We’re big fans of using frozen, uncooked shrimp for most of our shrimp dishes. They keep in the freezer for a long time and can be thawed and cooked quickly and easily. We usually buy extra large or jumbo sized shrimp (16-20 per pound), but they come in other sizes as well (just keep in mind that the smaller sizes take more time to peel). Tonight we made a quick marinade using garlic, spicy chili paste and lemon, and grilled the shrimp on skewers.
We thaw the shrimp in ice water for approximately fifteen minutes. The nice thing about using frozen shrimp is that it is very convenient and keeps indefinitely in the freezer, as opposed to fresh seafood that should be cooked soon after purchase.
Once they have thawed, peel the shrimp. These shrimp were pre-cut so that they were easy to peel and de-vein.
Lemon zest is the first step in the marinade for the shrimp. If you don’t own a zester, you can also use a grater on the finest grate. After you zest the lemon, squeeze the juice of the lemon into the bowl. Don’t worry about removing the lemon seeds.
The main ingredient in the marinade is Chili Garlic Sauce, found in the Asian food section of most grocery stores. It’s a good staple to keep in your fridge.
We also use lots of garlic in the Spicy Garlic Shrimp (hence the name). We typically cook with garlic often, and thus a garlic press is a very handy tool for mincing up a whole lot of garlic in a short amount of time. It works best if you peel the garlic first. (For anyone who may not have cooked much with fresh garlic — stay tuned for a little garlic tutorial in the next couple of days).
Marinade ingredients: zest and juice from a lemon, olive oil, chili garlic sauce (a little more if you like spicy food, less if you’re a taste wimp), and garlic. Also add salt and pepper at this stage.
Whisk the marinade, add the shrimp to the garlic chili mixture and allow the shrimp to marinate for about 15 minutes.
Skewer the shrimp. The double skewer makes it easier to turn them when they are on the grill. Thread 5-6 shrimp on one skewer at a time, then add the second skewer to each.
Shrimps on the barbi! Don’t waste the rest of the marinade – pour it over the shrimp (plus it makes fire!)
The shrimp grills for about 7 minutes total, turning a couple of times and rotating placement so that they all cook evenly, depending on where the grill is hottest.
A sturdy plastic tray is very handy for bringing in your grill masterpieces. Tonight we also had grilled zucchini, which goes great with the spicy shrimp.
Grilled Spicy Shrimp with Garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- zest and juice from 1 lemon
- 1/2 to 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (available in the Asian food sections of most larger grocery stores)
- 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp, thawed and peeled
Add olive oil, lemon juice and zest, chile garlic sauce, garlic, salt and pepper to a medium bowl and whisk well. Add the shrimp and stir to coat the shrimp, and marinate shrimp approximately 15 minutes. Thread the shrimp on skewers, place the skewers on a plate, and pour remaining garlic sauce over the skewered shrimp.
Preheat the grill. Add the shrimp to the grill and pour any garlic sauce from the plate over the shrimp. Grill the shrimp over medium-high direct heat until done, approximately 6-8 minutes, turning several times and moving the skewers around the grill to make sure that the shrimp cook evenly.