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First of all we live in Marina del Rey and have eaten at Killer Shrimp at least 50 times. The title of this recipe is mislabeled in that this recipe is called a "soup " where in fact it is a recipe for a dipping "broth." The restaurant serves shell-on shrimp in the broth along with french bread for dipping. The shrimp is eaten with your fingers like peel-and-eat shrimp. No spoons involved nor carrots celery onions or mushrooms. This is not a soup! That being said if you add red pepper flakes to this recipe and reduce the tomato paste this is a tasty and very close version of Killer's "broth."
I too am a big fan of the original Killer Shrimp and have achieved a nearly identical flavor through years of experimentation. This recipe as given has several points that will cause it to deviate from the real KS taste. (1) Too much butter. It should be 1 stick (1/2 cup) at the most and some people may find they would rather use less. (2) The shrimp MUST have the whole skin on. The flavor that the shrimp peels adds to the mix is essential, yet indefinable. (3) Double the amount of clam juice to 16 oz (4) reduce the rosemary by 1/3 and double the amount of fennel, add 1 tsp dried thyme (5) reduce the tomato paste to 3 TBSP (6) add salt, preferably sea salt (7) add 1 tsp of red pepper flakes (or to taste) (8) add hot sauce to taste. Finally, there is a secret ingredient involved, which I am not prepared to divulge. But the above will get you close. Another reader stated she made this without fennel---without fennel it is not killer shrimp---it's just soup.
An important step that is not spelled out in the recipe is to put a COVER the simmering broth. This will ensure the same consistency as the restaurant. Crushed pepper flakes or Frank's Red Hot will add the heat. This recipe is a great find-- The only think missing is service by a tattooed waitress!
I stayed pretty true to this recipe w/ the exception of cutting the butter in half (it had plenty w/ just half a cup) & subbing a bit of celery salt & a rib of chopped celery for the celery seed. The only changes I will make next time is to cut the tails off the shrimp. It's seems kind of silly to serve tail-on shrimp in a soup. Oh I also added some crushed red pepper. About a tsp...maybe two. The broth is awesome...really really flavorful. I served this w/ Mama D's Italian bread (from this site) which was the perfect bread for dipping in the broth Bagna cauda (from this site) w/ veggies & for dessert strawberries w/ zabaglione (also from this site). Very enjoyable dinner!
Tweak it a bit for a rich and flavorful soup that is different. I used 1/2 cup butter and think that is plenty. I added 1 stalk diced celery, a bay leaf, Old Bay Seasoning (a must), and a dash of Worcestire sauce and Franks Red Hot Sauce. Sautee the veggies and spices in a bit of olive oil before you add the broth. Add spinach or parsley right before serving for looks and health. Really good!
My husband and I are BIG fans of this restaurant. We no longer live in the area so I was thrilled to find this recipe! It was wonderful but I made a few changes after reading previous reviews. I used 1/4 cup butter and think I still could've gone less. Added red pepper flakes and old bay seasoning. Didn't have fennel or celery seed but added chopped celery. Fresh rosemary. I used medium shrimp but really missed the big ones that the restaurant served. Overall a very good version. thanks for posting!
Outstanding!!!!! Restaurant Quality!!!! I reduced the recipe in half and this still made plenty. I followed others suggestions and reduced the amount of butter and added some red pepper flakes; otherwise I followed the recipe. I did pinch the tails off of the shrimp before adding into the broth. This really impressed hubby. Thanks for a keeper recipe!!! Highly recommend!! I just also wanted to add that this had a rather salty taste despite using low sodium chicken broth. I will use unsalted butter next time. I will search for the lowest sodium broth in the future. Still delicious - just don't add any salt!:)
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