Easy Croatian Shrimp (Skampi Na Buzara)

Shrimp and sausage stew

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  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
758 Calories
31g Fat
16g Carbs
82g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 758
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 40%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 680mg 227%
Sodium 1940mg 84%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 82g
Calcium 323mg 25%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This fast-and-easy Croatian shrimp recipe is flavored with garlic, wine, tomatoes, and a special spice blend. Also known as škampi na buzara, which literally translates to "shrimp stew," this dish can be on the table in about 40 minutes.

Buzara-style cooking simply means that some type of shellfish or crustacean is cooked with olive oil, wine, garlic, breadcrumbs, and fresh herbs. Dagnje na Buzaru, or stewed mussels, is another example of this style of cooking.

This shrimp recipe is just one of the examples of the rich seafood offerings along the Dalmatian coast that is influenced by neighboring Italy. Meals often begin with some type of pasta or risotto and then it's on to fresh fish and seafood. Fish is usually grilled with local olive oil, garlic, and lemon, and seafood often finds its way into soups and stews as in this recipe. 

Skampi na buzara can be prepared with head-on shrimp, tail-on shrimp, or peeled shrimp. But leaving the shells on when stewing makes for a delicious sauce just perfect for dipping with crusty bread.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds head-on large shrimp (or 1 1/2 pounds tail-on, peeled large shrimp)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon garlic (minced, or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can peeled whole tomatoes (undrained and broken up)
  • 1 teaspoon Vegeta seasoning (see note below)
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. De-vein, rinse, and pat dry the head-on or tail-on shrimp and set aside.

  3. Heat a large skillet with a lid over medium heat. Add the oil followed by the breadcrumbs and stir. Cook, uncovered, just until the breadcrumbs turn golden and smell toasty.

  4. Add the garlic, parsley, tomatoes, and Vegeta seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

  5. Add the wine, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Add the shrimp, reduce the heat, and cover with the lid. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until shrimp are cooked through and the juices have thickened. Don't overcook or the shrimp will become rubbery.

  6. Remove the shrimp from the skillet with tongs and place in a large bowl. Pour the cooking juices into a gravy boat or similar container.

  7. Place everything on the table, letting guests peel the shrimp at their place settings and pour their own sauce. Serve with polenta, cornbread, or crusty bread that can be dipped into the flavorful sauce.

Note: Vegeta is an Eastern European vegetable-spice mix created by the Podravka company in Croatia. It's a common ingredient in many of the area's recipes and adds a nice salty, savory flavor. If you are avoiding salt and MSG, try a homemade version of store-bought Vegeta.