It is Friday evening. Here is a great way to kickstart a delectable weekend. Pamper yourself with a sinfully rich Shrimps Newburg. The plump, sweet shrimps cosseted in a velvety sauce, with a hint of sherry in its depths, is a great way to welcome a weekend of indulgence. It is classic, elegant and easy to cook. What more could one ask for on a Friday evening!

Given its sheer lusciousness, Shrimps Newburg is the perfect dish for any occasion. Have guests who have turned up unexpectedly? Impress them with the deliciousness of Shrimps Newburg rustled up minutes. Feeling down in the dumps? Let the blues take a backseat as you savour the flavours of the buttery Shrimps Newburg. Want to have a quiet, romantic dinner with your partner? Well, let the unrestrained yumminess of Shrimps Newburg hit the right spots. Need a cheat night when you can forget your diet? Shrimps Newburg served on golden toast points will give you a drool worthy cheat meal. While there is really no need to belabour the point, it is worth reiterating that the Shrimps Newburg is a plate of sheer scrumptiousness that can be eaten anytime, anywhere.

This is a dish with a bit of history and drama behind it. It made its debut in the 1880s at Delmonico, an American restaurant in New York. Originally, the dish was made with lobster and was named Lobster Wenburg, after its creator Ben Wenburg. Lobster Wenburg was a monster hit. Guests often came back for yet another hit of its creamy addictiveness. Nobody knows the actual reason, but it is assumed that the popularity of the dish resulted in a fracas between the restaurant owner and Ben Wenburg. In a fit of pique, the restaurant owner replaced the ‘Wen’ in the name with ‘New’. And ta-da! Lobster Newburg was born. Soon, other restaurants began to make their own versions of Lobster Newburg. One of them replaced the lobster with shrimps. Thus a dish was born. Or rather, a star, was born. Because Shrimps Newburg was one of the first ‘restaurant style’ dishes that was copied and served in American homes. It’s chic demeanour and rich taste made it an instant favourite.

PS: If you are wondering who Ben Wenburg was, culinary history states that he was a West Indian sea captain. He was NOT a professional chef.

Now that you are intrigued enough to try out our Shrimps Newburg recipe, here is a tip to make this flavour bomb even more explosive. Make sure you brine the shrimps in a mixture of salt and baking soda. You want the super moist Indian Vannamei shrimps used in the recipe to remain super moist. Yes, shrimps may be amazing, but they do have a drawback. If not treated well, they have a tendency to curl up and go dry. Well, the secret to pampering the shrimps into retaining their juiciness is to rest them in a salt and baking soda brine. Sprinkle the two ingredients over the shrimps. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to an hour. The salt ensures that the shrimp do not lose their lovely succulence. The baking soda keeps the shrimp tender but firm.

Let’s move on to getting the dish together. The prep is easy. Chop the garlic and parsley, slice the mushroom and grate the cheese. Spoon the butter into a pan. Let it melt on a low flame into a golden richness. Add the sliced mushrooms. Saute for a couple of minutes. Let the butter soak in the nutty earthiness of the mushrooms. When the mushrooms begin to turn colour, add the chopped garlic. Inhale deeply the wonderful aromas wafting up from the pan. The garlic and butter combo never gets stale!  Before the garlic starts browning, introduce the tomato puree to the sizzling trio. Let everything simmer together for a couple of minutes. The next step is the creation of the divine sauce. It would be wise to take a deep breath to relax your body and mind, for the next few minutes could break or make your dish. Yes, the sauce is the essence and soul of this dish.

With the flame on medium, add the shrimp stock, sherry and cream. Shrimp stock is basically made by soaking the shrimp shells and onion in water and boiling the same. The gravy obtained is the stock.

Now stir the mix and keep a close watch on the pan. The stirring is the key here. It is absolutely essential that you keep stirring the sauce while it thickens. When it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, add the shrimps, cayenne, paprika and salt. Stir well until the shrimps are nicely coated with the sauce. Add nutmeg and cheese. Garnish with the chopped parsley.

The Shrimps Newburg is ready.

You can serve it in several ways. Spoon it over a steaming plate of rice and enjoy every mouthful. You can also serve it with golden, crunchy brioche toast points. If you are in the mood for a truly classic dinner, bake puff pastry shells. Pile on the Shrimps Newburg. The flaky, light pastry combined with the creaminess of the sauce and the juiciness of the shrimps takes this dish to a whole new level. Bite into it…and Bon appétit.

Recipe Card

Butter 2 tablespoon

Sliced mushroom         1 cup

Chopped garlic              2 tablespoon

Tomato paste half cup

Dry Sherry        60ml

Shrimp stock                  1 cup

Cooking cream              1 cup

Indian Vannamei Shrimps        450g

Cayenne Pepper           1 tablespoon

Paprika              1 tablespoon

Nutmeg             1 pinch

Salt       to taste

Parsley chopped           1 tablespoon

Grated Cheddar cheese            2 tablespoon


Heat butter in a pan and sauté mushrooms until they are golden in colour.

Add in garlic and stir for a few seconds.

Add the tomato paste and cook for two minutes

Add the shrimp stock, sherry and cream to the pan and cook on medium hit till the sauce thickens and coats the back of the spoon.

Add the shrimps, cayenne, paprika, salt and stir till the sauce coats evenly.

Cook the shrimps for three minutes

Add ground nutmeg, salt, cheese and mix well.

Garnish with chopped parsley.            

Prep time: 15 minutes             

Cooking time: 20 minutes       

Serves 4