Killer Shrimp

Killer Shrimp is from the much-loved bar and restaurant in California, named Killer Shrimp. Not everyone is lucky to live nearby, so we have to either hop on a plane or make our own.

Shrimp cooked in a spicy broth in a bowl.

If you like New Orleans Shrimp and Grits, you are going to love Killer Shrimp. This shrimp is just as flavorful, but is it a bit lighter, as this recipe has a lot of broth. If you enjoy this in the restaurant, you can get this with French bread, or rice. I personally like it with rice.

What makes Killer Shrimp so special?

That’s easy. It’s the broth.

This broth is made with fresh rosemary, thyme, celery seed, red pepper flakes, and clam broth. This makes for a very robust, but not too spicy sauce. The sauce is full-bodied, and you will not want to miss a single drop!

The sauce needs to cook for a while, so the flavors really bloom.

What type of shrimp should you use?

For this recipe, I prefer using a shrimp that is medium or large in size. You do not have to, but I think this sauce really needs a good large shrimp to bite into. I have a preference for using wild-caught shrimp if it is available. I think wild-caught shrimp has a much better flavor.

Love shrimp? Be sure to try these shrimp recipes.

Shrimp Remoulade from Galatoire’s Restaurant – enjoy a taste of New Orleans for dinner, or even as an appetizer. Don’t miss this Cajun favorite at home with this recipe.
Shrimp Wagon’s Shrimp Scampi – make shrimp just like the shrimp wagons of Hawaii.
Olive Garden Baked Parmesan Shrimp
Shrimp cooked in broth, served with bread.

Shrimp cooked in a spicy broth in a bowl.

Killer Shrimp

This killer shrimp is one dish you won't forget. 
4.5 from 4 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Seafood
Keyword: Killer Shrimp, Shrimp
Servings: 8
Calories: 238kcal


  • 1 tablespoon fresh or dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 quarts clam broth** (if making with chicken, use chicken broth)
  • 3 ounces tomato paste
  • 4 ounces butter
  • 2 pounds shrimp
  • french bread


Prepare the seasoning

  • Using a mortar and pestle, partially grind the rosemary, thyme, and fennel seed. Break the spices up rather than grinding them. 
  • In the end, there should still be recognizable pieces of the rosemary, etc.

Prepare the stock

  • Place the butter into the bottom of a large stockpot. Add the tomato paste, and cook until the tomato paste loosens. Add seasonings, and clam juice to the stockpot. Cook over low for about 1 hour.
  • Serve in bowls. Each bowl should contain a serving of shrimp and a lot of broth. The broth should almost completely cover the shrimp. Use unpeeled shrimp. The dish is eaten with your fingers. 

Serving Killer Shrimp

  • Just before serving, add raw shrimp. Simmer until shrimp is done, stirring, about 2 minutes. 

Recipe Tips for the Cook

How to Enjoy Killer Shrimp

  • Dig out a piece of shrimp and peel it. Eat it.
  • Soak up the broth with the bread and eat that.
  • No utensils.
  • This recipe makes a lot of broth. **If you have the time, peel the shrimp down to the last joint, leaving that and the tail intact. Add the shells to the clam broth and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer at least 1/2 hour. Pour into blender in batches and process till smooth. Strain back into pot. Add herbs and remaining ingredients and proceed with the recipe.
    Thanks to Mimi of Mimi's for this recipe.


Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 316mg | Sodium: 2017mg | Potassium: 203mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1120IU | Vitamin C: 7.8mg | Calcium: 180mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @CopyKatRecipes or tag #CopyKatRecipes!

About Stephanie

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Darryl U Cass

    correct me if I am wrong, but this recipe says it uses shrimp in the ingredients list but does say how or when to cook them. I assume in the broth…

  2. Leslie

    I did not use chicken broth. I used a 64oz can of clam broth and peeled the shrimp and simmered the shrimp shells in the broth for 45 minutes and strained it. Now I have shrimp broth. Sautéed onions in butter. Added tomatoe paste, minced garlic, and all of the aromatics until the paste turned a dark rich red and added a cup of sherry wine and let it reduce. Then I added the shrimp broth. Let it simmer for an hour. Now is the time to season with salt. If you do it prior, the broth will reduce and get way too salty. The big secret that everyone thinks is beer, it’s not. The broth itself needs body. A thickener. Something that cohesively brings all of the flavors together. If you have ever eaten at KS, you would have noticed that the broth is not clear. Under the puddles of melted butter, there lies a slight milky substance. So I added a cup of heavy cream. And that Folks, is how it’s done! Simmer until it reduces just a bit and you can see the tiny droplets of melted butter on top. Add the peeled shrimp, simmer for about 8 minutes, you do not want to over cook the shrimp which the actual KS restaurant is famous for serving over cooked, rubbery shrimp. Say “grace” and serve. Bon appetite!

    • Silvia

      My hubby tried another recipe and it was almost there not quite. Broth was not the same color, rosemary was bitter maybe because he used dried instead of fresh, torn between the dry sherry vs wine. Your input sounds right on and will try it.

      • copykat

        So I am confused you thought this recipe was off, or another recipe, or perhaps both are a little off. The color of the broth may be influenced if you use dry sherry or white wine. Just a thought there.

  3. Miss Q

    5 stars
    I never actually ate there BECAUSE it was ALWAYS PACKED. I used to order it with an old boyfriend and he’d go pick it up. That was nearly 15 years ago….I still remember that shrimp and the sauce with the bread for dipping!! My mouth is SO watering! Anyway….I miss that shrimp more then the old boyfriend… and he was FINE!

  4. CactusHeart

    This is her “creation” of an imitation of the original recipe for Killer Shrimp, a (now defunct) restaurant in So Cal. Where they served 3 things on the menu: shrimp w/bread, shrimp w/rice & shrimp w/pasta *lol*…well, ok, make that 5 things; they also served beer and a tasty sweet potato/pecan pie. Their shrimp would be served in giant bowls of the most divine, rich (almost as fatty as it was flavorful), addictive spicy broth. When served with bread, it was so perfect for mopping up the sauce, you’d never bother to remember to ask for a spoon. I also loved that I could ask for the shrimp unpeeled (that’s how I like it). The inside of the joint sure screamed “dive” however *lol*. It was as dark as a nightclub, but without all the fun and atmosphere *lol* The minimal decor and lack of atmosphere made the long wait for our order that much longer. The muddled music was blaring on a stereo so busted it sounded like the speakers were kicked over and faced the floor *lol* But the shrimp! Oh, the shrimp!!! What I wouldn’t give for the recipe….and although this is close, this isn’t it. For one thing, I know for certain they use beer…And though their broth is deliciously rich, they DON’T use THAT much butter! I would love to have the recipe, maybe I could tweak it by adding additional seafood (scallops, etc.)…make myself a cajun version of tom yum soup *lol* which is what killer shrimp’s creation kind of already is. Rest in peace, killer shrimp…Your closure is a loss to me and the world. Your recipe was a gift from the heavens and my taste buds will never be the same. I’ll be pouring out a 40 on the curb for ya *LOL*

    • Claudia-Kellee

      C Heart: LOL when KS 1st opened upstairs in a strip mall, they didn’t even offer rice/noodles…just bread and we’d go downstairs to the Chinese restaurant and buy rice! But really, have U actually prepared this recipe? I’m with you on the addiction to the sauce (although I never had the one w/beer in it) it was buttery w/LOTS of rosemary, YUM! I’ll be fixing this recipe for a pot luck dinner & if it comes even CLOSE to KS I’ll be GOOD & thankful for THAT!

      ps: WHERE have U been? KS NEVER became “defunct”…they MOVED! In fact they even opened a location in Studio City (which IS now closed) BUT they have a FAB-U-LUSS BEACH location in Marina del Rey: 4211 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292 (310) 578-2293…CHECK IT OUT! (it’s been there FOR YEARS!!!

    • Lisa

      5 stars
      Just ate a Killer Shrimp on Pier Avenue, absolutely wonderful. Also tried the Killer fries, and they were fabulous. I would also love to have the recipe as I don’t live in California and only get out there every year or 2.

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