Pan-Fried Shrimp With Dill

Pan-fried shrimp with dill is a perfectly Greek-inspired snack. Full of lemon, dill, shrimp, and not much else—allowing all the ingredients to shine. Perfect for sharing, meze style.

Several pan-fried shrimp with dill piled in a white bowl, garnished with fresh dill.

Adapted from Clifford A. Wright | Little Foods of the Mediterranean | Harvard Common Press, 2003

According to author Clifford A. Wright, in Greece there are a veritible plethora of meze that go by the name garides tighanites, or fried shrimp. This particular recipe is best served warm, although room temperature is quite nice, too. He usually serves this with some crusty bread and a bottle of ouzo. Quite perfect, I think.–David Leite

Pan-Fried Shrimp With Dill

Several pan-fried shrimp with dill piled in a white bowl, garnished with fresh dill.
Pan-fried shrimp with dill is a perfectly Greek-inspired snack. Full of lemon, dill, shrimp, and not much else—allowing all the ingredients to shine. Perfect for sharing, meze style.
Clifford A. Wright

Prep 15 mins
Cook 5 mins
Total 20 mins
Hors d'Oeuvre
American
8 servings
213 kcal
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Ingredients 

  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds large fresh shrimp preferably head-on, or 1 pound previously frozen headless shrimp, shells removed and reserved for making shrimp stock, if desired
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill leaves* to your taste

Directions
 

  • In a large skillet, melt the butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the shrimp, season with salt, and cook, tossing and stirring, until the shrimp are reddish orange and firm, 2 to 3 minutes. Dump the shrimp into a serving bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon juice, and dill to create a creamy vinaigrette. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the shrimp.
  • Toss the shrimp well and serve them warm with the sauce on individual small meze plates or on a platter.
Print RecipeBuy the Little Foods of the Mediterranean cookbook

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Notes

*WHAT HERBS CAN I SUBSTITUTE FOR DILL?

In case you’ve declared your home a dill-free zone—we know, improbable yet still possible—rest assured, we strongly suspect this shrimp recipe would do quite nicely with any number of various herbs in its place, including tarragon, chervil, and parsley, to name but a few.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 213kcal (11%)Carbohydrates: 1gProtein: 23g (46%)Fat: 13g (20%)Saturated Fat: 4g (25%)Trans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 298mg (99%)Sodium: 882mg (38%)Potassium: 92mg (3%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 142IU (3%)Vitamin C: 5mg (6%)Calcium: 166mg (17%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

Recipe Testers' Reviews

I could go on and on about the merits of this recipe, but then my words would surpass the words in the recipe itself. No need to mess with perfection. Short and sweet and a dilly shrimp treat!

Plattered. Drizzled. Enjoyed. Servings, you ask? Well, the 3 of us left only the tails but I suppose you could stretch this to 4 servings to a more disciplined bunch at 7 pieces per person. As it was, I also made dill scented marinara sauce that I served on fresh orecchiette. Full meal. Muah!

Who would have thunk it? Dill and shrimp? Together? It didn’t even cross my mind until I saw this recipe. The combination was pleasantly surprising. All you do is quickly cook the shrimp and add a creamy dill and lemon dressing while the shrimp are still warm. Very simple and fast. The recipe specifies 1 to 2—or more—tablespoons fresh dill. We used about 3 tablespoons for a more pronounced dill flavor. I added some sauteed garlic to half the shrimp, and I preferred it that way. If you want to try a different shrimp dish, give this one a go.

The thing that I liked most about cooking pan-fried shrimp with dill was that was very easy and fast. I put it together in less than 25 minutes, which for me is essential since I had family visiting and wanted to cook something delicious. I bought previously frozen headless and cleaned shrimps. I put them over a bed of tostones—fried green plantain with a garlic and cilantro sauce. Final result? Excellent entree and my family loved it!

This is a recipe to make and make again. Not only is it easy and quick—10 minutes from start to finish if you use frozen shrimp, thawed, with head and tail off—but the dill and lemon give it a wonderful fresh taste. This recipe is a keeper. I served this dish with a salad and roasted asparagus for a light meal, but there's enough sauce to serve it over pasta or rice for a heartier dish.

I love shrimp. Shrimp are my bit of extravagance that tantalize my taste buds in so many different ways. Any yet, here was a recipe I’ve not come across—this pairing of shrimp with a dill vinaigrette. I really like quick and easy meals, especially when entertaining, and this pan-fried shrimp dish delivers on simple, with tons of taste. I found it to be a perfect appetizer, or one could take it up a notch, and have it with some summer greens or over a veg like grilled zucchini slices, but make a bit more of the vinaigrette. It’s a recipe that can easily be halved or doubled to suit your need.

This can be prepped pretty quick. I keep a big bag of Costco’s jumbo shrimp (16 to a pound) in my freezer, so I used those for this dish. They peel quickly, and are already deveinded. I let them thaw in the fridge overnight (a safer way than in a bowl of water on the counter) so I got them peeled in about 5 minutes. As I was going to pan-fry them, I let them dry on a paper towel, (because you end up with a nicer sear) while I got my other ingredients ready.

Shrimp will cook rather quickly, so I placed them in a large skillet, starting at the top and worked my way around, then filled in the middle. This placing allowed me to turn them over in a sequence, allowing for the same amount of cooking time for each shrimp, and avoiding that rubber texture you can get from overcooking. And they definitely only take 2 minutes of so per side on medium heat, so keep an eye on them as they cook.

Now, I had a very large lemon, so when I made the vinaigrette, it was a bit too acid, so I needed to adjust it with a bit more oil. But my skillet had some left-over butter and oil, as well as the lovely crispy shrimp bits, the fond at the bottom of the pan, so I used those to get the balance right with the vinaigrette, with a bit of salt and pepper. I served these tapas style in cazuelas with a side salad and a nice chardonnay for a light dinner.

At first, looking at this recipe it just seemed like an ordinary way to make shrimp, good but nothing new. Boy was I wrong! This recipe is super simple and easy. Perfect for a 110°F day. The creamy vinaigrette with the lemon and dill make it special and add so much refreshing flavor.

I used 1 pound of frozen shrimp. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find head-on shrimp around here. I squeezed my lemon and got 1/4 cup of juice out of it. I went with 2 tablespoons of the chopped dill. The shrimp took about 2 minutes to get to the reddish orange color so the timing is accurate.

My husband grabbed one "yum" immediately came out. of his mouth. Double yum from me. We had our shrimp with wild rice and asparagus great combination. The vinaigrette went nice with the asparagus too. I can picture sitting at the beach with a cold beer or glass of wine and a big bowl of this shrimp. My shrimp did look like the picture but we ate it before I remembered to take a photo.

Easy summer meal! I found this dish to be simple to make and a perfect summer dinner, when served with a large salad, some corn on the cob and toasted baguette. Everyone in my family enjoyed the shrimp but wished there had been some garlic in the recipe. I think adding some garlic when sauteing the shrimp would have given the dish just the depth of flavor it was lacking.

This was a quick, delicious, and oh-so-easy dish to make. I used 1 pound of previously frozen large shrimp—which gave me 12 shrimp. My lemon yielded about 3 1/2 tablespoons of juice which I combined with 2 tablespoons of fresh dill, great if you're a real lover of these two flavors. If not, then I'd suggest cutting the lemon juice down to 2 tablespoons and the dill to 1 tablespoon. The two of us happily consumed the entire dish. The portion would work for three people, but I don't think it would be enough for 4 or more unless it was served as a small appetizer.

The finished product is quite good. Gluttons that we are, my husband and I ate the whole thing, and it was delicious. Served with rice and a tomato & cucumber salad.

My super large shrimp took a little longer to saute because of the size—maybe 5 minutes. The instructions also don't say what to do with the sauce/pan juices, so I poured it over the shrimp before the vinaigrette. And about that vinaigrette, I don't know how long I would have to whisk, but it never got what I would consider "creamy". All in all, this is a fine tasting recipe, but I feel that the instructions need some tweaking to make it a Tester's Choice.

I found the directions lacking, confusing at best. I really didn't understand the weights for the shrimp, would head-on really weigh 1 pound more than headless? Is the recipe just suggesting I save heads for stock out of kindness, so I'm not caught shrimp stockless for some future recipe? Regardless, I did use one pound of previously frozen extra large shrimp (12 count). There is no way this would have served 8 people, unless it's supposed to be part of a tapas plate with many more dishes.


Originally published June 4, 2003.

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