I've been getting a lot of mileage out of my grill this summer. Marcus bought it on Craigslist for $20. Not bad for a gas grill. It's not fancy, and it's old, but, heck, it works. So far I've made steaks, burgers, lamb sausages, even tofu. Up until now, I hadn't tried my hand at grilled shrimp. I'm not sure what I'd been waiting for. This dish is light and delicious, a perfect meal for a summer night. Bonus: it took 15 minutes total to prepare (8 to prep and about 7 at the grill). Any longer and the grill would have melted my face off. Man, it was hot today.
Grilling the shrimp in their shells protects them from the harsh heat of the grill and intensifies their flavor. Make sure to watch them closely, as noted: they cook up fast, turning pink and lightly charred.
Grilled Shrimp with Cilantro, Lime, and Peanuts
Serves 4 (as an appetizer and probably 2 for dinner)
- 2 limes
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 pound (about 15) jumbo shrimp, shells on*
- 2 teaspoons safflower oil (Note: I substituted olive oil for the safflower oil).
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- 2 scallions, finely chopped (Note: I used sauteed shallots instead because that's what I had on hand).
- Zest limes into a bowl. Squeeze in juice from 1 lime, and whisk in fish sauce and sugar.
- Preheat grill to high. Brush shrimp with oil on both sides, and lightly season with salt and pepper. Grill until pink and firm to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- Toss shrimp with fish-sauce mixture, cilantro, peanuts, and scallions. Juice remaining lime over shrimp.
*Try to buy Pacific shrimp farmed in closed systems or inland ponds, listed as "best choice," or wild caught Gulf Shrimp, listed as a "good alternative" on the Monterey Sustainable Seafood Guide.