Potted Shrimps for a Traditional Yorkshire Shrimp Tea

Total Time
4hrs 5mins
Prep 4 hrs
Cook 5 mins

Delicate pink shrimps nestled in spiced butter that are packed into earthenware pots, and sealed with golden clarified butter - quintessential British fare that is tinged with timeless elegance of an old-fashioned Seaside teatime treat! Although Morecambe Bay in the North West of England is most famous for its potted shrimps, I remember these amazing Yorkshire Shrimp Teas from my childhood; you would see signs outside country cottages and farmhouses along the Yorkshire coastline near Scarborough and Whitby. Potted shrimps are traditionally served with hot toast and lashings of hot (preferably Yorkshire) tea! Serve these potted shrimp as appetisers, or for a real “Yorkshire Shrimp Tea” - with hot buttered toast, fresh lemon wedges and a pot of tea. This recipe is based on a 19th century recipe found in an old country cookbook, which I bought in an antique bookshop in England. (Prep time includes chilling time.)

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Put the butter and shallots into a pan and leave whilst the butter melts and the shallots softens. It should only take a couple of minutes over a medium heat.
  2. Add the shrimp, stir in for about 30 seconds then add the rest of the ingredients, except the clarified butter, and keep stirring. It will only take four to five minutes to cook; the mixture mustn't boil at any stage.
  3. Traditionally the potted shrimp is put into individual portions (ramekins) - so pour the shrimp mixture into 4 individual earthenware or china pots. Allow to cool for a few minutes then place in the fridge to set. Once set, pour hot clarified butter over the top to seal. Allow to cool again.
  4. Serve with hot buttered toast, brown bread and butter and a pot of English tea.
  5. Tip: To clarify butter, melt it, skim the foam off the top and carefully pour the butter without the milky residue.

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