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Gullah-Style Shrimp and Gravy

Kardea Brown
Tyler Essary/TODAY


  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 pound cooked wild shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 cups quick grits, prepared according to package instructions
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions

Chef notes

There's no wrong way to eat shrimp and gravy. You can serve it with creamy grits, fluffy rice, crumbly cornbread or just eat it right out of the bowl!

Technique tip: The more flour you use, the thicker your gravy will be. Use a little flour at a time, if becomes too thick, add water to thin it out.



Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Add bacon cook until crispy. Remove bacon strips and set aside for later use, reserving bacon drippings. Add onions to skillet with bacon fat on medium-low, stir and cook for 5 minutes.


While onions are cooking, in a large bowl, sprinkle the shrimp with a few pinches of salt and pepper, garlic powder and toss, then set aside.


Turn the skillet up to medium-high heat and add canola oil. Test the oil temperature by dropping in a dab of flour. If it sizzles then add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until it is browned. Add cooked shrimp and bacon and stir with a wooden spoon. Slowly whisk in hot water, bring to a slight boil, stir, then reduce heat to a simmer for 10-15 minutes until the gravy thickens and browns. Taste gravy and add more salt and pepper or garlic powder if needed.


Serve the shrimp over the prepared grits topped with green onions.