Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

Feeling & sharing a world of cooking ~ more than your average Cajun


Shrimp Imperial

May 26th, 2009 · 18 Comments

Shrimp Imperial

The first time this recipe came across my purview was during a culinary practicum at the University of New Orleans (UNO) Hotel and Restaurant Training (HRT) kitchen. The practicum consisted of the spring semester of 1984 where the Delgado Community College culinary apprenticeship shared a class with the senior HRT students, practicing restaurant operations in a learning environment. The senior HRT students ran the front of the house and the culinarians ran the back of the house. The first month involved making up rotations of team members and then developing menus based on various themes ranging from several cuisines to a Culinary Olympics menu as well. Most of the meals were prepared as a luncheon for UNO staff, but a few of the meals towards the finale of the course were dinner evening meals. One such meal was the French cuisine dinner, it was a 7 course event and also featured a pre-dinner party with canapes and Hors d’oeuvres, one of them was the Shrimp Imperial.

I was the sous chef for this particular meal, and while the designated chef apprentice became ill and missed this day I had to step it up and no backing out now even though I also happened to be running a 101 fever. I worked through the 14 hour day somehow without fainting or collapsing, I guess the adrenalin kept me going. I was young then and could endure a lot of adversity, but it certainly was a test of strength and stamina, the energy came from somewhere and is still a mystery to this day!

The second time I made this recipe was for a Halloween party I put together in 1992 at my home, of course it was a big hit. And the biggest hit for me was the first flirtation with my wife Monique was in reference to this dish. We were friends then and she told me “You can make these for me anytime”, and I said “There’s a price for everything!” So for a third time I made this dish for Mother’s Day a few weeks ago and again, Monique loved them.

This recipe calls for ½ lb. of back fin crabmeat and ½ lb. of claw crabmeat for added flavor, and I find the claw meat also adds a bit of firmness to the texture of the stuffing as well. The Panko breadcrumbs are actually an addition to the original recipe, and the cocktail sauce is served as an alternative to the traditional beurre blanc sauce that would be served on the side also. Another ingredient that is found in the traditional “Imperial” preparation is mayonnaise, and it has also been eliminated from this version.

After 25 years and only preparing this dish 3 times the historical recipe is finally documented and shared with you, and hopefully it will continue to impress those in your life too. I just hope to make it again sooner than later!

2 Lb. 21-26 count Shrimp, tail on, butterfly
½ Lb. Back fin Crabmeat
½ Lb. Claw Crabmeat
½ Cup Green onions, chopped
½ Cup Yellow onion, minced
½ Cup Celery, minced
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
½ Each Juice from lemon
2 Tsp Cajun Spice Blend, divided
1 Tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tsp Crystal Hot Sauce
2 Each Eggs, beaten
1 Cup Italian Breadcrumbs, divided
1 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs, divided
½ Tsp Sea Salt
Procedure Steps – Pre-heat oven to 375° F.
1. Have shrimp ready peeled and de-veined and butterfly leaving the tail shell intact, then gently toss with 1 teaspoon of the Cajun Spice Blend, keep chilled.
2. Combine the remaining ingredients to make the stuffing, but reserving ½ cup each of the Italian and Panko breadcrumbs.
3. Fill each shrimp with about 2 Tbsp of the stuffing gently squeezing the tail on top and the butterfly section on the bottom, and then place them on a greased sheet pan with the butterfly portion down and the tail wrapped around the top.
4. Combine the reserved ½ cup each of the Italian and Panko breadcrumbs, then gently coat the outside of each stuffed shrimp and return them to the sheet pan.
5. Place in the pre-heated oven and roast until shrimp are pink and crust is golden brown, approximately 20 – 25 minutes.
6. Serve immediately with cocktail sauce.
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Tags: Appetizers · Commentary · Recipes · Seafood

18 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jo // May 26, 2009 at 9:55 am

    looks so so so good! Nice Chef!

  • 2 Jessie // May 26, 2009 at 9:57 am

    yikes! I have so much respect for chefs in general especially when you cook while running a fever!

    other than that, that shrimp imperial looks awesome, I would love to serve that at my house warming party that is coming up soon

  • 3 Ryan Boudreaux // May 26, 2009 at 10:43 am

    So glad that you like the recipe Jo and Jessie! It makes for a great party item to impress…”Imperially” so!

  • 4 Gera @ SweetsFoods // May 26, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Impressive shrimp recipe Ryan and with a big extra point done with fever… excellent-delicious job, well done 🙂



  • 5 judyfoodie // May 26, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Looks delicious. A must try!

  • 6 s. stockwell // May 26, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    As always, your posts are sensational! we love this one and the crab is good here in Santa Barbara. We will do this one soon…thanks, s

  • 7 curiousdomestic // May 26, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Crab stuffed shrimp, baked not fried. That sounds great, and easy to handle for a party. Thanks for sharing!

  • 8 Ivy // May 26, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Although I love shrimps, I’ve never cooked them whole with their shells before as I only buy frozen shrimps and I am sure your recipe tastes awesome.

  • 9 Heidi / Savory Tv // May 27, 2009 at 2:23 am

    Very sweet about your wife at the Halloween party! Thank you for the recipe!

  • 10 Jenn@slim-shoppin // May 27, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Wow, what a fancy dish! I like the part about your wife trying it for the first time before you were married 🙂 That’s cute!

  • 11 thepinkpeppercorn // May 28, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    Looks delicious Ryan!

  • 12 Rico // May 31, 2009 at 8:09 am

    that got me salivating all over the keyboard that being your fault you owe me a new keyboard lol loved the dish x 🙂 Rico|Recipes

  • 13 Tangled Noodle // Jun 1, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    This fabulous dish has only seen the light of day (or dinner, as it were) 3 times in 25 years? I’d be making it as often as I could. Thanks for sharing a great recipe and story!

  • 14 Pink Foodie // Jun 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Did I see Crystal hot sauce in the recipe??? These look amazing. I love the combination of crab and shrimp. Imperial indeed.

  • 15 Aunt Carol // Oct 7, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Lord, this looks outstanding. Thanks for sharing this with us. Love you —

  • 16 Ryan Boudreaux // Oct 7, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Hey there Aunt Carol, glad you like them and thanks for the comments. Love you too!

  • 17 pegasuslegend // Oct 8, 2009 at 10:48 am

    I love your webpage thank you!

  • 18 Ingeborg // Jan 25, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    What a fantastic recipe! Looks soooo delicious, Ryan.