Shrimp Pilau

  • Serves

    serves 4-6

The word pilau refers to a rice dish that has been prepared in a seasoned broth of onions and vegetables and served with shellfish, chicken or game. It arrived with African slaves and is very popular in the Caribbean and Southern states.


  • 2 lb. fresh shrimp, heads and shells on
  • 2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 12 cups long-grain rice
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 14 cup chopped fresh parsley


Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°. Remove heads and shells from shrimp and refrigerate meat. Combine heads and shells with 1 chopped onion, carrot, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 20 minutes.

Step 2

Place roasted vegetables and shells in a large pot with 1 quart of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain, discard solids, and reserve broth.

Step 3

Cook bacon until crisp in a large pot, drain on paper towels. Sauté green pepper and remaining onion in same pan, in bacon fat, for 10 minutes. Add rice and cook until transparent, about 5 minutes. Season with pepper. Add tomatoes, parsley, and 2 1⁄2 cups shrimp broth. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, adding more stock if rice gets dry.

Step 4

Add shrimp to rice, cover, and cook another 10 minutes. Stir in bacon and serve.

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