Grilled Shrimp Marinade

Whether you’re grilling seafood or steak, a skewer of shrimp on the side makes a delicious complement to your outdoor barbecue. Shrimp grill quickly, and you can flavor them to work well with any meal using an easy marinade. Marinating your shrimp will give them an extra boost of flavor, and when combined with the smoky texture of the grill, your guests will be demanding to know your culinary secret.

Grilled Shrimp Marinade Basicsgrilled shrimp

It’s easy to create a basic shrimp marinade from scratch. Just follow these simple steps:

  • Begin with an oil and acidic base. The acid–lemon juice, vinegar, etc.–will begin to break down the protein fibers, which is what allows the shrimp to absorb flavor and retain moisture.
  • Add fresh garlic and fresh herbs. You can match the herbs to the style of the meal. For instance, use oregano and basil for an Italian flavor, and sesame seeds and ginger for an Asian flair. Looking for a taste of Mexican? Try cilantro, red pepper flakes, and a dash of hot sauce.
  • If desired, reserve a portion of the marinade for basting.
  • Marinate the shrimp for no longer than an hour. Longer marinating times should be reserved for more robust meats like steak and chicken. Shrimp and fish will get mushy if left in the marinade for too long.

Grilling the Shrimp

Once your shrimp has marinated for 30 minutes to an hour, put them on skewers for grilling. Spray the grill plate with oil to prevent sticking and heat the grill to medium. Place shrimp over heat and grill for 5 minutes per side. If you reserved part of your marinade for basting, brush onto shrimp several times during the grilling process.

Do not baste with leftover marinade that your shrimp has been sitting in. There will be bacteria left from the raw shrimp. You can, however, heat this marinade to boiling to kill the bacteria if you want to use as a basting sauce.

Grilled Shrimp Marinade Recipes

While it’s fairly easy to make your own marinade, you can use these recipe ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

Italian Herb–1 c. olive oil, juice from 1 lemon, 2-3 cloves minced garlic. 1 tsp. each of oregano and black pepper, and 1 Tbsp. tomato paste.

Honey Lime–1/2 c. olive oil, juice from 1 lime, 1/4 c. honey, 2 cloves minced garlic

Lemon Herb–1/4 c. olive oil, juice from 1 lemon, 1/4 c. fresh, chopped cilantro, 1 clove chopped garlic, 2 tsp. chopped basil

Once you have mastered these recipes, try changing them up a bit by adding your own ingredients. You’ll have your friends and family begging for more!

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