Shrimp and Fava Beans 4.000

T. Susan Chang

Book Report Jul 22, 2015

This gentle method of cooking shrimp provides excellent insurance against toughness or overcooking. The peeled favas scarcely need cooking, and the radishes none at all; overall it's a fast and appealing weeknight dish for summer.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 1 cup kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 3 pounds whole fava pods (about 1 1/2 cups beans after shelling)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 pounds (41-50 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup fruity white wine
  • 1 or 2 radishes, thinly sliced
  • Flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish


Fill a mixing bowl with water and ice cubes. Combine 1 gallon of water and 1 cup of kosher salt in a large pot; bring to a boil over high heat.

Tear open the fava pods and remove the beans, discarding the outer pods. Add the beans to the boiling water; cook for 1 to 2 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the ice-water bath. Once they're cool, discard the outer hull of each bean, placing the shelled favas in a bowl as you work.

Combine the butter and the shrimp in a wide skillet over low heat. Stir as the butter melts and the shrimp begin to cook. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then add lemon juice and white wine. Keep a close eye on the shrimp as they cook, stirring frequently. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a bowl as soon as they are opaque and slightly curled.

Add the peeled favas to the skillet; increase the heat to medium-high. Cook just until the favas are heated all the way through, then taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. (Be sure to taste both the beans and the liquid.) Add the radishes (to taste), then turn off the heat. Return the shrimp to the pan and toss to incorporate.

Divide, including the pan liquid, among individual wide, shallow bowls. Garnish with parsley; serve right away.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Root to Leaf," by Steven Satterfield (Harper Wave, 2015).

Tested by T. Susan Chang.

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