Grilled Shrimp with Gulf Coast Flavors

Fresh from local waters

There is nothing better than going down to my favorite fish market, which happens to be downtown on the water just a few blocks from our house, to pick up fresh from the Gulf of Mexico, wild shrimp. Now I'm not going as far in saying these are the most beautiful creatures but these sure do put a pretty grin on my face when I see how fresh they are.

How to tell when shrimp is fresh:
support the waters that support Alabama
I was taught to look at the color of the flesh. Fresh shrimp will be translucent, grayish to white in color (or brownish if brown shrimp). If the flesh is pinkish, it is older than I like it, but that is just something personal. You can tell how old shrimp is by the darkening color of it's head normally caused by being on ice too long. The darker it is, the older it is and if it is almost black, well then it is possible spoilage has occurred or at least been sitting around a while. Also, the shell of older caught shrimp will not retain the brittleness of the fresher and will become soft over time. Fresh shrimp, like fresh fish will not smell so heavily with a seafood, fishy odor. Fresh shrimp will have a sweet, almost crisp taste when cooked, older shrimp will most certainly taste shrimpy, like, well frozen shrimp.

Of course, I never have to worry as the shrimp and fish are always super fresh down at the market, right off the boats in fact. I bought a nice large flounder too and had the guys fillet it for me, sure does save time back at my house and they don't mind deheading and peeling the shrimp either. Tips not including. That's the thing about living in a seafood community. Folks know how to treat each other when it comes to seafood. As the saying goes down here, 'only sell what we eat.'

Here is how I grilled these beauties ... Enjoy!

Grilled Shrimp with Gulf Coast Flavors

2 pounds large fresh Gulf Coast shrimp, unpeeled
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 cup pineapple juice
juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons olive oil

Remove heads from shrimp along with the shells leaving tail on and devein if desired. The easiest way to devein is to run a sharp knife down the top (opposite the little feet) making a 1/4-inch-deep incision from tail to head. Rinse under cold running water opening up the incision and rinsing away any veins (the brownish-black matter).

In a blender, add the remaining ingredients and blend to form a marinade. Pour into a non-reactive bowl and add the shrimp. Stir to coat, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour but not more than 2 hours.

Meanwhile, soak skewers in water or fruit juice if using wooden.

Remove the shrimp from the marinade and run a skewer up through the middle to thickest part of each shrimp placing about 4 on each skewer for appetizers or 8 to 12 for entrée. Do not leave a gap between the shrimp.

Grill shrimp over a medium-high fire (350-400 Degree F) basting with the marinade once or twice before the turn, about 3 minutes on each side or until the shrimp turns nice and pink and the flesh is an even, opaque white.

Serve with your favorite fruit salsa or try my Tropical Salsa.

See what others are grilling with my good friend Dara and the summertime food event...“Get Grillin’ with Family Fresh Cooking and Cookin’ Canuck, sponsored by Ile de France Cheese, Rösle, Emile Henry, Rouxbe and ManPans.”


  1. Isn't it great living on the Gulf Coast?!!! Thanks for all the tips, and your shrimp are the most beautiful creatures. YUMMY!

  2. Oh my, this looks wonderful, Drick! Sounds like a great lunch special. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks for the tip. Will be picking up fresh prawns tomorrow. Shall have to look out for the colour

  4. I've pretty much given up on finding good shrimp here, you are lucky to be able to pick it up so fresh and to know how to prepare it in such a fantastic yummy way;-) Have a nice weekend;-)

  5. You have to most delightful marinades anywhere! Just scrumptious grilling :)

  6. wonderful flavors for shrimp! love it! Best of all it came from my favorite expert on making seafood!

  7. Dang, Blogger ate my comment! lol There's nothing like fresh shrimp and these look divine! That marinade is "to die for" and I'm going to try it tonight! Thanks for another fabulous recipe, cher! Have a great weekend!


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