Zesty Grilled Shrimp

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Shrimp are so quick to cook that the main danger is simply cooking them too long! Here is an easy and delicious method for turning out perfect grilled shrimp in a very short time.


  • 1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined - see note below about size
  • ? cup oil (olive or other)
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon or lime juice
  • ? cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ? teaspoon cayenne or other dried hot pepper such as pepper flakes
  • sugar substitute equivalent to 1 Tablespoon sugar


Choosing Shrimp: The larger the shrimp, the more expensive, and yet the easier to grill. I like to save money by using medium-large shrimp labeled "20-25", meaning that's how many you get in a pound. If you do this, there are basically two methods of grilling so they don't fall into the fire - either put on skewers, or grill them on a rack or basket meant for vegetables (these are called different things, but basically are a way to grill items that would be in danger of falling through the grate otherwise). I have also read (but not tried) the idea of using a regular cake/cookie cooling rack for this.

Make the Marinade: Mix all ingredients except for the shrimp together. Taste. Now is the time to make adjustments and balance the flavors according to your own tastes. The flavors will be quite a bit muted in the final dish, so make it a little spicier than you want the shrimp to be. If it seems too sour, add a bit of sweetener, but the flavor should still be bright, as the citrus will also be less sour in the by the time you marinate and cook with it.

Marinate the shrimp for 15-20 minutes before grilling. No longer, as the citrus will start to "cook" the protein. Put the shrimp on skewers if that is how you are doing it.

Heat the grill and oil the grill or rack. The grill or rack should be quite hot before putting the shrimp on. They will cook in only 1-2 minutes on each side if the grill is hot. If I'm doing it on a vegetable rack (my preferred way), I just lay them out, and almost as soon as I get them all laid out, I start turning the first ones over. They are ready when they are just finished turning opaque all the way through.

Related Tips:

Nutritional Information: It's pretty impossible to know how much a marinade adds to the shrimp -- probably not much at all in terms of calories or carbs. This recipe makes 3 good-sized servings, 4 smaller servings, or 6 appetizer-sized servings. Each of 3 servings has about 1 gram effective carbohydrate plus 31 grams protein, and 160 calories.

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