Lemon Garlic Grilled Shrimp are one of my favourite grilling recipes. Shrimp grill up quickly and the grill imparts a smoky flavour that's perfect for shrimp.
Is it a Prawn or a Shrimp?
The words "prawn" and "shrimp" are used interchangeably, and many people think that a shrimp is simply a small prawn. However, shrimp and prawns are actually entirely different animals
But, because they are so similar in both appearance, flavour, and texture, you can use either in a recipe calling for the other.
Choosing Your Shrimp
There are dozens of different varieties of both shrimp and prawns, and you can buy them fresh or frozen. You can also buy them with heads on or off, or peeled or not.
I'm taking advantage of the wild-caught spot prawn season here where I live, but any large or jumbo shrimp or prawn will work for the barbecue. However, there are two factors to keep in mind when shopping for shrimp:
Of course, food safety dictates that you should buy the freshest shrimp possible. But taste and texture are also compromised if the shrimp is not fresh.
Shrimp are highly perishable, so if buying fresh shrimp, take a sniff. There should be no real odour, just a slightly briny sea smell. If the shrimp smells like ammonia, don't buy it.
Fresh shrimp should always be stored on ice, and should never be limp or slimy.
Frozen shrimp are often a better choice for freshness, particularly if the shrimp have to travel a long way from the ocean. Frozen shrimp are usually deep-frozen at sea as soon as they are caught.
Protecting our oceans, so that we can continue to enjoy what it produces, is vitally important. And, many commercial fishing methods can be damaging to marine life and our oceans themselves. Many species of marine life throughout the world are endangered.
Look for the Ocean Wise label, or the Marine Stewardship Council label to be sure that your shrimp have been sustainably harvested. (And, please have a look at those websites to learn more about what we can all do for the health of our oceans.
Unless your shrimp are huge, you will need skewers to grill them. Wooden skewers work well and are easy to thread the shrimp on.
Soak your wooden skewers for half an hour before they go on the grill with the shrimp. This will reduce the chance of them catching fire.
As I mentioned, shrimp cook very quickly, so you will want to have everything you need at the ready. Grill shrimp over direct high heat for just three minutes per side.
Shrimp are cooked when the exterior is pink, and the flesh is white, but not too white. If the flesh is bright white, the shrimp is overcooked and rubbery.
Marinating Shrimp for the Grill
This recipe for lemon garlic grilled shrimp is very simple, and unlike marinating meat or chicken, very quick. The marinade is intended just to soak in the flavours, which happens quickly for delicate shrimp. So 5 minutes for marinating the shrimp is all that is required.
What to Serve with Grilled Shrimp
You can serve these delicious shrimp as appetizers, and I have included a cocktail sauce recipe for dipping. You can also serve these skewers as a meal alongside summer salads like Cucumber Melon Salad, Fennel Cabbage Slaw, or Grilled Corn & Black Bean Salad -Summer Bean Salad. They're perfect for tacos, too!
Lemon and garlic are a classic flavour combo for shrimp. You can also try an equally delicious southwest combo of chilli & lime Grilled Shrimp Salad.
Lemon Garlic Grilled Shrimp
- Wooden Skewers
- ½ cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp prepared horseradish
- 2 tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp hot sauce to taste
- 20 Shrimp large, peeled
- 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 2 lemons
- 2 garlic clove minced
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp celery salt
- 2 tbsp parsley fresh
- In a small bowl, whisk together all cocktail sauce ingredients
- Refrigerate until ready to use
- Soak 4 wooden skewers in water.
- Preheat grill on high, and spray with cooking oil
- Blot shrimp dry with paper towel
- In a medium bowl whisk together oil, juice and zest of one of the lemons, garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper, and celery salt.
- Add shrimp and toss to coat. Allow to marinate 5 minutes
- Thread shrimp on skewers, 5 per skewer.
- Grill shrimp over direct high heat, about 6 minutes, turning halfway through. Shrimp should be pink, and the flesh opaque.
- Garnish with parsley and serve with lemon wedges and cocktail sauce.