Shrimp with Orange Beurre Blanc

Gulf shrimp sauteed in olive oil and served with an orange beurre blanc sauce, a buttery sauce with orange zest, white wine and shallots.


Shrimp Ingredients

  • Fresh Gulf of Mexico shrimp - 6 per person, or about 1/4 pound per person
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Sauce ingredients (Sauce also posted here. Makes 1 cup, enough for 4-6 servings. Divide or multiply to needs.)

  • 2 oranges
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallots
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • Salt and white pepper


1. Peel and de-vein the shrimp. Work with the shrimp one at a time, leaving the rest in a bowl of ice water. Holding on to the body of the shrimp, use your fingers to pull off head if it is still attached, and then the legs.

Starting with the head end, gently peel back the shell. Use your fingernails or a knife to cut into the base shell segment.

Remove the shrimp from its shell entirely. Place shrimp down flat on a cutting board and use a small sharp knife to make a shallow cut down the back of the shrimp.

You may see a dark, vein-like intestinal tract running through the meat. Use your fingers, or the sharp tip of a knife to remove. As you complete each shrimp, put into a bowl of ice water to keep cool. Set aside while you prepare the sauce.

2 Zest half of one orange (about 2 teaspoons) and juice the two oranges (about 3/4 cup). Put the juice, zest, wine and shallots in a sauce pan on medium high heat. Cook until it is syrupy and almost gone.

3 On low heat, whisk in the butter continuously and vigorously, 1 tablespoon at a time. Butter is the only emulsifier for this sauce, and if you slowly add it, continuously stirring, the sauce will achieve a silky smooth texture. Do not let the sauce boil. Salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm while you continue with the shrimp.

4 Heat a skillet on medium high heat. Drain the shrimp and coat with olive oil. When the pan is hot, add the shrimp and sprinkle on some salt and pepper. Cook the shrimp about 45 seconds on each side. Add some more olive oil if necessary to keep the shrimp from sticking to the pan. Do not overcook or the shrimp will be tough and rubbery.

Drizzle Beurre Blanc sauce over shrimp, or serve in a separate small container for dipping. Excellent accompanied by brown rice.

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  • aini

    What to do if i want to omit the liquor? Thanks in advance

    • Elise Bauer

      Hello Aini, the sauce recipe requires a half cup of white wine, which is very important for the taste. You could try making the sauce without it, but I don’t think it would taste nearly as good.

  • Jim

    Made this last night. Wife and I loved it, nice subtle orange flavor. Had roasted asparagus on the side, and the sauce was great with that. Only changes I made to the was I used champagne for the wine, a splash of white wine vinegar, and strained it. Can’t wait to try it with scallops. Thanks Elise!!

  • Odette G

    Made this last night…Awesome! The only thing I did different was add a teaspoon of chopped garlic. Fresh oranges right off my tree and fresh shrimp from the gulf…yummie! Low carb too…what’s not to love.

  • Amber

    Made this tonight and my usually picky fiance devoured it and asked for more. The sauce has just a hint of sweetness and it’s just perfect with Key West pink shrimp. I served it with butter braised carrots (Mark Bittman’s recipe) and white rice.

  • Sheeijan

    This picture looks so good I want to lick the screen. I made this last night, as a Friday night treat. The orange in the sauce is more subtle than I thought it would be, but delicious. I wonder how it would go with fish? I imagine it needs to be a delicate whitefish of some type, I may try baking some and trying the sauce out on it.