Grilled Santa Monica Rock Shrimp – Anchovy, Lemon, Butter

These beautiful rock shrimp were kicking furiously in the backseat of my car, they teared through the bags of ice and were bouncing around in my ice chest. Apparently these shrimp were just caught locally a day ago at Santa Monica, they were brightly colored and smelled wonderfully sweet and of the ocean.

I decided to cook them in a very simple way; grill them live, sweat some shallots, make a beurre monté infused with bright lemon juice (from my backyard tree) and anchovy. Don’t mess around too much with high quality ingredients. The resulting shrimps were lightly smoky, extremely sweet, and the anchovy brought a certain deep oceanic savoriness out of the rock shrimp.  This dish is definitely packed with umami!


  • Charcoal Grill or Infrared Grill


  • 1 # Live Rock Shrimp
  • 1/4 # Stick of Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Shallot brunoised
  • 2 generous dabs Anchovy Paste
  • Salt, Pepper
  • Fresh Lemon Juice to season
  • Canola Oil
  1. In a saucepan on medium heat, use a bit of canola just to lubricate the pan. Throw in your shallots and anchovy paste, sweat that until aromatic.
  2. Once aromatic, throw in a squeeze of lemon juice to “deglaze” and begin to start swirling in your butter gently to form a smooth yellow emulsification.
  3. Adjust the beurre monté for seasoning; does it need more lemon juice? salt? anchovy?
  4. Throw the live shrimp onto your preheated grill. They may jump out, so be ready for any trying to escape. Cook the shrimp only very briefly, you’re only searing them quickly and finishing them in the beurre monté.
  5. Once the shrimp have been seared, toss them into the pan with beurre monté and simmer them ever so gently until desired doneness. Check for seasoning, and serve right away.

~ by Clifton Su on October 23, 2012.

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