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Potted shrimps in a a ramekin, ready to serve - a retro British dish that still feels fresh and vibrant.
5 from 2 votes

Easy Potted Shrimps

A delicious and traditional seafood treat. These potted shrimps are the perfect dish to serve at any party, as a starter or for a family tea!
Servings: 2
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time10 mins
Cooling / Setting Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins


  • 75 g butter
  • 150 g cooked & peeled shrimps - brown shrimp are ideal
  • pinch of cayenne pepper - or choose mace, nutmeg or paprika instead
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 anchovy fillet - optional
  • 1 shallot - optional
  • extra butter - if needed, depending on how the shrimp pack into the dishes


  • Put the butter, cayenne (or your choice of spices) and bay leaves into a small pan.
    75 g butter, pinch of cayenne pepper, 2 bay leaves
  • Stand over a low heat and melt, cooking for a few minutes to infuse the butter with the spice and bay leaves.
    The melted butter will split into fat and liquid containing the milk solids. Don't worry about this, as it is normal.
  • Remove the bay leaves. Then add the shrimps.
    150 g cooked & peeled shrimps
  • Stir and cook gently for a few minutes over a low heat, so the butter starts to soak into the shrimps.
    Do not cook for too long or too high, as the shrimp can become tough and rubbery. Add a generous pinch of sea salt and stir in well.
  • Usea slotted spoon to scoop the shrimp out of the pan and into two ramekin dishes. Press the shrimps down into the dish with the back of a spoon.
  • Pour the butter over the shrimps so they are covered. You may need to melt a little more butter to cover them if there is not enough. Press a bay leaf into the melted butter on top of each pot for decoration.
  • Once cooled, place in the fridge and allow to chill until the butter is set, or overnight.
  • Remove your potted shrimps from the fridge 20 minutes before serving.


Recipe variations 
  • Vary the spices – use mace, cayenne or paprika as you prefer. Some recipes even use cloves but bear in mind that not everyone likes the rather medicinal flavour these can impart.
  • Add a tinned anchovy fillet to the butter at step one. As the butter melts, stir the anchovy until it falls apart and melts into the butter. This adds an amazing depth of flavour and plenty of saltiness. Take care when adding any additional salt (you probably don't need it at all).
  • Alternatively, in place of the anchovy fillet, add a teaspoon of Gentleman's Relish or anchovy paste, again take care when adding any more salt - you probably won't need any.
  • Add half a very finely chopped shallot and sauté in the butter for a few minutes before adding the shrimps.
  • Fridge – Eat within two days (unless the expiry on the shrimp is earlier, in which case eat within that window). Don't take risks with seafood!
  • Freeze – Wrap tightly in cling film and freeze for up to two months. Allow to defrost overnight in the fridge. If the butter has cracked, melt a little more pour over to fill the cracks.
• Please note that the nutrition information provided below is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
• Unless stated otherwise cup conversions have been made with an online tool. For accuracy please check with your favoured conversion tool. We recommend buying inexpensive digital kitchen scales.
Serving: 2servings | Calories: 231kcal | Protein: 10g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 180mg | Sodium: 569mg | Potassium: 40mg | Vitamin A: 625IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 1.1mg