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Harissa Shrimp Scampi

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

I admit it. I've got a thing for head-on shrimp. There is something so simple and pure about using your bare hands to dismantle and inhale your dinner, shrimp juices dripping down your wrists. This dish hits all those notes and more, with a slightly spicy, super buttery sauce that seeps into all the shrimps' nooks and crannies and just screams for some crusty bread. Tossed at the end with a generous amount of fresh parsley and some salty-meets-tangy preserved lemon, this is everything you love about scampi but elevated.

Now roll up your sleeves and put on your bib because this is gonna get messy...

Harissa Shrimp Scampi

Serves 4


  • 2 pounds head-on shrimp or prawns

  • 8 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 medium shallots, finely minced

  • 6-8 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 2 tablespoons Five-Chile Harissa Spice Blend

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, minced

  • 1 teaspoon preserved lemon peel, minced

  • Crusty sourdough bread, for serving


Rinse the prawns. Using kitchen shears, cut down the back of the shrimp from the base of the head to the tail, leaving the head and shell on. Remove the vein along the back and set aside.

Heat a large wok or wide pot over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter has melted, add the shallots, garlic, Five-Chile Harissa, and a big pinch of salt. Saute for a minute or two, until fragrant.

Add the wine and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and add the shrimp. Toss to coat and then cover the wok with a lid. Toss the shrimp occasionally to ensure they all get cooked through. This should take around 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of your shrimp.

Once the shrimp are cooked through, turn off heat and add the parsley and preserved lemon, tossing to combine.

Serve immediately with crusty bread for dipping as well as PLENTY of napkins 'cause you're gonna need 'em.

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