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JJ Johnson’s Charleston Shrimp Perloo


JJ Johnson’s Charleston Shrimp Perloo

Active cook time: 50 minutes

Serves: 6


3 slices bacon, chopped

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon kosher salt (preferably Diamond Crystal), plus more to taste

1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

2 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup long-grain white rice, rinsed (see page 12)

1 medium bay leaf

2¼ cups chicken stock

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

½ cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Set a Dutch oven or other large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, add the bacon, and cook for several minutes, until the fat renders. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, salt, white pepper, black pepper, and tomatoes to the pot and stir well. Add the butter, rice, and bay leaf and sauté the rice for 3 minutes, stirring, making sure all the grains are coated with the butter and seasonings.
  3. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 25 minutes until the rice is tender.
  4. Remove the lid and gently fold the shrimp into the rice. Replace the lid and simmer for 5 minutes longer until the shrimp is cooked.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat and let the perloo steam, covered, for 5 minutes.
  6. Season the perloo to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir, sprinkle with the chopped parsley, and serve with lemon wedges.


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