Recipe by Herbert Wallich, fine tuned for simplicity by Ken Wallich

A childhood comfort-food favorite. My dad (Herb) used to make this once, maybe twice a year. It was a special treat because meals were mostly low-cost meat and potatoes and boiled veggies, Dad only cooked once in a while, french toast on weekends, crab on occasion (Dungeness crab was relatively cheap when I was a kid, and you could catch it yourself in SF bay), and only when he’d saved up enough to pay for the more expensive ingredients like prawns would we get this.

I’ve modified the recipe slightly, because he had done the same, but never wrote down his modifications. This is the best rendition I’ve made, for my tastes, perhaps even a slight improvement on my childhood memories. It’s pretty simple, and I’ve streamlined the recipe, so if you make it just like it’s written, it’s very fast to prepare.

Difficulty: Easy

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Yield: 6 servings


  • 2lbs 16/20 Shrimp/Prawns
  • 2-3 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine (don’t skimp! Use wine you’d actually drink)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 Tbsp warm water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Dash cayenne pepper (or more, to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 scallion chopped
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped


  1. Combine tomato paste, water, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper in a saucepan. Cook over low heat 5 min.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet.
  3. Add flour to bowl with shrimp, toss until coated.
  4. Add shrimp to skillet and lightly brown on both sides.
  5. Remove shrimp, add garlic to remaining oil, brown slightly.
  6. Drain oil/garlic and combine with tomato paste mixture in saucepan.
  7. Return Shrimp to skillet, add wine slowly to shrimp and cook over low heat till wine is absorbed. Flip shrimp, repeat.
  8. Stir tomato paste mixture in with the shrimp
  9. Add parsley and scallion and warm for 1 minute.
  10. Remove from pan add lemon juice and serve