appetizer, Brunch, Entree, Recipes, Sauces, Seafood

Pan Fried Gulf Shrimp with Tomatoes, Anchovies and Capers Sauce

Hot summer days mean quick to prepare light dishes, and the one I have here is a good example of that. The sauce can be cooked in less than 15 minutes, the shrimps cook quickly, and a tasty dish is served in no time.
Despite the quick cooking time, the sauce has lots of flavors and textures in it: the fresh tomatoes flavor is enhanced with chopped sun-dried tomatoes and tomato paste, then it is combined with the flavors of garlic, lemon zest, anchovies, capers, Harissa paste and thyme – all cooked in fruity olive oil, and finished with a small amount of butter.
This tasty sauce complements beautifully the pan fried Gulf shrimps, with their meaty, firm texture and earthy flavor. Try it and enjoy.

* For instructions on how to peel fresh tomatoes, click HERE.

Makes: 2-4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

1 cup pureed fresh skinned tomatoes (see notes)
1 Tbs chopped sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
1 Tbs tomato paste
1 tsp Harissa paste
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground four peppers mix
10-12 Jumbo Gulf shrimps, shell on tail on, thawed slowly
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
½ tsp salt
1 Tbs olive oil
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1 can (2oz/55 grams) anchovies rolled with capers in olive oil
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 Tbs small capers, drained, slightly crushed
½ tsp dried thyme leaves
2 tsp butter, soft
For serving:
Fresh lemon wedges
Anchovies fillets
Cooked Israeli couscous (for recipe, check HERE)

1. Devaine the shrimps, (peel if you prefer to cook them with the sauce), wash and place in a container. Drizzle with lemon juice and salt, and let sit for 10 minutes at room temperature. Pat dry with paper towels.

2. In a small jar, mix the fresh tomato puree, chopped sun dried tomatoes, tomato paste, lemon juice, salt, pepper and Harissa paste. Set aside.
3. Heat the olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sweat lightly. Add the anchovies, capers and lemon zest, and fry gently for a minute. Add in the tomatoes mix and thyme, and bring to the verge of boiling. Lower the heat to medium–low and cook for 5-7 minutes. Add the butter and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Keep in a warm place until serving.

4. In another pan, heat the oil from the anchovies can (+ more if needed) over medium-high heat. Add the shrimps and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they change color. Serve in any of the following suggestions, garnished with lemon wedges and anchovies fillets

On a bed of Israeli couscous (for instructions on how to cook it click HERE).

With the sauce as a dip:

Shelled and cooked with the sauce:

46 thoughts on “Pan Fried Gulf Shrimp with Tomatoes, Anchovies and Capers Sauce”

  1. Perfectly cooked shrimp and what a flavorful sauce! Shrimp is a favorite even in the summer because they cook quickly. I always buy my anchovies and capers separate – never heard of the rolled anchovies with capers. Will put on my grocery list or shop at my “pandemic grocery store” 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Judi, I’m glad you liked the dish. It was very tasty, and indeed perfect for a hot summer day.
      I love anchovies and buy all kinds. These ones with capers have such a nice flavor, and make a great snack or garnish. I hope you’ll enjoy them. 🙂


  2. I am salivating. This is pretty much a perfect dish! Shrimp, garlic, lemon, garlic, anchovies, capers. All my favorites put together in a beautiful dish that looks effortless but could grace the finest of restaurant tables! Thanks for posting, and thanks for using wild U.S. Gulf shrimp!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Dorothy, for such a great compliment! I’m glad you liked the dish. These are my favorite ingredients as well, so it made sense to combine them all in one tasty sauce.
      I love Gulf shrimps and it’s also great to support USA products, while enjoying them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Prawns in Australia are naturally one of our favourite dishes as 85% of us live within 80 kms of the coastline. Have books full of recipes but this is slightly different . . . love the pronounced tomato taste enriched with my favourite harissa and the touch of chilli . . . shall pass it onto local friends . . .

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I am a big shrimp lover!!! as a child I spend most of my holidays in Sicily as my grandparents on my mother’s side were from Messina. I remember having tons of shrimps as they knew i liked them. I noticed the size of th shrimps you used is pretty big. Do you believe this recipe will work the same with smaller size shrimps that are most commonly found here? I mean Mediterranean shrimps which are usually a bit smaller.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Matteo, I’m glad you liked the recipe, and that it brought back such tasty memories.
      Gulf shrimps are indeed different than Mediterranean shrimps. However, I’m quite sure the sauce will work well with any type of shrimps, preferably larger ones, with firmer texture, as the ones I’ve used here. Hope you’ll enjoy it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Gulf shrimp are wonderful. As a youngster, I was raised on the gulf coast and have fond memories of eating shrimp we caught in our net. After trawling for a day we’d always boil up a big batch and peel, eat and dip them in a spicy red sauce until our tummies were full. That’s why I love your tomato, anchovies and caper sauce. So much more complex and sophisticated than our Texas red sauce. We can’t get Gulf coast shrimp here, but we can get frozen sustainable prawns, so this is going to be made at the soonest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Ron, I’m glad you liked the dish, and that it evoked such nice tasty memories. No doubt the flavor and texture of such freshly caught shrimps is the best there is. Wish I could have those, but at least we have some other, close-enough, options to use.
      I love pairing tomatoes with shrimps, and I wanted to emphasize that in this sauce. It came out very tasty. I hope you’ll enjoy it as well. 🙂


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