This grilled shrimp recipe is the perfect BBQ appetizer to kick start your barbecue. Spicy and sweet, it’ll have your guests coming back for more every time.
I originally saw this recipe with a good deal of Thai chili in it. I love spicy food, but that was even a bit too much for my tastes. So I’ve tweaked this recipe and swapped in regular red chili.
Adjust for your personal tastes though, and even consider removing the chili altogether if you’re not a spice fan.
Got a BBQ smoker? Learn how to smoke shrimp with our easy recipe.
Should you peel shrimp before grilling?
Shrimp can be peeled before or after grilling, but doing it prior to cooking will give you the best results. It will allow the smoky flavors of your grill to work their way into the flesh of the shrimp better. It will also allow marinade to work its way into the shrimp better, and give you more flavor.
How long to marinate shrimp
This will depend on the marinade ingredients you are using. If you are using citrus ingredients such as lemon or lime, just 20-30 minutes should be enough to allow the sharp flavor to cut through. Anything over this risks the acid content of the fruits breaking down the shrimp meat, creating mush.
If you are using non-acidic ingredients, for example garlic, olive oil or thyme, you can marinade for at least an hour.
For this recipe I have used a simple red chili, olive oil and garlic mix, and will leave the shrimp to marinate in it for one hour in the refrigerator.
How to peel and clean shrimp
Start by pulling the legs off the shrimp and the shell should glide off. Some people like to leave the shell around the tail on and intact, but for this recipe I remove it. This will help ensure better penetration from the garlic and olive oil marinade.
Next you need to devein the shrimp. This involves remove the dark thread of digestive tract that runs down the back of each shrimp. If you don’t do this, it’ll have a gritty taste to it and ruin the meat.
Use a sharp paring knife to cut down the back of the shrimp, from head to tail, and then use the knife to lift out the vein. Rinse afterwards to remove any leftover residue.