Shrimp Sauté with Garlic and Lemon

Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Get in There and Cook: A Master Class for the Starter Chef

Get in There and Cook

By Richard Sax

Published 1997

  • About

This is actually a version of fish à la meunière (which means “Miller’s wife’s style” in French). This refers to the fact that fish fillets are usually coated with flour (hence “miller”) before cooking. Then, in the same pan, a quick sauce is made with butter, lemon, and parsley. This is one of the simplest and tastiest ways to cook any type of seafood. The shrimp don’t need to be floured, so the sauce is lighter and “cleaner” tasting.


  • ¾ to 1 pound shrimp, preferably large ones, peeled with tails left on and deveined, if you like (Shrimp Basics)
  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (you can omit this, if you like)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced
  • Juice of 1 large or 2 medium lemons
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


    1. Rinse the peeled shrimp under cold running water; place on a paper towel-lined plate.
    2. Heat the oil in a nonreactive large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels. Add to the skillet, spreading them out in a single layer if possible (if not, sauté in 2 batches). Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste; scatter the garlic around the shrimp. Let the shrimp sizzle in the hot oil without stirring or turning for about 1 minute. With tongs, turn the shrimp over; sauté, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for 1 minute longer. Toss the shrimp until they just turn pink with no raw traces and are opaque in the center, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer the shrimp with a slotted spoon to 2 warm dinner plates.
    3. Place the butter in the pan and heat, swirling the pan once or twice, until the butter turns nut-brown and fragrant (but not black), usually 2 or 3 minutes. Pour the lemon juice into the pan and let it bubble up for a moment. Turn off the heat and add the parsley, swirling the pan to mix. Drizzle the sauce over the shrimp and serve immediately with lemon wedges.