Grilling shrimp isn’t simple, but it’s easy. There’s a lot of technique and a lot of understanding that goes into doing it properly and getting primo results of what is an expensive ingredient. So I’m going to show you how to do it.
There is one rule of thumb and that is bigger is better with shrimp. These are whole shrimp. Head on, shell on. Ideal for grilling. Can maintain contact with the heat source for longer, but more importantly, with that shell on there, you get that wonderful, chary, marine-like iodine flavor that the shell provides.
So what I want to do, is I just want to come with my knife on the side. Again, just open it up. If there is food in that intestinal tract, grab it. If it’s empty, not a big deal Just a little bit of olive oil, not a lot.
You don’t want a lot of stuff dripping down on the coals, causing sooty flare-ups. Salt. Pepper. Jerk seasoning on shrimp is great, especially with lots of butter. Thyme and rosemary are wonderful. And Badia makes a great jerk seasoning.
Lots of chili and nutmeg, clove and allspice. Squeeze of lemon. All of this is going on the shell. That split in there. Grab some of that herb mixture, put them inside the shrimp. Reusable. Had them forever.
Head to tail. Skewer number one. Skewer number two. Oh so easy to flip and turn. Low direct heat, to medium direct heat. What’s better than garlic herbs and butter for shrimp? I don’t think anything. Salt.
Pepper. Just want a tablespoon or two of olive oil to coat those. Tarragon, chives chervil, parsley. See why I love these instead of a wooden skewer? Boom. This is a mild chili. We have these beautiful shishito peppers.
And just like other shrimp, when you see them start to curl up like that, they start to tell you themselves that they’re cooked through. For those of you who have never eaten whole shrimp before, the head comes off and there’s lots of little goodies in there.
Those are eggs from a female shrimp right there. The tamale behind it and all of that insane head fat. With shells this big, I peel. But once you get to one side, grab all those little legs and that whole piece just comes right off.
Dip in a little butter. All of that gorgeous, charred shell, the aroma from the coals, that smoky essence of the grill is inside that shrimp. Deep and intensely flavored. Sure, they’re a couple dollars more a pound.
Oh so worth it.