Grilled Spicy Shrimp

spicy shrimp

I have a problem.  Well, as you can tell from my past postings, I have many problems, especially with sugar free jelly belly.  But this problem stems from me being a victim of consumerism.  It stems from the first time that I laid eyes on a William Sonoma catalog (and became even more intense when I laid my hands on one of those beautiful, blue, Swedish IKEA catalog…awesome).  So the problem:  when I see images of these well-furnished rooms and fully equipped kitchens, I want it all.  I want to mimic those images.  It’s probably nothing rare.  People spend millions of dollars and thousands of tests to find out how to convince someone that it is necessary to buy everything in the pictures to achieve ultimate happiness.  I mean, come on, capitalism is a nasty beast.

Now, I’ve been really into getting food magazines lately.  I credit my colleagues for this.  They have taught me that I should buy a food magazine every time I travel as a treat for traveling so much.  I started buying these magazines in March so most of the Spring issues hat I was buying was showing images and recipes for summer outdoor parties and cookouts.  It was William Sonoma page 25 1998 Fall catalog all over again.  I was seething at the thought that I would be able to have an outdoor party with Urban Outfitter decorations strung from tree to urban street sign, “I don’t care nothing matches, but they still match, but I look carefree because they don’t match” folding chairs strategically randomly placed, and a signature drink served in a mason jar.  How fun does that sound?  I can barely sit still just writing about it.

So I wanted an opportunity to do this, instead I realized the reality of having that image was not really attainable, and required a budget of thousands, which was not worth it.  I don’t want that badly to look carefree and un-matching.  But I did think it would be fun to cook multiple dishes for a party, so I thought my Brother’s birthday would be a good opportunity.  I cooked lots.  Carrot salad, grilled skirt steak, Cretian potatoes, Chimichurri sauce, Chimol, and apple pie were on the menu.  My favorite though was a spicy shrimp, which comes from a friend of ours, Harmony.  Harmony is a great chef and makes amazing food.  I’ve mostly had her Southwestern food, and am thinking of asking her to be a guest blogger on this blog.

This is an easy shrimp with a simple marinade.   I’ve made this recipe twice, and have used both Harissa and Sriracha.  Harissa is a chili paste that comes from North Africa that is very spicy and usually has coriander, cumin, and caraway.  Sriracha is a Thai chili sauce that is with garlic, vinegar, and sugar.  You can find both at most high-end grocery stores and ethnic markets.  Both where great and gave very different flavors each time so I think it up to your taste.  Also, play around with the amounts if you want.  More garlic?  Sure.  Spicier?  Ok!  Sweeter/More tart?  Go ahead.  Drunkard?  Add more.


1 lb shrimp, shelled and cleaned with tail on

4 tbs Harissa or Sriracha

4 tbs tomato paste

1.5 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

6 large cloves of garlic, grated

2 tbs tequila or rum (optional…but why leave it out?)

skewers, soaked in water to prevent burning (if grilling)


mix all ingredients together except for skewers

marinade in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours

-if using a grill-

skewer shrimp onto sticks

place skewers on grill over direct heat and let cook for 2-3 minutes

flip shrimp till slightly charred and just about cooked 1-2 minutes

-if using a broil-

turn on broiler on high

place shrimp on a baking pan

broil for 2-3 minutes on one side

flip shrimp and cook for additional 1-2 minutes or until cooked and tender

-depending on size of shrimp, serves 4-


2 Responses to “Grilled Spicy Shrimp”

  1. 1 Juyeon
    October 20, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Scott! It’s almost winter! Where are you???? You are cooking for sure – where are pictures and postings??? I want to see grilled bluefish, grazed rack of lambs, and it’s the season for our comfort foods! Yeay! So, hey! let’s get busy!

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