Indulge in the vibrant flavors of summer with this Spicy Grilled Shrimp recipe. This dish brings together succulent shrimp, fresh vegetables, and a bold, zesty Zhoug sauce. It's a perfect blend of heat, freshness, and oceanic delight, creating a memorable meal that's sure to tantalize your taste buds.
Get ready to fire up the grill for this unforgettable spicy grilled shrimp recipe.
This spicy grilled shrimp is an exceptional choice for various occasions, from casual summer barbecues to more formal gatherings. This dish, with its roots in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, brings a touch of exotic flair to your dining table.
We combined it with our spicy zhoug sauce recipe, which pairs perfectly with these grilled shrimp!
What You'll Love About This Recipe
- Flavorful and Fresh: The combination of fresh herbs and spices offers a taste that's both bold and refreshing.
- Quick and Easy: Simple to prepare, this dish is ideal for busy weeknights or impromptu gatherings.
- Versatile: Perfect for any dining occasion, be it a family meal or a festive party.
- Healthy and Nutritious: Packed with protein and fresh ingredients, it's a guilt-free indulgence.
Shrimp: Opt for extra-large, peeled, and deveined shrimp. The size of the shrimp is crucial as larger ones hold up better to grilling and offer a satisfying bite. Fresh shrimp is preferred, but if using frozen, ensure they are completely thawed and patted dry to avoid excess moisture during grilling.
Cherry Tomatoes: Their sweetness and juiciness provide a lovely contrast to the spice of the shrimp. They also add a burst of color, making the dish visually appealing.
Red Onion and Bell Pepper: These vegetables not only add a crunchy texture but also complement the shrimp with their sweet and slightly tangy flavors. They help in balancing the heat from the spices.
Cilantro and Parsley: The heart of the Zhoug sauce. Freshness is key here; these herbs contribute a vibrant, herbaceous flavor that's both refreshing and palate-cleansing.
Jalapeño Peppers: Integral to the Zhoug sauce, they bring a mild to moderate heat. Adjust the number of peppers based on your spice tolerance.
Garlic: A foundational flavor in both the marinade and Zhoug sauce. It imparts a rich, aromatic taste that's essential to the dish.
Lemon Juice and Olive Oil: For the marinade. The acidity of the lemon juice tenderizes the shrimp, while the olive oil adds moisture and helps to carry the flavors.
- Grill or Grill Pan: Essential for achieving that smoky flavor.
- Food Processor: For blending the Zhoug sauce to perfection.
- Skewers: Metal or wooden skewers, they're crucial for the classic presentation.
- Bowls: Needed for marinating and sauce preparation.
- Alternatives: No grill? Use a stovetop griddle pan instead.
We'll be making these spicy grilled shrimp skewers to make it easier to cook so the shrimp don't fall through the grill. You can always remove them after cooking.
Marinating the Shrimp: Place the shrimp in a deep bowl. Combine them with garlic, basil, lemon juice, olive oil, and season with sea salt and black pepper to your liking. Stir everything together to ensure the shrimp are well-coated with the grilled shrimp marinade. Let them sit for 30 minutes to absorb the flavors. This step is crucial for infusing the shrimp with a rich taste.
Preparing the Zhoug Sauce: While the shrimp marinate, you can make the Zhoug dipping sauce. In your food processor, add the cilantro, parsley, jalapeño peppers, garlic, salt, cumin, and chili flakes. Pulse these ingredients until they're blended but still have some texture. This creates the base of your sauce.
Finishing the Sauce: With the food processor still running, gradually pour in the olive oil. Continue to pulse until the mixture transforms into a thick, smooth sauce. This process emulsifies the sauce, giving it a creamy consistency.
Assembling the Skewers: Now it's time to thread the ingredients onto your skewers. Start with a shrimp, followed by a piece of tomato, a piece of onion, another shrimp, more tomato, and a piece of bell pepper, ending with a shrimp. Repeat this pattern until all the skewers are filled. This not only ensures a balanced mix of flavors and textures but also makes for an attractive presentation.
Grilling the Shrimp: Preheat your grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Then, lower the heat to medium and lightly oil the grate to prevent sticking. Place the skewers on the grill and cook the shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side. They should turn pink and opaque when done. Keep a close eye on them; overcooking can make shrimp tough and rubbery.
Serving: Once cooked, carefully remove the skewers from the grill and place them onto a serving platter. Serve them hot, accompanied by the Zhoug sauce for dipping or drizzling over the top.
Enjoy Your Meal: Your Spicy Grilled Shrimp are now ready to be enjoyed! Remember, the key to great grilling is not just in the cooking but in the preparation and quality of ingredients. Enjoy the fruits of your labor!
Quality Ingredients: Use the freshest ingredients possible for the best flavor.
Marinating Time: Let the shrimp marinate for at least 30 minutes for deeper flavor infusion.
Grill Preparation: Preheat the grill and oil the grates to prevent sticking.
Even Cooking: Place shrimp on the skewers without overcrowding for even cooking.
Watch the Grill: Shrimp cook quickly; overcooking will result in a rubbery texture.
Fresh Herbs for the Sauce: The fresher the herbs, the more vibrant and flavorful your Zhoug sauce will be.
Serve Immediately: Shrimp are best enjoyed fresh off the grill while they're hot and juicy.
Experiment with Spices: Don't be afraid to adjust the spices in the Zhoug sauce to suit your taste.
- Refrigeration: Store the grilled shrimp in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh for up to 2 days.
- Freezing: If you must freeze, do so immediately after cooling. They can be stored in a freezer-safe container for up to a month.
- Reheating: To maintain the best texture, gently reheat the shrimp in a pan over low heat. Avoid microwaving as it can make them rubbery.
- Sauce Storage: The Zhoug sauce can be refrigerated separately for up to a week and can also be used as a flavorful addition to other dishes.
- Vegetarian Option: Consider firm tofu or halloumi cheese as a non-meat substitute.
- Different Proteins: Chicken or firm-fleshed fish like salmon or cod can be excellent alternatives to shrimp.
- Sauce Variations: For a less spicy sauce, consider a pesto or a mild salsa verde as alternatives to the Zhoug sauce.
- Sweet and Spicy: Add a drizzle of honey to the marinade for a sweet and spicy twist.
- Mediterranean Style: Incorporate olives and feta cheese for a Mediterranean flair.
- Asian Influence: Use a soy sauce and ginger marinade for an Asian twist on this dish.
Dive into the flavors of the sea with Spicy Grilled Shrimp, featuring juicy shrimp, vibrant veggies, and an irresistible Zhoug sauce!
- 8 metal or wooden skewers
- 1 ¼ pounds extra-large peeled, deveined shrimp
- 24 large peeled, deveined shrimp
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 small red onion, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 4 fresh jalapeño peppers, stems and seeds removed
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 medium garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- Add shrimp to deep bowl with marinade ingredients. Mix; let marinate 30 minutes.
- Prepare Zhoug sauce: In food processor, add cilantro, parsley, jalapeños, garlic, salt, cumin, chili flakes. Pulse to combine.
- With processor running, slowly add olive oil until thick sauce forms.
- Thread skewers, alternating shrimp, tomato, onion, bell pepper; end with shrimp. Repeat until skewers are full.
- Preheat grill or grill pan medium-high. Reduce to medium. Oil grate. Cook shrimp 2-3 minutes per side.
- Remove from grill; serve with Zhoug sauce. Enjoy!
For best results, ensure shrimp are marinated properly and avoid overcooking on the grill to maintain tenderness and flavor.
For grilling, larger shrimp are ideal. Extra-large (16-20 count per pound) or jumbo (11-15 count per pound) sizes work well. Larger shrimp are easier to skewer and handle on the grill, and they have a meatier texture.
Yes, you can use frozen shrimp, but it's important to thaw them completely first. To do this, place the shrimp in the refrigerator overnight or under cold running water for about 15-20 minutes. Once thawed, pat them dry before marinating to remove excess moisture.
Marinate the shrimp for at least 30 minutes. This time allows the shrimp to absorb the flavors of the marinade. Avoid marinating for too long (over an hour), as the acidity of the lemon juice can start to cook the shrimp.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender. If neither is available, finely chop the herbs and peppers and mix the ingredients in a bowl. The sauce will be more rustic but still flavorful.
To prevent sticking, make sure your grill is clean and well-oiled. Lightly brush the grill grates with oil before placing the shrimp on them. Additionally, let the shrimp cook undisturbed for a couple of minutes before flipping them.
Absolutely! If you don't have a grill, you can use a grill pan on the stovetop. Alternatively, you can broil the skewers in the oven. Just place them on a broiling pan and broil for 2-3 minutes per side, or until the shrimp are opaque and cooked through.
Shrimp cook quickly and are done when they turn pink and opaque. This usually takes about 2-3 minutes per side. Be cautious not to overcook them, as they can become tough and rubbery.
Spicy Grilled Shrimp pairs well with a variety of sides. Consider serving with grilled vegetables, a fresh garden salad, rice, or quinoa. For a heartier meal, pair with pasta tossed in olive oil and herbs or a slice of crusty bread to soak up the delicious Zhoug sauce.