It's only the first part of June and our days here in the Pacific Northwest are gloriously long with the sun is setting after 9 PM. Pretty soon, it will be as much as an hour later, but right now, it's easy to postpone dinner while we enjoy the beautiful evenings. When I'm finally ready to make dinner, it's nice to have something as simple as Firecracker Shrimp to throw on the grill. We're eating in less than 10 minutes! Furthermore … if you don't want to fire up the grill, the shrimp is just as easily seared in a hot skillet on the stove.
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Why is it called "Firecracker Shrimp"?
- First of all, because it's got some spicy flavorings such as garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes! They don't make the shrimp intolerably spicy to eat, but give enough of a hint of heat to make you appreciate it. And of course, it's your kitchen ... if you want more spice, you should definitely add it.
- You can thread the shrimp on skewers making them look like 4th of July sparklers!
What kind of shrimp should you buy?
Always wild shrimp! I like to buy it already peeled and deveined. I don't mind peeling it and deveining it myself, but my hands always itch after. Besides, paying someone else to do that job makes this meal that much more convenient!
How to peel and devein shrimp
However, should you choose to peel and devein it yourself, leave the tail on and pull the shell off starting with the legs. Using a small paring knife, cut slightly into the convex side of the shrimp and pull out the vein. If the vein is clean, you can leave it, but it usually is not and definitely needs to be removed.
Toss the shrimp with the oil, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, and salt till they are coated. If you're ready to grill, go ahead and do it. However, you can toss ahead of time (and even skewer!) and let them hang out in the fridge for a while.
When you're ready, thread four or five shrimp onto each skewer. I use metal skewers and they hold five comfortably, but if you use bamboo skewers, you might only be able to fit four. AND … if you use bamboo skewers, be sure to soak them for a minimum of 30 minutes (and all day if you remember ahead of time!) to keep them from burning on the grill.
I also like to use small wooden picks to make this as an appetizer. I put one shrimp, one zucchini chunk, and one pineapple piece on each one and it's a great bite!
Skewer soaking tip so you always have skewers ready to go:
I often soak a package of bamboo skewers for 12-24 hours submerged under the water with something heavier on top (like another dish filled with water). Then I take them out, put them in a freezer storage bag, and store them in the freezer immediately. When I'm ready to cook, I take them out, skewer the meat immediately, and they go right on to the grill! Easy Peasy!
Grilling is quick and easy
Fire that grill up hot and it will only take 2-3 minutes per side. If I'm sauteeing vegetables, I will usually put a cast iron skillet on the grill as well. I start the vegetables before the shrimp because they usually take a bit longer. Unless it's zucchini … then it's a split second! It all comes together so easily and before you know it, you're tucking into spicy shrimp, baptized with fresh lemon juice, sprinkled with parsley.
I also love to put the vegetable right on to the skewer! I especially recommend zucchini and pineapple.
Is there a better summer evening?! I'd love to hear about YOUR summer evenings … especially if you try Firecracker Shrimp!
Other shrimp recipes you might like:
- ⅓ cup oil, olive or avocado
- 8 cloves garlic crushed
- 1½ tablespoons ginger grated on a microplane, or minced with a chef's knife
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 2 pounds wild shrimp (16-20 count) peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped for garnish
- lemon wedges for serving
- If using bamboo skewers, soak them for at least 30 minutes.
- Mix oil, garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper, and salt in a bowl, then add the shrimp. Stir to coat as evenly as possible.
- Thread five shrimp onto each skewer.
- You can mix the spices with the shrimp and even skewer them ahead of time and let them hang out in the fridge for a while to marinate or you can grill immediately.
- Heat the grill to hot, then lay the skewers on. Cook on one side 2-3 minutes (you'll see them start to turn orange), then turn to finish cooking on the other side. It should only take about 5-7 minutes total.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
- Bon Appetit!