This bold zesty Yucatán Garlic Butter Shrimp is a low carb dish you can make in minutes with spicy Mexican appeal!
Garlic. Butter. Shrimp.
Even without the added herbs and spices that make this dish so dazzling, those are three words that belong together. Don’t you agree?
Over the holidays we escaped the cold weather by sneaking off to southern Florida for a week. Our time in the sun was much needed, and we came home well rested and warmed from the inside-out.
One of the enticements of Florida, is not just the warmer climate, but the incredible seafood you can find year round.
Every day we would lay in the sun, splash in the waves, hunt for shells, then head off on our bicycles to find a seafood joint for lunch.
One of these days, we visited the restaurant Doc Ford’s with a signature dish called Yucatán Shrimp. The dish consisted of huge steamed shrimp covered in a spicy clarified butter sauce.
It was such a hit with my family, I thought Yucatán Shrimp was a dish we would have to recreate at home!
Yucatán Garlic Butter Shrimp, my copycat home-cook version of Doc Ford’s shrimp special, is simplified a bit for easy preparation, but it has just as much to offer!
First of all, I felt is was unnecessary to cook the shrimp separate from the sauce. The only reason for this, is that they probably steam huge amounts of shrimp in the restaurant for various dishes, so it is ready to serve on-demand.
It also keeps the butter sauce a little “cleaner” looking, without the shrimp juices. However, after playing with this recipe, I found the shrimp juice adds a lot of flavor to the sauce.
So I sautéd the butter and garlic together with habanero peppers and some crushed red pepper, for a full-bodied spicy note.
Then tossed in the shrimp until cooked to pearly pink perfection.
The trick with cooking juicy shrimp is to not overcook them. Shrimp are perfectly cooked in just a couple minutes, so don’t take your eyes off them.
When they are ready, they should be pink on both sides and in the shape of C’s. If they shrink up into O’s, you end up with dry rubbery shrimp.
C’s are good. O’s are bad.
Therefore, once you toss the shrimp into the skillet, be prepared to take them off the heat in just a few minutes.
Finally stir in some fresh key lime juice and some chopped cilantro to finish off the Yucatán Garlic Butter Shrimp dish.
Our version of Yucatán Garlic Butter Shrimp is simple to make, utterly addictive, and extremely versatile.
Serve it as an appetizer, with bread to dip in the butter, or serve it over pasta. You can also serve it as a low carb meal with a side of veggies!
More Shrimp Recipes
Yucatán Garlic Butter Shrimp
- 1 1/2 pounds raw jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 cup salted butter, 1 stick
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 habanero pepper, halved and seeded
- 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 3 tablespoons fresh key lime juice
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
- Place a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add the butter. Once melted, add the minced garlic, habanero pepper halves, and the crushed red pepper. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, but do not overcook (brown) the garlic.
- Add the shrimp to the skillet. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, stir, and sauté for 3-5 minutes, until the shrimp turn pink and form C's. (If they shrink into O's, you've overcooked them.)
- Turn the heat off and stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Taste, then season with salt as needed. Discard the habanero peppers, unless you can handle intense heat. Serve warm
NOTE: If you love spicy heat, do not seed the habanero!