Something New: Salt-baked shrimp

Craig McCord

Craig McCord › Craig possesses 23 guitars and cannot play any of them. He likes fresh grilled sardines with a ...


One of the great things we appreciate about food is how there is always something new to discover.

It seems as though just around the corner there is always a new taste, a better technique, the latest delicious ingredient, or a world of ethnic foods waiting to be sampled.

What I recently discovered in Garden & Gun magazine is certainly not new to lots of people, but it’s a revelation to me and I absolutely cannot wait to prepare this dish.

Kim Severson has written an article about one of Chef Adam Evans’ signature dishes that has my mouth watering.

Salt-baked shrimp. (Why didn’t I know about this before?)

One of the great things we appreciate about food is how there is always something new to discover.

Ms. Severson explains:

You bake three pounds of rock salt tricked out with coriander, star anise, garlic, and a few other intense flavors, then bury the shrimp in it. Pop the whole thing back in the oven for ten more minutes or so, and it’s done. “I like the idea of baking seafood in salt,” Evans says. “It’s a great technique and it’s underutilized. It makes so much sense, though. You have seafood in whatever form—a whole fish or whole shrimp—coming out of salt water.”

That does makes so much sense.

Severson continues:

Once you have a big platter of hot, salt-baked shrimp, you will want to bring out a bowl of comeback sauce.

What the heck is ‘comeback sauce’? I don’t know, but I am going to find out. There are many variations of the original recipe. Here’s one to check out.

A little bit about the chef. Evans started cooking in Birmingham, Alabama and continued his kitchen education in New Orleans and New York. Nowadays he does his thing at The Optimist in Atlanta.

Further down in the article, Evans responses to a question from Severson concerning using tongs in the kitchen. Chef’s answer, I think is telling.

Says Adam Evans:

“Once you start using tongs, they become like your hand and you lose the feel for your food. I learned that from Tom Colicchio.”

From the looks of his salt-baked shrimp, it’s easy to say Adam Evans has a feel for food.

Have you ever tasted salt-baked shrimp with comeback sauce? Tell us about it.

Photo credit: Craig McCord