bulgur with shrimp?

Bulgur is a staple of Lebanese-Armenian cuisine sort of like arborio rice is at the heart of Italian risotto. It more closely parallels farro when used in farrotto, a less creamy perhaps more healthy version of risotto since it is the base for dishes with veggies and sometimes meat flavoring. Indeed big bulgur resembles farro very closely, but in contrast is processed in different cuts as well as being left whole kernel. It is the staple in my inlaws' kitchen for frequent pilaf dishes. Never did anyone ever consider sticking shrimp in the bulgur though. Until an old Cooking Light scanned recipe turned up in a file browsing session of our home desktop computer and got printed for use.

So this one has other frequent ingredients from the mother-in-law and our kitchens: fresh lemons, fresh mint, and lots of garlic! It did not take long to decide to give it a try.


3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1 cup uncooked bulgur
4 cups torn spinach
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, or cooked shrimp if you are lazy and don't like those stupid tails that are often left on
Lemon wedges (optional)


  1. Warm up the water with 3/4 t salt just short of boiling, if you can figure out how to do that. Keep on the back burner.
  2. Heat 1 T olive oil in a medium to large nonstick pan/pot and throw in the green onions, stir around a minute, then toss in the bulgur, stir around 2 minutes (don't stop stirring).
  3. Add the warmed salted water 1/2 c at a time for about 20 minutes to cook the bulgur according to Cooking Light, but this isn't risotto so just simmer away making sure the water doesn't evaporate. Set a timer.
  4. Remove from the heat. Add the spinach, mint, zest, and juice; stir until spinach wilts. Keep warm.
  5. Heat up 1 T olive oil in a nonstick pan and saute the garlic 30 seconds. Add 1/2 t salt, the pepper and the shrimp and saute for 2 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked, unless you started with already cooked shrimp in which case they just need to be heated up.
  6. Add the shrimp to the bulgur and toss around on heat if you think the bulgur did not stay warm enough. Don't overdo it.
  7. Can we call this bulgurotto? Maybe  not.


  1. Lemon mint bulgur with garlic shrimp from Cooking Light.
  2. Notice we did not give instructions on what to do with the optional lemon wedges, which are natural companions for shrimp. Be inventive.
  3. Illustrations available.
shrimpbulgur.htm: 30-mar-2018 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]