Perfect Grilled Shrimp

Summer means grilling and one of our absolute favorite things to grill is shrimp. We flavor the our grilled shrimp with a spicy oil marinade before tossing them on the grill. They cook so quickly, dinner will be on the table in minutes.

Perfect grilled shrimp made by The Taste SF

You have three options when it comes to purchasing shrimp: peeled, shell-on, and head-on. The fastest and easiest option is to purchase peeled and deveined shrimp and let them sit in a marinade. The most flavorful option is to grill whole, head-on shrimp. It’s a little more work but definitely worth it.

Cleaning shrimp and keeping the shell on is easy. All you’ll need is a container for the peeled shrimp with some ice in it (strainer works great, love this one) and a good pair of kitchen shears or shellfish scissors (never tried this, but interested in how it works, ours are similar to these and we love them). If you are right handed, hold the shrimp in your left hand over the sink, head facing right (we’ll post a tutorial in the Essentials section next time we make these). Bend the head downward, and cut into the top of the shell with the shears, cutting straight down the center of the tail, stopping at the last joint (where it’s little flippers are). Next use, the tip of your scissors to scrape down the cut you just made to remove the vein and give it a quick rinse. You may want to snip off the really long feelers in the front just to make the shrimp easier to work with. Up to you.

Grilled Shrimp is a perfect summer meal
The Taste SF eats head on perfect Grilled shrimp

Toss the cleaned shrimp on ice while you finish the rest, then give them all a thorough rinse. Put them in bag with the marinade and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to grill. We made a simple marinade with a big drizzle of our go-to olive oil, salt (this one), and our favorite red chilis from Italy crushed in our favorite chili crusher. If you want, you could add some minced garlic or a minced shallot (instructions here) or use an infused olive oil like this one or this one.

Perfect Grilled Shrimp is spicy and delicious for a summer bbq or add to pasta

To finish, toss on a hot grill for 2-3 minutes per side, until just cooked. These were so good, they never made it on to a plate! We brought them in from the grill in a quarter sheet pan (necessity for grilling) and ate them standing at the counter with some wine. For the best flavor, use a charcoal grill (before we moved to the city, we had and loved this one). We have gas now, it just doesn’t have that smoky flavor, but for a cool trick we learned to replicate more of a wood-grilled flavor, check out our grilled octopus salad here.

Perfect Grilled Shrimp
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Ingredients
  • 1 lb Shrimp
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • 1 pinch (about 1 tsp) Salt
  • 1 Italian Chili Pepper, crushed (more depending on your preference)
Instructions
  1. In a gallon plastic bag, add and combine olive oil, salt, and chili pepper. Add shrimp to bag and toss to coat. Marinate in the fridge 30-60 minutes before grilling. Toss on a hot grill for 2-3 minutes per side, until just cooked.

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