Marcel's Quantum KitchenSecretsEveryday Chemistry

Marcel's Magic at Home: Put a Little Quantum in Your Kitchen

Everyday Chemistry, Part 3: How to Flambe

Flambe is a technique where alcohol is added to a pan and ignited for a fiery effect to finish a dish. It’s a fun, exciting technique you can use to impress your diner guests.  Any high alcohol content spirit can be used, so switch out Tequila or Vodka for Brandy if you desire.


  • Butter
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 2 bulbs garlic, chopped
  • 8 extra large shrimp shell on
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Brandy for flambe
  • Cast Iron, or any heavy bottom iron or copper sauté pan (do not use non-stick)
  • Wooden spoon
  • Long kitchen lighter OR extra long matches
  • Place a large saute pan over medium heat.
  • Add the butter, when it begins to foam, add the shallot and garlic. Cook and stir until soft, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Add the shrimp, and stir until just pink, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove the saute pan from the heat and carefully pour in the brandy (Be sure to pour Brandy in separate cup before adding to pan, DO NOT POUR DIRECTLY FROM THE BOTTLE.)
  • Return the pan to the heat and tip the pan slightly and carefully ignite the alcohol with a long kitchen match or kitchen lighter to flambe.
  • Agitate the pan to burn off the alcohol.
  • One serving

Tell us what you think about your favorite NBCU programs by becoming a TV panel member.