From Anik’s Kitchen: Cream Sauce with Bell Pepper, Shrimp & Salmon


Fine, I lied. It’s not cream sauce with shrimp, but with leftover shrimphead (but would you open a post that reads “sauce with shrimphead”?). Adding some shripm to the sauce will probably taste good, too, but in my case, the shrimp was gone, and one of my Spanish in-laws kept saying “keep the heads, keep the heads”.

So, got some leftover shrimphead from last night’s langostinos a a plancha?  – Use them up in this fancy pasta sauce!

Cream Sauce with Bell Pepper, Shrimp & Salmon


  • about 20 shrimpheads (from cooked or grilled shrimp mine were from grilled shrimp)
  • 100 ml cream (cooking cream, heavy cream, whatever is at hand)
  • 1 smal red bell pepper
  • 2tsp. olive oil
  • salt, freshly grated black pepper
  • 1/2 small glass water, 1/2 small glass white wine (or brandy, if you have)
  • 1 small salmon steak, about 150-200g
  • 1 splash lemon juice


  • Heat up a pan (with no oil), add the shrimphead. Pour the alcohol over the shrimp, then the water. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes.


  • Meanwhile, wash and clean the bell pepper and cut it into very thin stripes.
  • In another, small pan, heat up the olive oil. Add the bell pepper, first on high heat for about a minute, then switch to minimum hat. Cover the pan with a lid/spray protector and let the bell pepper sweat and sauté itself. Toss once or twice in between.
  • Back to the shrimphead: crush each head with a fork, trying to squeeze as much liquid as possible out of it. Never mind the occasional shrimp eye or whisker getting away, the sauce is getting strained in the next step.
  • Strain the sauce through a fine sieve. Discard shrimphead remnants and put the strained liquid back into the pan.
  • On low heat, stir in the cream. Allow to blend and simmer gently.
  • Add the salmon steak to the pan and cover it with a lid.
  • Poach the salmon gently in the sauce, 3-4 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the salmon; then take out the fish and tear/cut it into pieces or flakes, discarded skin and fishbone.
  • While you flake the fish, add the softened bell pepper stripes to the pan.
  • Finally, add the fish to the pan again and allow everything to blend and warm up for another minute, season with salt, pepper and a splash of lemon juice.


  • Serve over a plate of pasta.


7 thoughts on “From Anik’s Kitchen: Cream Sauce with Bell Pepper, Shrimp & Salmon”

  1. so you mix shrimps(head) with salmon, does it mix the 2 flavors or can you tell a touch of shrimp in salmon sauce? also, pardon the beginner’s question: what’s the alcohol’s function in simmering the shrimps? My sister made a dish once in Berlin with shrimps full of heads and those eyes apparently scared my friends away, which was such a surprising sight for us… (and those legs are very tasty)


    1. With shrimp, I’m much more of a beginner than you are! (I’m such a wimp that I still don’t eat the eyes 😉 )

      Initially, the aunt recommended brandy because of the flavor blend of shrimp+brandy, but said white wine would be okay, too (still fruity, but less complex) – not sure about the function, but it seems to be very typical over here to simmer leftover pieces of bone or fish with a mixture of alcohol and water to extract the falvors and make a broth of sorts.
      The final flavor of the sauce is mostly a white wine/shrimp blend, but the salmon adds something softer and creamier, like a blended layer, although it doesn’t show up much of it’s own. It was a last minute addition, anyway, since I was hungry and just shrimphead sauce with bell pepper didn’t look filling enough.


      1. i only know how to eat 😉 and haven’t attempted it ever (though it seems very doable). we vietnamese have this dish with whole shrimps (same one my sister made in Berlin but we use fish sauce in addition to salt). coincidentally that “canh bi’ ” is also my favorite soup. it seems many of your dishes have some sort of cream/butter in it, which we don’t have in our cuisine… perhaps i can try yours but substitute cream w/ fish sauce and report how it goes 😀


        1. true, Central European cuisine is full of milk products – “a little cream and a little alcohol improve every dish”, it says. Must be why we, other than the Vietnamese, never get listed as healthy cuisine. 😉 If you try it, let me know how it works wth fish sauce – now I’m curious!


  2. You are right – that’s the only way I could deal with eating shrimpheads. My spanish friends always sucked the shrimpheads when we had gambas a la plancha and swore that they taste better than the “rest” of the gambas. But I was never convinced enough to try myself 😉 But I could surely be convinced to eat this wonderful plate of pasta – mouth watering as it looks.


    1. oh yes, they definitely do that here. They’ve even gotten me to try it, though I still don’t eat the legs. “We all have to draw the line somewhere…” 😉


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