There are several different types of shrimp sauces, which can be made from shrimp or used to compliment cooked shrimp. The most popular shrimp sauces are scampi, alfredo, and creamy tomato. For dipping, cocktail sauce, steakhouse sauce, and tartar sauce are common in America and Europe. In Asia, a spicy mayonnaise-based condiment is popular for this shellfish.
One of the most common shrimp sauces is scampi. In this dish, the shrimp is cooked with a large amount of butter, as well as wine, garlic, and lemon juice. While scampi can be prepared without shrimp, it tends to lose much of its flavor. Shrimp scampi is typically served over noodles or with crusty, fresh bread.
Shrimp alfredo is a popular pasta dish in several parts of the world, especially Italy. A basic white sauce, or roux, is made using flour, butter, and heavy cream. Raw shrimp is then cooked within the sauce, and then served over wide noodles. In some parts of the world, cheese is added to the alfredo, although this is not common in Italy; seafood and cheese are rarely, if ever, used together in traditional Italian cooking.
A tomato cream sauce also often incorporates shrimp. As with the other shrimp sauces, it is most often served over pasta. Heavy cream is added to a tomato sauce, which can be a standard marinara or, in some areas of the world, a very spicy tomato sauce laden with red pepper flakes and paprika. The shrimp used in these types of sauces are typically small and have the tail removed for easy eating.
Cocktail is commonly used as a shrimp sauce, and served with cooked and chilled shrimp. The pair are typically served as an appetizer. Cocktail shrimp sauces are usually tomato-based with horseradish and lemon. Other ingredients and spices can be added for different flavors.
Steakhouse shrimp sauces tend to vary, although they typically include mayonnaise or sour cream, some type of tomato product, and a variety of spices. In America and Europe, this sauce is very popular in Hibachi-style restaurants, although it is not typically used in traditional Asian cuisine. Tartar shrimp sauces are most often served with hot or fried shrimp. It is typically a mix of capers, mayonnaise, and relish, with lemon juice and garlic also being common ingredients.
In Japan, China, and Korea, spicy shrimp sauces are popular. Asian mayonnaise, which is slightly thicker and more flavorful than its European counterpart, is mixed with a chili sauce and a large amount of garlic. These shrimp sauces are used on both hot and cold shrimp, although they are particularly popular with fried shrimp, especially Japanese tempura.