Sumac Shrimp Scampi with Crunchy Asparagus

Lemony sumac, crispy fried onions, and fresh mint—your traditional scampi could never. I developed this recipe to emphasize the richness of scampi’s tangy butter sauce while balancing it with fresh asparagus and herbs. Happy Spring!

Scroll down for the recipe


20 stalks asparagus
2 Tbsp chopped mint leaves
1 lb shrimp, thawed
2 servings of noodles or pasta, cooked al dente
1 cup fried onions
2 cloves garlic, minced or 1 tsp garlic paste
2-3 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp sumac
Red chili flakes, to taste
2 Tbsp lemon juice or juice from half a lemon

Necessary Knick Knacks

Large skillet that can withstand high heat



Prepare your noodles to an al dente texture before beginning this recipe. Save a tiny bit of the pasta water. Drizzle the cooked noodles with some oil to prevent them from sticking together. I like to use ramen. :)


Chop your asparagus: cut off the woody bottoms (about 2-3 inches off the ends). Chop the rest into 2 inch pieces. Keep the stalks and heads of the asparagus separate as you will cook them at separate times.


Roughly chop the mint and set aside. 


Heat up a large skillet on medium-high heat and drizzle on about 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Once the pan begins to smoke, add the chopped asparagus stalks and let sear, undisturbed on high for no longer than 60 seconds. Add the asparagus tops, sprinkle a generous amount of salt (1 tsp), and vigorously shake the pan for another minute. Test one of the stalks by breaking it in half and checking to see that the inside is bright green and not fully cooked. Using tongs, remove the asparagus onto a plate.


Lower the heat completely before beginning the scampi sauce. Once the pan is at a low heat, drizzle about 2 Tbsp of olive oil on the pan and add the fried onions, garlic, sumac, and chili flakes. Stir to combine completely, about 1 minute. 


Cooking the shrimp: Add the butter and let it melt 50% of the way through. Add the shrimp and raise heat to medium-low. Add the lemon juice. Toss shrimp in the butter and onions, and add a pinch of salt. After the shrimp, lemon juice, and butter sauce is combined, toss the asparagus in. The shrimp and asparagus will finish cooking together and you’ll know it’s done when the shrimp turns opaque and pink. Remove the pan from heat as soon as the shrimp is opaque.


Toss in your noodles and chopped mint with the scampi. You are welcome! 

What if I don't have...


While most herbs can work here, I recommend basil or parsley.

Fried Onions?

This ingredient is crucial to the flavor and texture of the scampi :-( 

What if I don't have...

greek yogurt?
A sour cream, any yogurt, or just no yogurt will be ok! It won’t be as tangy if there’s no yogurt, so add a bit more lemon juice to compensate.

Fry whatever nut you got in some garlicky goodness! Also, add any desired crunchy topping you have.

Most greens and herbs will do!

Tell me if you maked this!

Direct any questions or comments you have to my instagram at: @reeniekarim