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5 from 1 vote

Shrimp with Fennel, Tomato and Pernod Sauce

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings


  • 1 pound shrimp
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup olive oil extra-virgin
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup Pernod
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley chopped


  • I like to buy my frozen shrimp unpeeled, with tails. You can find them already peeled and deveined but if they are not, you need to peel, devein, rinse and pat them dry.
  • Slice the fennel into very thin slices, much thinner than you'll notice I did in my photograph. What was I thinking?
  • Smash your garlic or chop it finely as well as your fresh herbs.
  • Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel. If you don't, they will steam instead of sauté and we don't want that.
  • Season them with some salt and pepper.
  • Heat up your sauté pan or frying pan over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. You want to get the oil hot, but not smoking.
  • Add the shrimp in a single layer. Sauté for about 2 minutes and then flip and cook for another minute or two. You want the shrimp brown but not completely cooked through. You will finish cooking them in the sauce.
  • Remove the shrimp from the pan and lower the heat to medium.
  • Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan along with the fennel and garlic. Season with a little salt and sauté until the fennel is golden brown. This should take about 8 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the Pernod.
    The recipe said the Pernod might flame up so I decided to show my oldest daughter what that looked like. I tilted the pan a little over the flame so the Pernod would ignite and we were all a little surprised by the size of the flame.
    Luckily I had the pan cover out and quickly covered the pan and put the flame out. I'm saying this to let you know, you need to be careful whenever you deglaze a pan with alcohol.
  • Once you add the Pernod, put the pan back on the burner and cook until most of the Pernod is evaporated.
  • Add the tomatoes with juice, thyme and half of the parsley. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes.
  • Add the previously cooked shrimp, stir to coat with sauce and cook for another minute or two until the shrimp are opaque throughout.
  • Let it sit for a minute or two before tasting and then adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Serve over rice, pasta or by itself, as my wife likes it, sprinkled with the reserved parsley.


This is a good one that just may become a regular in you cooking repertoire. I would have no problem serving this to guest at a dinner party.