Shrimp Pilau

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:

    8 or More


Appears in

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1987

  • About

The word pilau is widely used in Southern kitchens, primarily those of the Carolinas. It is related to the words pilaf, pilaff, pilaw, and rarely, plaw. It is derived from the Turkish word pilaw and it invariably refers to almost any rice dish, plain or cooked with other foods, such as shrimp.


  • 2 pounds shrimp
  • 6 strips of bacon
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • ¼ cup finely chopped sweet green pepper
  • cups canned tomatoes, partly drained and crushed
  • 1 cup Carolina long-grain rice
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Salt to taste, if desired
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 6 drops Tabasco Sauce
  • teaspoon ground mace


  1. Peel and devein the shrimp and set aside.
  2. Bring 6 cups water to the boil in a saucepan. Add the shrimp. Cover and cook about 2 minutes, no longer. Turn off the heat.
  3. Drain the shrimp, but reserve cups of the cooking liquid. Use this liquid to cook the rice for the pilau.
  4. Cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp. Drain. When the bacon is cool, crumble it and set aside.
  5. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat from the skillet. Add the chopped onion and green pepper to the skillet and cook until wilted.
  6. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add the rice and reserved cups cooking liquid. Stir to blend. Cover and simmer 18 minutes.
  8. Add the butter and stir until the butter is melted and blended. Add salt, pepper, Tabasco, and mace. Stir. Add the shrimp and bacon. Stir from the bottom to blend. Reheat gently.