Shrimp Stew


  • 4 Lb. Medium (16-20 count) Shrimp with Heads and Shells
  • 1 Tbl. Oil
  • 6 C. Water
  • 1 C. Butter
  • ¾ C. All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Medium Onions, Finely Diced
  • 4 Stalks of Celery, Finely Diced
  • 1 Large Green Bell Pepper, Finely Diced
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
  • 3 14 oz. Cans of Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 ½ C. of Fresh or Frozen Corn Kernels
  • 5 C. Shrimp Stock, Seafood Stock, or Water
  • 2 Tbl. Salt
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 ½ Tsp. Dried Basil
  • ½ Tsp. Dried Thyme
  • ½ Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  • ¼ Tsp. Paprika
  • ½ C. Flat Leaf Parsley, Finely Chopped
  • ½ C. Green Onions, White and Green Parts, Finely Chopped


  1. Peel and devein shrimp. Refrigerate.
  2. If using shrimp heads and skins for stock, rinse well with cold water in a colander and drain well.
  3. In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon oil.
  4. Add drained shrimp shells and stir and cook shells until they have crisped up and turned pink.
  5. Add 6 cups of water.
  6. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low and simmer, skimming off any foam or oil that rises to the surface, about 30 minutes.
  7. Strain stock and discard all solids.
  8. Melt butter in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat.
  9. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly until the roux is a light peanut butter color, 5-10 minutes.
  10. Add onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic and cook, stirring for an additional 5-10 minutes.
  11. Stir in tomatoes, corn, stock or water, salt, bay leaves, basil, thyme, pepper, and paprika.
  12. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  13. Stir in shrimp, parsley, and green onions.
  14. Bring the stew back to a boil over high heat, then turn down the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  15. Remove from heat and taste for seasonings and adjust as needed.
  16. Serve over cooked white rice.

Adapted by  Debra Taghehchian based on a recipe found in Real Cajun p. 66