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The Ultimate Shrimp Marinade Recipe

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The Ultimate Shrimp Marinade will  provide you with an impressive meal with little effort.  In just 20 minutes, this super simple citrus based marinade will take shrimp from ordinary to a high end restaurant flavor profile that will amaze.  

The Ultimate Shrimp Marinade Ingredients

The Ultimate Shrimp Marinade Recipe
  • Fresh squeezed lime juice
  • Fresh orange juice
  • Honey
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • Soy Sauce
  • Black Pepper
  • Chopped cilantro

Let’s get the Ultimate Shrimp Marinade Going

While you can use a container of any kind, I always find that a large zip lock bag works best to marinade my protein.  It allows for the ability to manipulate the marinade throughout the process to get the protein’s best coverage. 

The marinade is the classic measure and mix!  Carefully add the ingredients as listed, add to the zip lock bag, and set aside.

Buy The Biggest Shrimp You Can 

To save money, I usually buy fresh or frozen shrimp with the shell on.  This allows me to spend my money on buying the largest shrimp possible for the budget. It’ll take you a bit more time to prep the shrimp because they will also likely not be deveined. But in any situation like this I think: I always have more time than money. 

I traditionally use about 2 pounds of shrimp for this recipe. Generally, a serving is about 3 ounces of shrimp per person.  I prefer the Jumbo shrimp that are 21-25 shrimp per pound.   That allows for about 5-6 shrimp per skewer. Keep in mind the shrimp number included per pound is a range, but you should get about 5 skewers with 5-6 shrimp on them per pound. If you’re particularly budget conscious all you have to do is add some vegetables to make the shrimp go further if needed.     

All that being said, it’s time to clean and devein all of your shrimp.  Deveining your shrimp involves removing the dark strip running along the back of the shrimp.  This is the digestive portion of the shrimp and is filled with grit.  It’s not harmful to eat, but I prefer to remove it for prettier looking shrimp. You simply take a paring knife and cut along the back portion of the shrimp and pull out the black string, rinsing under water to fully remove it. I also go a step further and remove the underbelly string as well by repeating the same process.  If this sounds like too much work, just be sure to buy deveined shrimp.    

Combine And Get Ready To Dine

Gently pat the shrimp dry. Place shrimp in the zip lock bag with the marinade and gently knead it to be sure all of the ingredients cover the shrimp.  

Put bag into the refrigerator laying flat.  Let it marinate at least 20 minutes to an hour to bathe all of the great flavors into the shrimp. Turn bag over in refrigerator half way through marinating.

Remove shrimp from bag, discarding any remaining marinade.  

The Best Ways To Cook Your Ultimate Shrimp Marinade?

Grill To Perfection

The char flavor from the grill really elevates the flavors of the marinade. If you’re grilling your shrimp, divide your shrimp evenly amongst your metal skewers. 5 to 6 shrimp per skewer is a nice individual 3 ounce serving. Once the grill is hot, grill for 3-5 minutes per side depending on the size of your shrimp. Keep a close eye on them. Shrimp should be firm to the touch but not overdone causing them to be dried out. Pull the shrimp from the grill ; rest for a few minutes before serving, and watch out for the metal skewers being hot!

Sizzling Skillet Cooked 

This shrimp marinade is not only for the warmer months! If it’s too cold outside to cook your marinated shrimp on the grill, then grab your favorite cast iron skillet to cook in. Heat up some olive oil in the bottom of a skillet and let it get nice and warm. You want a great sear on these shrimp.  They will cook quickly so we don’t want them to get soft and gummy.  

Put the shrimp in the pan with or without the skewers, it is up to you.  Let them cook for 1-2 minutes on high heat until pink and then flip for the remaining 1-2 minutes. Do not overcook!  Keep an eye on them!  Plate them, and let them rest a few minutes before serving for optimal taste!

What To Serve With Marinated Shrimp?

Serve these marinated shrimp skewers with a beautiful salad, and a starch side dish. You could make my Cheesy Parmesan Orzo Side Dish, a cayenne saffron rice pilaf, or a potato dish like my Easy Crispy Roasted Rosemary Tri-Colored Potatoes recipe. 

Tips And Tricks 

  1. Buy fresh or frozen shrimp. Both are considered fresh as the frozen shrimp are froze very close to the capture, actually making the fresher choice.  In fact, unless you live coastally, the fish case usually has previously frozen shrimp for sale.   
  2. This recipe yields about a cup of marinade which is perfect for 2 lbs of shrimp. You could use fresh orange juice if you don’t have apple juice.
  3. Shrimp defrosts super fast.  Just put in a colander and run cold water on the shrimp to defrost.  
  4. If you’re using skewers for grilling,  I strongly suggest that you use reusable metal skewers.  They are more sturdy and hold your protein firm for grilling.  This choice also allows you to skip the step of soaking the alternative wood skewers at least 30 minutes prior to grilling. Caution, the skewers are very hot off the grill and should be set aside to cool a bit before being served.
  5. DO NOT marinade the shrimp for longer than an hour max!  The acid in the marinade will break down your shrimp to a mushy texture and compromise the results.  
Shrimp close up
The Ultimate Shrimp Marinade Recipe

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