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Smoked Shrimp with Three Dipping Sauces

Smoking shrimp with a stovetop smoker creates a thrillingly addictive, fun-to-eat cocktail-hour food that’s also a great appetizer.

“Wait! What?”

Yes, there is such a thing as a stovetop smoker. If you don’t already own one (Athena, Camerons, and Nordic Ware are top brands), you can make one in a pinch as long as you have a stainless steel or aluminum roasting pan and a flat wire roasting rack that fits inside it. The smoking chips that you use in a stovetop smoker are like coarse sawdust. They’re made from a variety of hardwoods—apple, cherry, and hickory are common—and you can buy them at stores such as Target or from cookware retailers such as Williams-Sonoma. Learning your way around a stovetop smoker (see Notes on Successful Stovetop Smoking, below) adds a new vector of creative exploration to your repertoire.

Serve these smoked shrimp with one or all three dipping sauces.–Matt Lee and Ted Lee

LC To Smoke or Not to Smoke Note

As lovely and easy as stovetop smoking is, we feel the real oomph in this starter is the assortment of not one but three (three!) dipping sauces. Don’t get us wrong, the smoking part is nice, though not essential—not by a long shot, not when you have dipping sauces this swell. Instead simply grill or steam your shrimp and set them out with the dipping sauces—whether one, two, or all three.

That said, we love our stovetop smoker and use it for all manner of things. We can tell you from experience that you can also find smokers and their chips online and at hardware stores. Another thing we learned firsthand? A darn good ventilation system is essential unless you want all your worldly belongings to be perfumed with apple, hickory, or oak smoke.

Shrimp with Three Dipping Sauces Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 4 to 8

Ingredients

  • For the shrimp
  • 1 pound large shell-on shrimp, smoked*, grilled, or steamed
  • For the Garlic Buttermilk Dip
  • 1/4 cup whole or lowfat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 1/4 large clove garlic, grated
  • For the Lemon Chive Mayo Dip
  • 1/2 cup store-bought mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped or snipped fresh chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • For the Sriracha Buttermilk Dip
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (nonfat, low-fat, or full-fat)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons Thai chili sauce (sriracha) storebought or homemade, plus more to taste

Directions

  • 1. Prepare the shrimp any way you see fit.
  • 2. Prepare any or all of the dipping sauces by whisking the ingredients together in a small bowl.
  • 3. When the shrimp are done, you can either serve them immediately, warm from the smoker or grill or steaming basket, or let them cool to room temperature and then refrigerate them until ready to serve. Serve the dipping sauces alongside. (The cooked shrimp and sauces can be refrigerated for up to a day.)
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