Feb 5, 2011

Grilled Garlic Shrimp (in the Shell)

This grilled garlic shrimp in the shell is super delicious and so easy to make. Jumbo or large to medium-large shrimp are grilled either in their shells or with shells removed. They are marinated in a very quick and easy garlic sauce, then grilled for 5-8 minutes. Makes a perfect appetizer or main course to serve guests, and all this despite the fact it takes only minutes to make!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: SERVES 2-3 as a Main Entree


  • 12 jumbo tiger shrimp/prawns, OR 15-18 large shrimp/prawns, preferably with shells still on
  • optional: if your shrimp are smaller, you may need tin foil, banana leaf, or skewers
  • garnish: handful of fresh coriander and wedges of fresh lime
  • 4 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 4 Tbsp. oyster sauce (I like Golden Dragon Brand)
  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce (available by the bottle at all Asian/Chinese food stores)
  • 2 Tbsp. loosely packed brown sugar
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (can be omitted for very mild shrimp)


  1. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Set sauce aside.
  2. If grilling shrimp without shells, skip the next 3 steps. To Grill the Shrimp in their Shells: you'll want to open the shrimp/prawns so they lie flat in their shells on the grill. Leaving the shell in place, hold the prawn in your hand, so that it curls naturally into your palm. Or hold the prawn on a cutting board.
  3. Using a sharp knife, make a cut from the start of the tail (leave tail on), through the middle of the "belly" and down to the end of the prawn.
  4. Now turn the prawn over on your cutting board (so that its back is facing up). Use your palm to flatten it out by pressing down (gently). When you're done, the prawn should lie fairly flat (don't worry if the shell loosens slightly).
  5. Place the prawns in a flat-bottomed bowl or dish. Pour over the garlic sauce. Allow prawns to marinate in the sauce while you warm up the grill.
  6. If your prawns are jumbo or large enough that they won't fall through the grill, place directly on the grill. If your prawns are smaller, spread a piece of tin foil or banana leaf on the grill first, then place prawns on top. OR skewer the shrimp with satay/brochette sticks.
  7. Baste the prawns the first time you turn them with a little of the left-over sauce from the bottom of the bowl. Grill 3-5 minutes each side. Prawns are done when the flesh turns from translucent to pinkish-white (the shells turn a very attractive bright pink).
  8. Serve immediately. Note the shell actually makes them easier to eat (a nice finger food!). OR plate them up, adding fresh lime (or lemon) wedges on the side and a sprinkling of fresh coriander. Equally excellent on their own or with rice. ENJOY!

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