Grilled shrimp in Charmoula sauce

Posted in food, home cooking at 12:38 am by wingerz


The first time I tried to grill shrimp, it was a disaster. I cooked the shrimp for too long so they became quite dry. Happened to catch a grilled shrimp recipe on an episode of ATK and a few hours later I gave it a try with great results. I may have been overly cautious this time around as the shrimp did not get a chance to pick up any char marks.

The shrimp are mostly cooked directly on the grill while tightly compacted on skewers. They’re finished off in the sauce, which is cooked in a container sitting on the grill.

Gas-grilled shrimp skewers
from America’s Test Kitchen

1 1/2 pounds extra-large shrimp (21/25), peeled and deveined, tails left on
2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil for brushing skewers
Table salt and ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 recipe Spicy Lemon-Garlic Sauce, Charmoula Sauce, or Fresh Tomato Sauce with Feta and Olives
Lemon wedges for serving

1. Pat shrimp dry with paper towels. Thread shrimp onto 3 skewers, alternating direction of heads and tails. Brush both sides of shrimp with oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle one side of each skewer with sugar.
2. Turn all burners on gas grill to high, cover, and heat until very hot, about 15 minutes. Scrape grate clean with grill brush.
3. Set disposable aluminum pie plate with sauce ingredients on grill and cook as directed; remove when hot. Place shrimp skewers, sugared sides down, on grate; use tongs to push shrimp together on skewer if they have separated. Grill shrimp, covered, until lightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Using tongs, flip and grill until second side is pink and slightly translucent, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
4. Using potholder or oven mitt, carefully lift each skewer from grill; use tongs to slide shrimp off skewers into pie plate with sauce. Toss shrimp and sauce to combine and transfer pie plate back to grill; cook, stirring, until shrimp are opaque and fully cooked, about 30 seconds. Remove from grill, add remaining sauce ingredients and toss to combine. Transfer to serving platter and serve immediately with lemon wedges.

Charmoula sauce
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red bell pepper , stemmed, seeded, and diced very small (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 small red onion , minced (about 1/3 cup)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
1/8 teaspoon table salt
Disposable 10-inch aluminum pie plate
1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon

Combine oil, bell pepper, onion, paprika, cumin, cayenne, garlic, and salt in pan. Cook over hot side of grill, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes (2 or 3 minutes longer if using gas grill); transfer to cooler side of grill and proceed to grill shrimp, adding cilantro and lemon juice just before serving.


  1. Andrea said,

    August 8, 2007 at 9:37 am

    There’s an ATK show???

    BTW, my housemate and I tried out the Cherry Coke ribs, and they were delicious. So delicious that I made them for my defense party, and they were a hit. People were asking for the recipe. Thanks!

  2. ~wingerz » Picnic chicken said,

    September 1, 2007 at 8:22 am

    […] chicken was in the same episode of ATK as the grilled shrimp I posted a few weeks ago, and I made both the shrimp and chicken for one meal. It is supposed to […]

  3. caroline said,

    October 5, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    We have cooked this several times for company. Not only is it relatively simple but everyone raves about it.

  4. wingerz said,

    October 5, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    That’s great to hear! I love grilled shrimp.

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