar, smoked paprika and low carb ketchup. We love ...

This recipe is good. I prepared it with pappardelle and it was great. Now, given that this is a recipe that is very spicy and that I can't eat too spicy, I had to adjust it. I used only about a...

I left out the ketchup and just used tomato sauce, and made polenta for the side. Came out pretty good.