This Spicy Shrimp Scampi is a fun (and spicy!) twist on the classic. The whole thing dish comes together in no time and couldn't be easier to make. My favorite type of meal!
Shrimp Scampi is basically a dish of shrimp cooked with butter, garlic, wine and lemon. It can be served with or without pasta and if you know me but at all, you shouldn't be surprised to see that I've chosen the former! Pasta, always, I say.
The real stars of this dish (no offense pasta and shrimp) are the spicy chili paste and the butter. I'm serious, they make the dish! You might have made Shrimp Scampi with a pinch of red pepper flakes before, but we're kicking it up a notch by using chili paste in the sauce.
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The recipe calls for sambal oelek which is a Southeast Asian condiment made from chili peppers. You can find sambal oelek at most grocery stores these days! The brand that you'll most likely find at stores, the one with the green cap and the rooster logo, is also the brand that makes the most popular sriracha. Next time you're at the grocery store, look for the sriracha, and I'll bet that the sambal will be right next to it. You might also see a third product by that brand (Huy Fong) called chili garlic sauce.
I usually have all three of those products (sriracha, sambal, and chili garlic sauce) in my house and have made this recipe with both the sambal and the chili garlic sauce. Both of those options will work in this recipe (sorry, the sriracha won't do!) so if you happen to have one in your fridge already, no need to run out and buy the other. Sambal is a paste, and therefore more concentrated, so you'll need a smaller amount than if you're using the chili garlic sauce. The sambal is also more of a clean chili flavor while the chili garlic sauce has vinegar and garlic, as I'm sure you gathered from the name. If you're unsure of the heat levels, start with a small amount and add more to your taste!
Like most of my seafood pastas, this one is super easy to make. The shrimp and sauce cook really fast so get your pasta water boiling before you start cooking them. Make sure to reserve a cup of the pasta water before draining—you'll need that for the sauce!
I mentioned that the butter is one of the stars of this dish, and I meant it! The butter is what makes this whole dish come together. The butter mixes with the pasta water and makes a silky, glossy sauce. So delicious!
I promise you'll love this twist on Shrimp Scampi. Next time you want to scamp it up, reach for this recipe!
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Spicy Shrimp Scampi with Linguine
- ½ Pound large raw shrimp deveined
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil divided
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 3 Cloves garlic minced
- 3 Scallions white and green parts, thinly sliced
- 1 Teaspoon lemon zest
- 1-2 Tablespoons Huy Fong Sambal Oelek (or 3 Tablespoons Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce)
- ½ Cup dry white wine
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley roughly chopped
- Lemon wedges for serving
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta to 2 minutes less than package directions for "al dente". Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain.
- Meanwhile, Heat half of the olive oil and half of the butter in a large skillet over medium. Add the shrimp and cook, flipping once, until just opaque; about 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a bowl and set aside.
- Add the rest of the olive oil, the garlic, the whites of the scallions, and the lemon zest to the pan, stir, and cook until garlic is fragrant and golden at the edges; 1-2 minutes. Add the chili paste and cook another 3 minutes. Add the wine and stir, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Let simmer until alcohol is mostly evaporated; 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the pasta to the pan, along with the shrimp and the second half of the butter. Toss the pasta, adding splashes of the pasta water as needed, until a thick glossy sauce forms; 2 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and the rest of the scallions. Serve with lemon wedges.