Grilled Shrimp Make Great Appetizers, But Can Be Ruined Quickly

Grilling shrimp is a very simple matter that can easily go wrong.  The difference between succulent shrimp grilled to golden orange perfection and dry, withered buttons of nothing is a matter of a minute or so.  When grilling shrimp it is best to stay by the fire and keep your eyes on them, turning often and poking them with your finger to test for doneness.   Use any size shrimp if the ones I call for are not available.  Double skewer them as in the photo for ease of turning and so the shrimp don’t twirl when turning.  If you feel the shrimp are cooking faster than suggested in the times given in the recipe then by all means remove them from the grill. There are several variations you can try. First, for convenience, remove the shells before serving, if desired. Second, before grilling, shell the shrimp and marinate for 2 hours in 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 finely chopped garlic cloves,2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage, and salt and pepper to taste.  Third, before grilling, shell the shrimp and marinate for 2 hours in 1/4 cup dry white wine, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.  Thread, interspersed with bay leaves, onto a skewer.

Grilled Shrimp
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Seafood
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Serves: 4
  • 16 super-colossal shrimp (about 8 to a pound), shells and/or heads left on
  • Olive oil for brushing or drizzling
  • Salt
  • Five 8-inch wooden skewers
  • A brush made of rosemary sprigs (optional)
  • Lemon wedges
  1. Prepare a hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill for 15 minutes on high.
  2. Skewer the shrimp in their shells through the top part of the body and the tail. Brush the shrimp in olive oil and salt to taste. Place on the grill and cook for 7 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove from the grill and crush very lightly with a rolling pin or heavy object to make the shells easier to remove.
  3. Continue grilling the shrimp for another 7 minutes, brushing or drizzling with olive oil when necessary, and using the rosemary brush if desired. Serve the shrimp in their shells with lemon wedges.


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