Colossal BBQ Shrimp with Crab Cake Stuffing

Main Course

Recipe courtesy of Wicked Good Barbeque

Serves 8



  • 3 cups water
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons white peppercorns
  • 8 giant shrimp, 3 to 4 ounces each



  • 1½ medium carrots, peeled and cut into ¼ inch dice 
  • 1½ ribs celery, cut into ¼ inch dice 
  • 1 medium onion, cut into ¼ inch dice 
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • Zest of 4 lemons 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 
  • ¼ cup freshly chopped fresh parsley 
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 cup panko or bread crumbs 
  • 2 cups lump crabmeat 
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste


  • 2 cups water
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon Juice
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tablespoon IQUE Dry Rub (recipe follows)


  •  1 cup turbinado sugar
  • ¾ cup kosher salt 
  • ½ cup high-quality paprika (we like Spanish paprika)
  • 6 tablespoons chili powder 
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds, freshly ground
  • 4 teaspoons mixed peppercorns, freshly ground
  • 4 teaspoons (12 g) garlic granules 3 teaspoons onion granules
  • 2 teaspoons MSG (or Accent), optional
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder

Colossal BBQ Shrimp with Crab Cake Stuffing


Click image to enlarge


To make the brine: In a large saucepan over high heat bring the water, salt, sugar, bay leaves, and peppercorns to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and chill until it reaches a temperature lower than 41°F (5°C).

Remove the shells of the shrimp, leaving the tail on, and butterfly them from the belly side; devein. Place the shrimp in the brine with 2 cups (475 ml) ice and keep cold.

Brine for 25 minutes. Drain and pat dry.

To make the crab cake stuffing: In a sauté pan over medium-Iow beat, cook carrots, celery, onion, and garlic in the butter until tender, 5 to to minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Transfer to a bowl and stir in mayonnaise, lemon zest, thyme parsley, Old Bay Seasoning, and pqnko. Gently fold in the crabmeat, trying to keep the chunks intact (we like to really see the crab). Season with salt and pepper.

Prepare smoker and bring temperature to 300°F.

While the smoker is heating, stuff the shrimp. Place about ½ cup of stuffing in your hands and shape into an oval. Position inside a shrimp, wrapping the tail up and over it. Repeat with remaining shrimp.

Place the shrimp in a buttered 9 x 12-inch baking dish, or directly on the smoker grate, and smoke for 8 to 10 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and no longer translucent, or until an instant read thermometer inserted in the meat of the shrimp registers 145°F. Remove from the smoker.

To serve, arrange shrimp on a serving platter, drizzle with IQUE Hollandaise Sauce, and sprinkle with IQUE Dry Rub.

To make the Hollandaise:

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the water to a boil. Lower heat and reduce to a simmer. In a metal mixing bowl large enough to sit over the saucepan, whisk yolks and lemon juice until yolks lighten in color, 2 to 3 minutes. Place the bowl over the saucepan, and whisk constantly until mixture thickens, 3 to 5 minutes (it should coat the back of a spoon). Remove from heat and, whisking constantly, add butter, 1 cube at a time, making sure each one is blended in before adding another. When all the butter is incorporated, whisk in Tabasco sauce and IQUE Dry Rub. Reserve until shrimp are ready.

To make the rub: Turbinado is raw sugar with coarse, blond-colored crystals. It has a light, molasses flavor. It is essential in this rub because it doesn't burn as easily as white or brown sugar. We like to use mixed peppercorns--white, black, pink, and green--because they add complex flavors, hitting different points on your tongue as you eat.

Also, look for fresh chili powder, such as Gebhardt's, and paprika, which have superior flavor. They can be difficult to find at traditional grocery stores. We order ours online, but if there is a good spice shop in your neighborhood, that is another option.

Place all ingredients in a spice blender and pulse until it becomes a fine powder. Refrigerate in an airtight container.

This rub will keep indefinitely, but try to use within 1 month to ensure freshest flavor.


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