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Shrimps Kritharoto

I am back from a fabulous culinary travel in Greece, on the Tinos Island – Cyclades, travel that I will share with you all really soon. On the way back I stopped at Athens where I ate a delicious meal: the shrimp Kritharoto, which I made in the workshop as soon as I got back. Visually, it’s kind of complicated to take a picture that makes it look good, but the taste is just awesome! Trust me, especially if you like shrimps. For the first time in my blog, I used ourzo pasta, which has really different names according to where it comes from. The preparation looks like a risotto one, with a tasteful broth.

Recipe, text and photos : Bernard Laurance
Translation to english : Mathieu Sauvajot

Recipe for 4 people:

  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 12 big shrimps or 24 smaller ones
  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 7 (1,7L) cups of water
  • 6 bay leaves
  • A pinch of saffron

For the kritharoto:
  • 3 (40gr) tablespoons of butter
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • A half onion
  • 12 oz (350gr) of pasta
  • 2/3 cup (150 ml) of white wine
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 oz (50gr) of grated cheese (kefalotyri if you want to use a greek one, or parmesan if you can’t find it)
  • Some chives
  • salt, pepper

For that recipe, I took really big shrimps. Pour some olive oil in a big stove. 

Warm on high heat then put the shrimps.
I only put 6 on the picture because I did a half recipe, but follow the proportions for 4 people!

Salt and pepper.

Two minutes later, turn them to cook the other side, still on high heat!

A nice color and that’s it for the shrimps!

Keep using the same pan without washing it, and put the peeled and cut onion inside. Don’t bother cutting it properly because you will use it for the broth.

Still on high heat, brown it in the shrimps’ cooking juice with chopped garlic.

Shell the shrimps.

Put the shrimp peelings in the pan. Cook for 5 minutes.

Pour everything into a saucepan with water and saffron and cook over moderate heat.

Add the bay leaves.

Simmer for about 20 minutes. It smells so good!

After a while, pour it into a container and filter well. You must have at least 6 cups of broth.

Here’s the pasta! You will find it pretty easily at the supermarket. There are plenty of different names according to the regions or countries where it comes from.

In a large saucepan, put the butter, the olive oil and the half onion finely chopped.

Cook over medium heat.

The onions must slightly brown.

Pour the pasta.

Stir well to coat with fat while cooking for 2 minutes.

Pour the white wine.

As soon as the wine is absorbed, pour a bit of broth. Always stir it well before pouring again. Cook over low heat this time, while stirring regularly. When the pasta has almost absorbed it all, add more broth.

Prepare the tomato. Empty it of its pulp.

Then cut it in small pieces.

When you have used half of the broth, add the pieces of tomato.

Grate the cheese. In Greece, they are more likely to use kefalotyri, but here, feel free to use freshly grated parmesan… shhh! It’s our secret!!

Pour it into the saucepan with a bit of chopped chives.

You may not have to use all the broth. The pasta usually cooks in 9 minutes. It's up to you if you want a very creamy dish, in which case you'll have to put almost all the broth, or if you want a more consistent dish with less broth. In my case, I nearly used 6 cups of broth.
Put back the shrimps and let them cook over a very low heat for 3-4 minutes to warm them in the kritharoto.


  1. I had this dish in Athens recently and have been dreaming of it ever since. Thank you for this recipe, it's just what I was looking for. So good!


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