Last updated November 23, 2018
What does it take to make the best damn grilled shrimp on the planet? One secret ingredient, shrimp shells and about 15 minutes.
I’ve grilled dozens upon dozens of shrimp in my life. They’re one of my favorite healthy snacks. Before creating this recipe, I always thought my shrimp were pretty good. But pretty good isn’t good enough.
Once I added this one ingredient, my shrimp went from pretty good to being the best damn grilled shrimp on the planet. I’m not exaggerating here. I can down a pound of shrimp like no tomorrow when I follow this method.
Before we get to the ingredients, let’s talk about the grilling process. If you want juicy, flavorful shrimp, you’ve got to grill them with the shells on. They add so much more flavor to the shrimps, and they protect the delicate skin from the brutal fire.
Leaving the shells on creates a little more work when it comes time to eat them, but honestly, it makes you slow down to enjoy each succulent bite.
Grill them hot and fast over direct heat. You can put them straight on the grill, but if you buy smaller shrimp, they may fall through the grates. As an alternative, you can use a grill basket or get a set of GrillGrates, and flip them upside down to create a plancha (a flat grilling surface).
Okay, now to that one ingredient that makes these the best damn grilled shrimp on the planet. It’s sesame oil.
Sesame oil is oil extracted from sesame seeds. It’s usually thicker than traditional vegetable oil and has a rich, amber color, but the best part about sesame oil is that it’s a concentrated burst of umami.
When you toss the shrimp in sesame oil, the sweetness of the shrimp is somehow amplified. I add a little bit of garlic and ginger to this marinade, too, for extra aromatics.
This recipe is for two pounds of shrimp. You’re going to want to double it or triple it, if you’re feeding a crowd because these bad boys will go fast.
The Best Grilled Shrimp on the Planet
- 2 lbs shrimp (shells on, deveined)
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsps sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp ginger minced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Combine all ingredients, and toss to coat.
- Grill on high, turning once until charred and pink, about 3 minutes per side.
- Peel and eat.