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Shrimp Scampi

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Traditionally served over linguine, shrimp scampi makes a quick and easy dinner that works equally well eaten in front of the computer or as the main dish of a romantic candlelight dinner. I serve large shrimp (16-20 count) when I have company over, but for my own consumption, I use the less expensive 41-50 count variety. Cooking the shrimp in butter provides most of the flavor but garlic and parsley is essential to the dish. Linguine takes about the same amount of time to cook, which makes it the perfect compliment to shrimp scampi both culinarily and in terms of efficiency.

In the United States, shrimp is sold by "count". This is a rating of the size and weight of the shrimp. The count represents the number of shrimp in a pound for a given size category. For example, 41-50 count shrimp are composed of shrimp that weigh about 1/3 ounce each, while 16-20 count shrimp are an ounce each (or a little less) in weight. The lower the count, the larger the shrimp (and the more expensive).

Bring six quarts of water in a large pot to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, peel one pound of shrimp, leaving tails on. Butterfly the shrimp by cutting the backs of each shrimp. While butterflying I also remove the vein (I think it's actually the alimentary canal) to avoid having gritty shrimp waste in my scampi. Rinse the shrimp and blot dry with paper towels. Once the water is boiling, stir in 1/2 tablespoon table salt and add one pound of dried linguine. (Cooking times for pasta varies by manufacturer. Use the instructions on the box, but be aware that many pasta manufacturers recommend cooking times that are to long for al dente. I suggest subtracting a few minutes from the cooking time and testing the pasta by biting down on it and looking at the cross section. There should still be a tiny speck of uncooked pasta when the noodles are al dente. Drain the pasta immediately; they will finish cooking as they stand.)

Melt four tablespoons of butter and two tablespoons of olive oil in the pan. Add about 2 teaspoons of minced garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter). Stir over medium-low heat until the garlic is lightly browned.

The shrimp should be added in a single layer on the pan (cook two batches if necessary). The shrimp can be cooked over low or medium heat. Over medium heat, the shrimp will form a slight crust and be golden brown when cooked. When the shrimp color changes and the flesh touching the pan is no longer translucent (about two minutes), flip the shrimps over with a pair of tongs or spatula.

Meanwhile, when the linguine is cooked to the desired level, pour the pasta into a collander to drain. Return the pasta to the pot or into a large bowl. When the second side of the shrimp is fully cooked (another two minutes), throw in one tablespoon chopped parsley and give it a quick stir. Remove from the heat and pour shrimp and butter over the pasta. Toss and serve with fresh grated parmesan, ground black pepper, and a slice of lemon.

Shrimp Scampi
1 lb. shrimpcook until opaqueflip; cook until opaqueadd
4 Tbs. buttermeltbrown
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbs. chopped parsley
Copyright Michael Chu 2004
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Written by Michael Chu
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87 comments on Shrimp Scampi:(Post a comment)

On November 07, 2005 at 02:41 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Awwwww, the pancetta is getting lonely. Pasta and shell fish just LOVE cured pork. I know, I seen them glisten.

Dr. B / Meathenge

On November 07, 2005 at 02:41 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Why does the shrimp turn red?

On November 07, 2005 at 02:42 PM, Michael Chu said...
re: Shrimp color change

Shrimp (and lobsters, crabs, lagostines, crawfish, etc.) contain a pigment called astaxanthin. The astaxanthin is covered by proteins, so when you introduce enough heat, the proteins unravel and the astaxanthin is released. The astaxanthin provides the reddish orange coloring that we associate with cooked shrimp. Astaxanthin is also the pigmentation that makes salmon flesh pink or orange.

Astaxanthin is produced by some plants and algae and it is the consumption of this plant matter that introduces the pigment into crustaceans and fish. (Commercial farms have also been known to add astaxanthin to feed in order to produce more vibrant color and promote proper growth.)

Hope this helped,

On November 07, 2005 at 02:42 PM, an anonymous reader said...
what is butterflying?

On November 07, 2005 at 02:43 PM, Chris_repost (guest) said...
Sounds delicious - however, why would you leave the tails on? It just makes the diner have to remove the tail before eating the shrimp.

I usually remove the tail unless battering (so you can use the tail as a 'handle').


On November 07, 2005 at 02:44 PM, Ben FrantzDale (guest) said...
Anonymous, I the answer appears to be Astaxanthin. (I looked it up, found it wasn't in Wikipedia, and added it. I put two links there.)

On November 07, 2005 at 02:45 PM, Michael Chu said...
re: Butterflying

Butterflying shrimp is simply to provide a shallow cut down the back (without cutting through the shrimp). This will help the shrimp curl more during cooking and the back will open up enabling more shrimp surface area for sauces and seasonings to coat.

re: leaving the tails on

I have no idea why the tails are left on in shrimp scampi. Seems to be a tradition (like serving with linguine). I too prefer if the tails are off because then I can eat the whole meal without thinking about shells or tails or inedible parts.


On November 07, 2005 at 02:46 PM, giulienk (guest) said...
IMHO I don't think grated parmisan really go well with scampi. At least in Italy it's a no no no. But YMMV.

On November 07, 2005 at 02:46 PM, Alredhead (guest) said...
We aren't in Italy are we? I like the recipe as it is. If you don't, or you would like to change something, why don't you do that when you are making the food for yourself?


On November 07, 2005 at 02:47 PM, A (guest) said...
thank you sooo've got me cooking again!

On November 07, 2005 at 02:47 PM, fectin (guest) said...
actually, the smaller shrimp are the better kind, and the smallest you can et are best. Ironic, I know, but it's a question of flavor. Big shrimp are food like parsley is food. interesting, edible, but best as a garnish.

On November 07, 2005 at 02:47 PM, graceshu (guest) said...
i hunger.

On November 07, 2005 at 02:48 PM, supergood (guest) said...
I thought I might make some clarifications and points for your international readers (like myself)!

The shrimp used in this recipe are actually Prawns, this is just another site of the old "Throw another shrimp no the barbie" thing that Australians endure. Not that I am arguing that the Americans are wrong here (I don't need to do I? hehe) just you wont be able to find big shrimps otherwise. Well in my neck of the woods you wouldn't.

Also the name of the dish confuses me too. Because down here we have another shrimp/prawn like creature called Scampi (its halfway in size between a Tiger Prawn and a Crayfish). We don't really get to eat much of in New Zealand, as its exported possibly to Japan and Europe. But I guess thats by the by.

Oh, and about leaving the tails on, I believe it gives you something to hold on to if you are going to eat them by hand. Also they're fine to eat and provide a nice textural contrast in your dish.

On November 07, 2005 at 02:49 PM, Michael Chu said...
re: Prawns vs. shrimp

In different parts of the United States (and the world), the name shrimp has different meanings. In some cookbooks, restaurants, and markets, any large shrimp is called a prawn. As I understand it, this is not technically correct. I will explain how I choose to refer to these crustaceans:
Shrimp - The sea creatures pictured in this article regardless of size.
Prawns - Similar to shrimp but have little pinchers. Also called langoustines. In Italy, I believe these are referred to as scampi (thus the necessity of using large shrimp in this dish). These aren't usually sold at supermarkets (in my area).
Lobster - A really HUGE prawn with BIG pinchers. :)


On November 07, 2005 at 02:50 PM, Connie (guest) said...
Re: tails left on

My understanding is that cooking with the shells on make the shrimp more flavourful. I had a similar dish last night at a Southern Italian restaurant and they had the entire shell on. I would have preferred to have the shell off with slightly less flavour; I was up to my wrists in sauce trying to wrestle the shells off them suckers. Next time I will ask them to peel them in advance!

On November 07, 2005 at 02:50 PM, supergood (guest) said...
Totally agree with the above about the shells, which is probably why the shells from shelled tails often get used in the stock for soups - perhaps a starter before the linguine above?

On November 07, 2005 at 02:51 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Calling a recipe "Shrimp Scampi" is like calling it "Shrimp Shrimp" since (as Michael even points out) "scampi" is an Italian word for shrimp; contrary to popular opinion and thousands of bad American restaurant menus, "scampi" does not imply any particular method of preparation.

Saying the dish is "traditionally served over linguine" is silly because there is no traditional dish named "shrimp scampi". And although I agree that linguine goes well with shrimp and garlic, it is a perfect complement (that's with an E), not "compliment" (with an I).

Nice looking Website but I hate it when amateurs pretend to know cooking and publishing.

On November 07, 2005 at 02:51 PM, Michael Chu said...
Hey, I'm not the one who named the dish. This is what it's called in the United States - I just wanted to share how I cook the equivalent dish.

If there's too much confusion over the title of the dish, I'll change it, but I was under the impression that calling this dish "Shrimp Scampi" would immediately bring forth images of shrimp in butter garlic sauce. Let me know if I am mistaken and what the title of this dish is supposed to be called. (And yes, I did think it was odd for a dish to be called shrimp shrimp, but there are plenty of food names that don't make sense...)


On November 07, 2005 at 02:51 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I'm not an engineer but I thought this website with its recipe formats/presentation was interesting but people you are killing me with your stupid commentary in the reviews!
What I want to know when I read a recipe review is how does it taste? would you make it again? what might you change or what did you do differently from the stated recipe? How would you rate this on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the best?
Check out other cooking sites(, to see what a thoughtful recipe review looks like.
I think this site has great potential but reviews like what's posted for this recipe will turn a lot of people away.

On November 07, 2005 at 02:52 PM, supergood (guest) said...
Well there's no reason to be rude is there? Why don't you ask Michael if he approves of comments like this or not. And while you're at it you could ask if his hits have gone down or not because of these comments.


On November 07, 2005 at 02:52 PM, liz (guest) said...
Oh bosh. This is a great site. I didn't take it to be meant as some commercial, "professional" venture, but someone's earnest personal food sharing! (With nifty original format for recipes!) I hate slick commercial stuff anyway.

On November 07, 2005 at 02:53 PM, liz (guest) said...
(PS: I meant "bosh" to Anonymous Coward's comment about the site.)

On November 07, 2005 at 02:53 PM, an anonymous reader said...
oooooohhhh, I am only anonymous, because am incredibly lazy in all other areas but cookery. While I work with many P.eng.'s what I appreciate is the asethetic of the prep., I was drawn to the mechanics and machinations. I agree, it would be nice to say, "oh, that was lovery", or "what a symphony of choices", but, that is not this site. The beauty of this site, is like classic art. Because of the intellect of the interpeter, we know more than when we originally began. Love the work. Would never cook avocados... But would by wooden cutting boards, good knives and good salt because of you. Good work, keep it up....

On November 07, 2005 at 02:54 PM, jm (guest) said...
For this Midwesterner, shrimps/garlic/butter/pasta is *exactly* what Shrimp Scampi means.
However I had a friend in college whose father was Italian and we once went out to a place in Little Italy in the Bronx where one of the items on the menu was Shrimp Scampi.
Friend's father was perplexed and asked the waiter, what's this? I think for him scampi was a shrimp-related creature but of a different size, so a dish named Shrimp Scampi was crazy, stupid or meaningless. The unctuous waiter patronizingly explained to him that it was an Italian dish, blah, blah, the father insisted it was nonsense, he'd lived many years in Italy and had never heard of the stuff, and the waiter muttered under his breath as he turned to go, "Va Fa Napoli!" which for some reason means "Go to hell!"

On November 07, 2005 at 02:54 PM, Eric Chin (guest) said...
Thanks for having such a great site up. Makes cooking look interesting again for me.

I especially like how you present the recipe in chart form, makes the sequence look so much simpler.

On November 07, 2005 at 02:54 PM, an anonymous reader said...
any one herr

On November 07, 2005 at 02:55 PM, an anonymous reader said...
In the UK, scampi is a prawn / shrimp - type creature, deep fried in breadcrumbs (or perhaps batter) and often served with chips! (referred to as "scampi and chips") So, completely different from the "shrimp scampi" mentioned here (all versions). Typical British food - take anything, deep-fry it and serve it with chips! (chips = fat French Fries). Tastes good, though!

On November 07, 2005 at 02:55 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Re the question about leaving a portion of the shell at the tail: The process of removing the "vein" cannot remove the terminal portion as it dives deep through the body of the shrimp and ends at what is the equivalent of the anus. Yes, Michael is correct that the "vein" is not a vascular structure but is in fact the alimentary canal or gut. All of the shell can be removed, and you can eat the entire shrimp, tail and all, but when you do you will be eating the terminal portion of the gut and the anus. This may or may not offend you.

As to shrimp versus prawn, the distinction is not important in any scientific sense. There are some 300 species of shrimp, but most common is the species Penaeus. As a matter of usage, the term prawn is often applied to larger specimens but does not mean that it is a different critter. Perhaps the term serves best as a justification for higher prices on menus.

Two comments were made about the role of the left-on shell at the tail in improving the flavor of the dish. Whether there is a large contribution to the flavor from this small portion of shell is arguable, but it certainly is possible to deepen the intensity of flavor by making the dish with the addition of a quarter cup or so of quick shrimp stock added to the mixture. Take removed shrimp shells, any lemon rinds, and any parsley stems, put them in a small saucepan, mash them down, add 3/4 cup of water, some salt and (white) pepper, bring it to a boil, reduce it by about half, and add that to the mixture. Do this especially if you like your dish a bit broth-y.

Buy big shrimp if you want to show off, but they get very tough very easily. Use smaller shrimp for better flavor and more tenderness. It means more work shelling, but the result is finer.

Cooked lemon juice loses its edge very quickly. If you use lemon juice in your recipe, and you should, add it at the very last minute, after you have added all the rest to the pasta in the pot. Bright lemon flavor is key to this dish.

Whether you use any Parmesan cheese is a matter of taste. If you use Parmesan, use the good stuff, Parmigiano-Reggiano. Grate it with a microplane grater or a fine wood rasp reserved for kitchen use only. The first time around, add the cheese as a sprinkle on a portion of your plate and see if you like it.

I'm anonymous only because I did not want to set up a blogger account. I am neither an engineer nor a chef, but I cook a lot of shrimp, and these are thoughts from my own personal quest for the ultimate Linguine con Scampi al Limone.

On November 07, 2005 at 02:56 PM, an anonymous reader said...
when i poured the shrimp on the pasta it wasn't as salty...why was that so.

On November 07, 2005 at 02:56 PM, Michael Chu said...
re: saltiness

The shrimp is less salty when you pour it onto the pasta? I'm not sure what's going on there. Maybe it's because the salt on the shrimp is mixing with lots of linguine, so the saltiness that you taste is less than if you had tasted the shrimp by itself.

On November 07, 2005 at 02:56 PM, an anonymous reader said...
My family loved this - with the tails on I might add. Both my husband and son love the tails, especially when you remove the tail with the little bit of shrimp still in it and saute them in butter, garlic and a little lemon. Too bad they don't sell the tails!!!!

On November 07, 2005 at 02:57 PM, an anonymous reader said...
You sautee and eat the tails themselves?? Amazing! I've never actually thought to try this, though I've time and again eaten the shell of sauteed shrimp with the shrimp itself, when too lazy to get dirty and peel. The next time I'm cooking shrimp, I'll remember to try frying the tails. Kind of like a genuine form of "shrimp chip" eh? Incidentally, the heads of shrimp can also be used to make broth, rendering a much stronger flavour than simply using the tails.

And Michael: I've been to your site many a time, but this is my first comment posting. THANK YOU for sharing all of this with us -- you are a true proponent of free information exchange in what is fast becoming the era of intellectual commerce. Thanks for continuing to add new and delicious recipes to your site, in spite of the occasional rude comment by passing ingrates and ignoramuses. The vast majority of us truly appreciate your work.

I'll be back!

- JT

On November 07, 2005 at 02:57 PM, an anonymous reader said...
This is the recipe I have been looking for, rather it is shrimp shrimp or with or without tails, I will rate it at 5. Yum. Glad I found this website. br

On November 07, 2005 at 02:57 PM, Mishee (guest) said...
I think this recipe is great...I also like to add some chardonnay and fresh grated lemon peel to add some zest to the sauce....I think the wine helps bring out the flavor in the shimp as well as the seasonings.

On November 07, 2005 at 02:58 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I make a variation of this recipe that is quite tasty, although I dont think it can be considered Shrimp Scampi anymore.

I melt butter and fry minced garlic and diced onions, add a pinch of cayenne pepper and hot pepper flakes. I'll then add the shrimp, I prefer to remove the tails and if the shrimp are large I'll cut them in half. when the shrimp are done I'll add heavy cream and grated cheese. serve over linguine. the hot peppers go a long way so be careful.

On November 07, 2005 at 02:58 PM, an anonymous reader said...
All this fuss about what we Americans decided to name something, goodness! I do think that is one of the most interesting parts of this site is learning what y'all overseas don't have and the different names used for things we have in common. Like digestion biscuits, a homologue to grahm crackers, that sounds kinda scary. I think saying it is traditionally served over liguini is perfectly legit, can't Americans have traditions too for goodness sake, it is how we serve the dish and all. I think that is a cool thing about this country, we take dishes and style from other countries and adapt them to our tastes and make a whole new style, but enough of the flag waving.

As for the site I just discovered it and have become hooked quite quickly. I think that the snobby comments about the site are uncalled for, I have seen nothing claiming this to be a "professional chef site", heck the name itself says exactally what it is and who the intended audience is (the microbiologist daughter of an engineer is welcome though right =)). If one wants to go to a traditional cooking site then by all means go but leave sites like this alone, the internet is big enough for both! This site is more than a cooking site it is a place for people express ideas and such, and that is cool. Great work Michael!


On November 07, 2005 at 02:58 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Going slightly off topic, but if the last poster was referring to the UK, we have digestIVE biscuits, not digestION biscuits. Maybe it's familiarity, but digestive biscuits sound considerably more palatable and less medical - to a Brit, anyway ;-)

On November 07, 2005 at 02:58 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I think the site is very good. who cares what you call it as long as it taste good

On December 11, 2005 at 07:52 AM, an anonymous reader said...
My shrimp scampi recipe is close to yours. Try adding a little lemon zest, it gives it a little zing. I also prepare a shrimp scampi with white rice in place of linguine and sprinkle some bread crumbs in with the shrimp just before serving.

On December 20, 2005 at 09:24 AM, an anonymous reader said...
I like to thicken mine up a little by adding cornstarch or something similar, or dredging the shrimp in flour. Just a personal preference.

On December 20, 2005 at 04:05 PM, the_bleachman said...
Here in Panama Camerones ajillois common and is made with shrimp in a sauce made with garlic, culantro and either wine or beer.

This is not for the garlic-shy though, an entire head of garlic may be crushed and added for about a pound of shrimp.

It's served with either white rice or sometimes patacones (fried green plantain).

On December 29, 2005 at 12:02 PM, Jill (guest) said...
Subject: Variation, if you want it
This dish, no matter what you call it, is also good with a little dry white wine -- cut the amounts of butter and olive oil by half and add about a quarter cup of wine instead. If you do that, I wouldn't advise adding any grated cheese; that's just a personal preference, though.

I love this site, by the way. I use it all the time.

On December 30, 2005 at 12:36 PM, the_bleachman said...
There is a resteraunt out here that makes a version of camerones ajillo with a little difference. The call it camerones en salsa de vino blanco (shrimp in white wine sauce). They add white wine and heavy cream so as to totally destroy any health benefits anyone thought they were getting from eating seafood, but it tastes really good.

On January 09, 2006 at 05:53 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Shrimp Scampi
Whether or not it is correct to call it Shrimp Scampi, thats how I searched for a recipie for tonights dinner and found this one which is very simple but good. Right or wrong its something we Americans relate to shrimp with butter and garlic. :)

On February 15, 2006 at 10:05 AM, americaningermany (guest) said...
Subject: Shrimp Scampi
I just found this site and I must say that the recipe tastes fabulous!! I also did a search for Shrimp Scampi and found this site. I've never had the experience of this type of site before...Certainly interesting!! As for what the recipe should be called, who cares as long as there's a description of what's in it!! I'm from the south(living in Germany:)) and everybody knows how southerners like to rename dishes and call them their own!! I've tasted the Italian version of this dish in Italy and I there's just no way to tell the difference as long as you use fresh seafood no matter what you call it!! Excellent job and I love the layout.

On April 09, 2006 at 05:01 AM, an anonymous reader said...
So, as to the us americans being wrong about "shrimp v. prawn"... do a little research, and find out that there are physical differences between the two, but not dealing with size,(the gill structure is different), and get
"stuffed!!". :angry:

On April 09, 2006 at 10:01 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I just don't get what the big deal is. There is not right or wrong, there are just cultural differences. Here in Britain we would call them prawns, over in the US they call them shrimp. Yes, scampi is the word for shrimp/prawns in Italian but that is the American name for the dish. Scampi to a Brit would refer to a langoustine.

On April 09, 2006 at 10:07 PM, an anonymous reader said...
oh and i forgot to mention.. even if there are supposed to be physical differences between shrimp and prawns.. it's still a cultural thing in terms of language. English and American English may be similar but they are by no means the same. so some words have different meanings.. people need to accept that! In Finland, they have 7 different words for snow which describe different types of snow. Does that mean we are wrong to say it is just "snow"?

On May 02, 2006 at 02:55 PM, JohnInCanada (guest) said...
Subject: Names mean a lot!
Not to quibble (much), but there are significant differences between a shrimp and a scampi. Not the dish - the critter. A scampi (langoustine) is more closely related to a lobster than a shrimp - at least that is what I think. When I go down the st. Lawrnce river in the summer, we eat at a litle restaurant in Tadoussac which serves filet avec langoustine (tenderloin and scampi) - and while the tails they serve (broiled with garlic butter on the side) are tiny - like a medium sized shrimp - the shells are quite hard and thick - more like a lobster.

How did I get here? well it's my GF's 50th bday tomorrow and I want to get her "real" scampi tails - and before I go to the market I wanted to be sure I had the nomenclature down. Saddly, I fear they will not be available here, and I will have to settle for rock lobster tails.

On May 06, 2006 at 07:54 PM, Louise (guest) (guest) said...
This is another clearly-explained and delicious recipe. I think next time I will make less linguine or more shrimp and garlic though. It's also good with a bit of basil in it.

On May 22, 2006 at 09:45 AM, Sherrick said...
This looks wonderful and I would very much like to prepare the dish for my family. My only reservation is that I've never cooked shrimp in any form before. Due to my inexperience, I am a bit concerned about removing "the vein" without either destroying the look of the shrimp or inadvertently removing too much of the meat. Is the de-veining process difficult? Any tips on performing this portion of the preparation properly?

Oh yes, I just remembered something else that I wanted to ask. I may have missed it, but I don't see a listing for the number of servings in this dish. I am the rather large father of three even larger teenage boys. My wife is a lovely, petite woman who can - on occasion - eat us all under the table. I need to make sure these folks are full before the bottom of the plate appears. Again, I would appreciate any insight.


On July 03, 2006 at 04:29 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: deveining
You can buy them deveined at many markets. I have been eating shrimp all of my life probably 20 times a year times 50 years and I have never deveined a shrimp. As long as the shrimp is cooked I don't think there is any health risk. I don't buy the very large shrimp because they can be tough. With the larger ones I am sure you would want to devein.
Hope I helped

On July 06, 2006 at 01:32 AM, JKyrala (guest) said...
Subject: Shrimp Scampi :)
What a neat site! I thought the carved pumpkin was very appropriate. :)

This recipe is really good and I love the recipe charts.

One thing I do differently is that I use rice noodles instead of the usual wheat ones. I tend to have allergies but I also like rice noodles. Use the translucent noodles from China - some of the ones from the US that are opaque tend to fall apart. I have a Chinese food store near my neighborhood so this is not hard for me. One advantage of the rice noodles - they cook really fast.

Shrimp, even if it is called lobster, is very good served this way. :>

The physics of snapping noodles is in this podcast from Quirks and Quarks - the podcast.

04-Snapping Spaghetti

The physics of the way spaghetti breaks under strain.

f you've ever tried to break up dry spaghetti, you may have noticed that it doesn't snap into two even pieces. Usually it'll break into three, four or even more sections. It's a problem that's plagued engineers, that is, until recently. Dr. Andrew Belmonte is a mathematician at Pennsylvania State University. He's spent hours dropping weights on top of strands of spaghetti and taking high speed photographs. Thanks to his destruction of pasta, he's been able to work out the mathematics of breaking in thin rods. It turns out everything depends on how fast sound waves will travel through the object, and how large the rod's diameter is. All this is valuable if you're thinking of constructing new materials. For his next project, Dr. Belmonte plans to smash plates.

The article was published in Phys Rev.

Quirks and Quarks is available via podcasts too.

On July 17, 2006 at 06:17 PM, an anonymous reader said...
this was my first time cooking. i did it for my boyfriends birthday because it seems pretty easy.

it came out very good and he enjoyed it.

On July 24, 2006 at 03:29 PM, CA Engineer (guest) said...
Subject: Silliness
Engineers, why must we argue over non-sentical points? My personal preference is to scan the comments quickly, ignore the lame ones that argue over things that have no reference to the recipe or whether it is good or not and then select the link to HIDE COMMENTS, so they don't bother me so! :)

I spent many years living in Italy and they have a dish there (in a little town called Aldelphia) called Aglio Scampi con Linguine and it is basically the same as our dish, but always is served with wine in the sauce...typically a Pinot Grigio. :) My nona makes it all the time!

Wonderful job on the diagram showing the recipe!! My husband and I are both engineers and this makes a lot of sense to both of us...

On July 27, 2006 at 12:47 AM, an anonymous reader said...
For a little kick, add to the garlic/butter a pinch of red pepper and/or a dash of Tobasco/Frank's Red Hot sauce. To thicken the sauce up a bit and give it even more flavor, lightly dust the shrimp with fine breadcrumb after you first put them in the pan.

On August 31, 2006 at 11:09 AM, cottonpatch (guest) said...
Subject: posting food comments
I have to agree with the poster above, I was looking for a good recipe, found one, and was wanting to know how it tasted and how others cooked it, and all I got was a lesson on culture, how sad. Thanks to all the posters who did post about how the food tasted, not the google search for
the word scampi or etc etc. I'm not being ugly, but most food posters say how the recipe worked for them.......
oh yeah and this recipe was excellent! I like alot of salt and garlic so I uped it a little pit and added some basil and parsley. If this recipe were not called shrimp scampi, I would have not found it, that's just what it's called. We don't know why, we just eat it cause it's good. I don't care if we called it slop, if it looks good we will eat it! (or at least I will)

On November 26, 2006 at 07:20 PM, Mary (guest) said...
Subject: Comment Complaints
The name of the website is "Cooking for Engineers." Not "Cooking for Food Critics," "Cooking for Gourmands," or "Cooking for those who want to be reassured beforehand."

The thing that matters most is that the recipe works. Provides a blueprint for a decent (or better) version of the dish in question. There's your reassurance. If you don't like the tangential conversations, stick to sites where engineers aren't around to post minutiae.

I add a dash of cayenne pepper, by the way. Gives it a nice bite.

On January 03, 2007 at 12:43 PM, P2H (guest) said...
Subject: Excellent!
I made this last night and it turned out fantastic. I made scampi once without the tails and I must agree that the tails do make the dish more tasty. Not sure why, either.

On January 27, 2007 at 03:42 PM, sheehanje (guest) said...
Subject: Variation
First, to some of the inane crtique. Everywhere you go, food terminology is different. Chili peppers for example can mean one of many types of peppers, usually depending on what is available in a locale. In a lot of the U.S., if you order Shrimp Scampi, you get something similar to this dish. So, clarification is fine, but bashing shows your mentality and bias.

With that said, I usually make this with a twist. I add about 1/4 cup of dry white cooking wine during the last 2 - 3 minutes of cooking. Really gives this recipe a great twist. Try it sometime. Great easy recipe.

On March 11, 2007 at 09:00 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I also think this recipe should include the serving size.

On April 18, 2007 at 08:02 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I made some alterations to this recipe. I'm not saying it's better, just that I'm a freak for flavor and sauces. I sautéed 3 imported shallots, thinly sliced in butter and olive oil (amount depends on how much shrimp is used). I did 2 1/2 lbs shrimp so I used 5-6 TBS butter 2-3 TBS oil. Then 2-3-tsp minced garlic, put in shrimp (tails on :) I then added 1TBS crushed parsley, grated pepper, paprika and fresh grated parmesan cheese (coating top layer of shrimp) and lemon juice (preferred fresh squeezed), flipped the shrimp after 2 min or so, repeated same process with 1 TBS parsley, pepper, paprika, cheese and lemon juice. When shrimp starts to turn pink I do a quick flip and then add some light cream (not much, a couple of TBS). I toss it with seasoned linguini (olive oil, butter, pepper and small amount of salt-to taste) Lots of flavor is sealed in the shrimp!

On September 02, 2007 at 08:53 PM, EngineeringProfessor said...
Michael Chu wrote:
Hey, I'm not the one who named the dish. This is what it's called in the United States - I just wanted to share how I cook the equivalent dish.

If there's too much confusion over the title of the dish, I'll change it, but I was under the impression that calling this dish "Shrimp Scampi" would immediately bring forth images of shrimp in butter garlic sauce. Let me know if I am mistaken and what the title of this dish is supposed to be called. (And yes, I did think it was odd for a dish to be called shrimp shrimp, but there are plenty of food names that don't make sense...)


You are right-on with the title, don't change. The only thing I would add is "Shrimp scampi with <name of pasta>" since I like scampi with angel hair pasta instead of linguine. To each his own, that's the American way. The pundit from Epicurious needs to go back there.

On October 13, 2007 at 01:39 PM, Just Me (guest) said...
Subject: Shrimp Scampi
Geesh. Personally I loved the recipe Michael, thanks so much for sharing such a quick, delicious recipe for shrimp scampi. Lotta anal retentive folks out there though, I just wanted some shrimp and got a huge dose of cranky...lolol. We KNOW there are different types of crustations people, we simply wanna make some dang shrimp with garlic and butter, relax!!

On November 29, 2007 at 05:09 PM, kaye (guest) said...
Subject: Unpeeled shrimp in France & England
I always order Scampi if it's on the menu but in Britain (and most recently) France they don't seem to peel the shrimp before serving it. My english friend said the shells are edible but my reply was "why would I want to eat them". Has anyone else run into this? I don't want to be an ignorant American but it seems a bit lazy on the part of the cook and very unappealing to my senses. Any comment? 8|

On November 30, 2007 at 08:12 AM, Dilbert said...
kaye -
[[Has anyone else run into this?

yes - an Italian colleague ate shrimp in the shells, shells and all . . .

On December 02, 2007 at 05:34 PM, an American in France (guest) said...
Subject: re: Unpeeled shrimp in France & England
"On November 29, 2007 at 10:09 PM, kaye (guest) said...
Subject: Unpeeled shrimp in France & England
I always order Scampi if it's on the menu but in Britain (and most recently) France they don't seem to peel the shrimp before serving it. My english friend said the shells are edible but my reply was "why would I want to eat them". Has anyone else run into this? I don't want to be an ignorant American but it seems a bit lazy on the part of the cook and very unappealing to my senses. Any comment? 8|"

Well, while I don't want to call you ignorant, your comment does come off that way (a little, sorry). My passive observation of general food preparation in France (I'm afraid I can't comment on Britain's preparations) and in the States shows me this (now keep in mind, I said GENERAL):

In France, food is culture. And so, flavor is HUGE. (Seriously. You should see the way French people describe food -- their most recent meal, a new restaurant, etc. It's amazing...and kind of endearing.) Food that's cooked bone-in, shell-on, etc. is usually found to be more flavorful. Perhaps that's why they do that in France. Even if that's not the case, I don't believe that it's laziness. That's not to say all meals in France are perfect. But I've had more good meals than bad :) I really appreciate France's ties to its agriculture. Granted it's a MUCH smaller country, so I suppose it's easier, but they (the people I know anyway) want to know where something comes from. They take pride in how they raise their livestock and REALLY enjoy what they eat. I've never met a French person who feels guilty after enjoying a crême brûlée or a buttery pain au chocolat.

In America, food's practically sterilized and made overly convenient. Or at least, had been for many years. That is, people can't stand to be reminded that meat comes from actual animals (I know people like this, but, of course, your p.o.v. may be different depending on what your origins are). People go for the safe and ready-to-cook stuff. And when you're pressed for time, it's great. But sometimes it seems like a sort of refusal to deal with the real thing. We want things that are skinless, featherless, bloodless, boneless, etc. Agriculture has become so industrialized in the US. But I guess when you're trying to fill the demand of a country as massive as ours, it was inevitable. That's not to say that there are no more ma & pop farms. (There are! There are even such farms in NJ. I should know, I'm from NJ -- we're The Garden State, you know :)) Luckily, people are starting to be more adventurous with food and becoming more interested in cooking. I'm thinking that (at least) part of that has to do with the popularity of the Food Network (I miss it!). That said, I would, kill for a good, juicy burger and fresh cut (with the skin still on!), peppery fries and a nice, plump, crispy dill pickle. Holy crap. That kind of thing I feel Americans do best :)

I had a point, but I'm not sure if I got there. I ended up writing more than I meant to and in doing so, I kind of lost track...but, hopefully I don't come across as anti-American, because that'd be silly. I AM American and I love my country. But I do have to admit, I was getting really bored with the general humdrumness of "American cuisine" the last year or so before I left for France. Luckily, I had my mom's cooking to fall back on. She makes some AMAZING Korean food. YUM! (..although, unfortunately, the majority of French people seem to not be able to handle their spicy food too well and so a lot of the Korean food here is "dumbed" down)

Anyway, sorry for the rambling! Happy eating & cooking to you all.

I really love and appreciate your site here, Michael.

On July 19, 2008 at 02:03 PM, TaratheFoodie (guest) said...
Subject: mmmmmm....
Easy, decadent, and pretty all in one dish. I LOVE shrimp scampi, but it's literally been years since I've eaten it and I've actually never made it. I have a tendency to skip over dishes that have been "done a million times before" or that are "easy". Sometimes that's a downfall of mine because I end up missing out on noshing on the classics. I consider this dish a classic. Thanks for the recipe as I will be whiping some of this up very soon! :P

On August 15, 2008 at 11:08 AM, EE_Cook said...
Subject: Shrimp Scampi
I had to spice up this is it is very bland...I added about a cup of scallions and a few sweet red peppers and tomatos from the garden...It works well with chicken also.

On November 09, 2008 at 07:25 PM, Not so complicated (guest) said...
Subject: Scampi
Scampi in the US refers to the cooking method not the ingredient. Thus you can have shrimp scampi, chicken scampi, etc.

On November 13, 2008 at 12:15 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Trolling
Troll: One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.

The best thing to do is ignore them, like an attention whore.

On February 11, 2009 at 11:23 PM, biomimetical (guest) said...
Subject: Italian seasoning?
For a poor college kid, this is actually very inexpensive and tasty! I don't use parsley, though. When the shrimp are flipped and the second side is being cooked, I dash garlic salt and Italian seasoning onto the shrimp - it really brings out this amazing flavor that hits the spot perfectly. I also use angel hair pasta because it's the quickest to cook and doesn't stick together (the flatter pastas, like linguini, always do no matter how often I stir!).

Thanks for the recipe!

On March 22, 2009 at 06:13 PM, sarah (guest) said...
Subject: good recipe
Well, philosophical discussion and semantics aside, this is a great recipe (scampi) and I appreciate you sharing it with everyone. I will be using it tonight!

On April 25, 2009 at 08:14 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: mmmm sounds like a great recipe!!!
I'm making this tonight:) I'll be sure to come back and post how my family liked it.

The one thing you can do to add more shrimp flavor to the dish would be to make a stock to cook the pasta in. I take a couple of carrots, couple stalks of celery, 1/2 a small onion, a few garlic cloves, some peppercorns, a few bay leaves and about 8 cups of water. Simmer that down for a few hours, then toss in the shrimp shells and cook for another 15 minutes or so, adding more water if needed. Strain all that stuff out, reserving the liquid of course;)put the stock back into the pasta pot, and add enough water to cook the pasta in. It's not a ton of water either, like the directions on the pastas will say, because you WANT that starchiness so you can add about 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the dish, it helps thicken the sauce ;) I use about half the recommended water and never have trouble with stickiness or the flavor.

I'll also be doubling the garlic, we're garlic freaks, lol!

Thanks for a great recipe!~

On May 18, 2009 at 12:02 PM, an anonymous reader said...
On November 07, 2005 at 07:46 PM, Alredhead (guest) said...
We aren't in Italy are we? I like the recipe as it is. If you don't, or you would like to change something, why don't you do that when you are making the food for yourself?


Asshole, he said IMHO. And Americans are idiots what do you expect

On June 04, 2009 at 07:18 PM, Chemist/Engineer's Mom (guest) said...
Subject: Awesome
I am surprised and happy this thread is still going! My daughter is an awesome student of chemistry and engineering - and reading some of your posts reminds me of how she would comment! It's a great, simple recipe - and I'm passing on the website to her. She's at Kettering in Michigan. Thanks!

On June 20, 2009 at 07:43 PM, dickrebel said...
Subject: Anonymous above is right regarding shrimp, tails, anuses...
Just chiming in.

You either must remove the tail or cook with it on because the digestive track dives deep into the tail and comes out the underside. It's not really possible to remove the vein past the last segment due to this.

The shells *do* add flavor. Shrimp stock is made from shells, feet, and tails of shrimp.

If you don't like the tails, you should peel and devein, then cut just at or just into the last segment.

Regarding naming: Isn't Gambero/Gamgerelli the name for shrimp in itallian? Isn't butter "burro"? And limone for lemon. Wouldn't the name be some combination of those? I don't wanna call my mimi and ask as she's almost 90 and it takes 20 minutes to get a straight answer out of her.

On June 21, 2009 at 01:46 AM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Anonymous above is right regarding shrimp, tails, anuses
dickrebel wrote:
Regarding naming: Isn't Gambero/Gamgerelli the name for shrimp in itallian? Isn't butter "burro"? And limone for lemon. Wouldn't the name be some combination of those? I don't wanna call my mimi and ask as she's almost 90 and it takes 20 minutes to get a straight answer out of her.

But asking an Italian would be like asking a person from China what the proper name for chop suey is...

On August 25, 2009 at 02:00 AM, Sara (guest) said...
Subject: Shrimp Scampi
Hi, would like to make one comment. I have seen the Shrimp Scampi under a different name, that is: Scampi Maison it has the same ingredients plus vermouth or white wine and a little bit of brandy but with no linguini.

On January 30, 2010 at 03:10 PM, Chet (guest) said...
Subject: Cooked Shrimp
I would like to know if it is ok to use cooked shrimp instead of raw shrimp when making this dish? I am referring to buying shrimp in the store that is already cooked and frozen. I was thinking that it would save time and work in the cooking process and there would be less shrinkage.

But if cooked shrimp is used, how long would you cook it with the other ingredients to give it the proper flavor for Shrimp Scampi?


On January 30, 2010 at 03:28 PM, Dilbert said...
>>proper flavor

ah, there's the rub.

fresh(*) shrimp do not take more than 4-6 minutes to cook thru. after that they start getting tough.

(*) fresh is a dicey term - most shrimp you see in the seafood case have been caught, cleaned and frozen. they are thawed at the store - often right in the seafood case. . . . unless the shrimp boats dock in your backyard, it is unusual to find 'truly fresh' shrimp in the market.

not exactly sure how valuable the "time savings" of used pre-cooked, frozen and thawed shrimp would be under these circumstances, but could you use "pre-cooked, frozen and thawed shrimp" - yes - be sure they are thoroughly thawed - just put them in the pan to get hot, they're already 'cooked'

On March 26, 2010 at 04:58 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Guys, about the tails
Yes, the tails have lots of flavour in them. However, since most people prefer not to eat them (for whatever reason, many people don't believe the shell is an edible part of the shrimp), I remove the full shell and the tail, then use all of that material to make a quick shrimp stock, which I then use to season the dish I'm making.

This way, you get the full depth of flavour that the tails offer, and you also have a bit of stock left over for whatever purpose you fancy. I usually just pull out the shells, dilute the stock as needed, and use the same pot to cook rice in, which infuses it with a nice shrimp aroma.

On September 10, 2010 at 07:25 AM, hellop (guest) said...
Subject: shells on
In my experience, leaving the shells on when cooking shrimp leaves them much plumper, juicier, and more flavorful.

On September 28, 2010 at 07:55 PM, Brian (guest) said...
Subject: Scampi
Not overcooking the prawns is what makes them plump and juicy. A short 2 - 3 minutes is all that is needed unless you like the rubbery texture of overcooked prawns.
In the end I always pour the pasta into the saucepan and mix on the stove top transferring from the saucepan to the plate. Better sauce coverage, the flavors meld better and the food stays warm longer.

On September 28, 2010 at 07:57 PM, Brian (guest) said...
Subject: Scampi
...and for a nice twist use Orzo instead of Linguini. Oh man!

On December 09, 2010 at 12:13 AM, darci.1990 (guest) said...
ok so who cares what it is called or if his ratings on his site when up or down due to pointless and idiotic comments.. i didnt know how to cook shrimp and now i do. thats all that matters. so thank you michael for the good and helpful site. :)

and who cares if it is called shrimp shrimp, shrimp scampi or just plain shrimp... we are in america and almost every restaurant you go to here will say shrimp scampi.. so therefore, michael, it was appropriate to name your recipe shrimp scampi, as that was what i (and probably dozens of other people) had searched to find a recipe.

thanks again!!!

On June 16, 2011 at 01:08 AM, Guest (guest) said...
Subject: the word scampi means shrimp or prawns
how come they use the term Shrimp Scampi? Its like saying shrimp shrimp ?

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