Coconut Lime Grilled Shrimp Taste Like a Vacation

Just the thought of it makes my mouth water…something different for you…

Shrimp gets a Thai twist in this recipe when marinated. (Jonelle Weaver/TNS)


This lockdown is getting to me. As a food and travel writer, it has been challenging. I’ve been able to do lots of things like take walks, exercise with online classes, read novels, and cook interesting new dishes, but what I really need is a getaway. Best I can do at the moment is to take a vacation in my kitchen.

Enter this delectable shrimp dish. It somehow just fills the bill.

Shrimp gets a Thai twist in this recipe when marinated in lime, ginger, and cilantro, and then threaded onto skewers for grilling. The shrimp become wonderfully caramelized as they are basted with the marinade during the grilling process.

Use flat bamboo skewers soaked in cold water for at least an hour to prevent them from burning on the grill. Or try flat stainless steel skewers. Flat skewers are best because they make it easier to cook everything evenly. Look for 9- or 10-inch length bamboo or stainless steel skewers. You can find them at your local cookware or grocery store or online.

Serve the shrimp over your favorite vegetable rice dish, and pour the lime, ginger, and coconut sauce over the top. The tart yet slightly sweet sauce is supposed to be thin, so that it serves as a flavor enhancer for the shrimp and the rice underneath. Quickly sautéed snow peas or sugar snap peas make a nice accompaniment.

Grilled Shrimp Skewers With Ginger-Coconut Sauce

Serves 6

  • 6 wooden skewers
  • 1 1/2 pounds extra-large shrimp or 4 to 6 per person, peeled and deveined with tails left on

For the Marinade

  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon or lime marmalade
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces

To Garnish

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 3 limes, halved

Soak wooden skewers in water for at least an hour before using them so they don’t burn.

In a non-aluminum bowl, whisk together all the marinade ingredients except the olive oil. Slowly add olive oil, whisking until incorporated. Taste for seasoning. Add the shrimp, toss to coat evenly with the marinade, cover, refrigerate, and marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

In a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat, add the ginger and shallots, and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the lime juice, coconut milk, and stock. Bring to a simmer and reduce, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 3 to 5 minutes. Strain sauce and return to cleaned saucepan. Whisk in butter over low heat, remove from heat, and cover to keep warm.

Prepare barbecue for medium-high heat grilling. Remove shrimp from marinade. Thread shrimp on skewers (4 to 6 to a skewer) and place the skewered shrimp flat on the grill. Baste with a brush each side with the marinade and grill until cooked, about 3 minutes on each side.

To serve, arrange the skewers on serving plates and spoon warm sauce over them. Garnish with parsley and limes.

Tasty Tips

Coconut milk is available canned or bottled in Asian markets and large supermarkets. Look for unsweetened coconut milk. Coconut milk is richly flavored and slightly sweet, and is widely used in Southeast Asian and Pacific cooking. Don’t confuse this with the very sweet coconut mixes that are intended for mixed drinks.

No need to peel the ginger before grating; use a box grater or a microplane to grate it.

Prepare basmati rice with vegetables to serve on the side or as a bed for the shrimp and sauce.

Accompany with viognier wine or chilled Thai beer.

Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including “Seriously Simple Parties,” and a James Beard Award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at Copyright 2021 Diane Rossen Worthington. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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