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Like Father, Like Daughter: Grilled Shrimp with Lemon, Garlic, and Garden Herbs dipped in Sriracha Mayonnaise


June 6, 2012

Grilled Shrimp

Grilled Shrimp, Blasted Asparagus, Grilled Bread with Roasted Garlic, and Quinoa Salad

“Honey! It’s Dad!! You’re on SPEAKER!!!”

My father’s booming voice, a crescendo through the phone, culminated in what could easily be construed as a full shout, as when he is particularly excited he forgets that thanks to the invention of Alexander Bell, one needn’t yell all the way across the country to be heard.

Feverishly trying to find the volume down button and holding the phone out from my ear, I shouted back, “Hi! I’m great!! What’s UP???”, as when I am particularly excited I forget that thanks to the invention of Alexander Bell, one needn’t yell all the way across the country to be heard. Like Father, like Daughter…what can I say.

“Have you taken the shrimp out of the BRINE??”

“Another minute forty-five seconds! WHY?!”

“You’re really going to want to RINSE IT!”

At this point I simply burst out laughing. My dad, who semi-retired this past year and went from working nearly 80 hours a week to consulting part-time, has taken all the energy and enthusiasm and passion he had for his job and turned it into the kitchen. The result is one very lucky wife,ย  one very well fed teenage son, and one very happy adult, food-blogging daughter, who now gets phone calls from her Dad wanting to talk about shrimp for 30 minutes. Yes, we can talk about shrimp for 30 minutes, and I’m not sure which of us enjoys it more.

I’ve never been much of a Cooks Illustrated fan, finding a large number of the tasks they suggest seemingly annoying and high maintenance. I prefer to flip through pictures of Food & Wine, pick a recipe, then ignore half of it, and feign shock and dismay when it doesn’t turn out exactly as its pictured. Take brining…brining is the kind of thing I would almost always skip. I don’t know why…clearly it’s not that hard…but it just bugs me.

So when my Dad called to tell me he had recently made “the MOST succulent shrimp, I mean really Erina, the absolute best shrimp you’ve ever had” I promised to make the recipe, and follow the “CRITICAL” step of the brining and the “RINSING” (all of which he told me about in detail on our first call, and in the email, and on the recipe, and in our second call…because come on folks, this is SERIOUS stuff we’re talking about.)

Well, turns out, Father does know best. These shrimp are amazing. I might even say they are the most succulent shrimp, I mean really, the absolute best I’ve ever had. The brining is quick (30 minutes), and really does result in tremendously juicy shrimp. Furthermore, they take less than 5 minutes to cook making themย  festive and utterly satisfying, yet very manageable, dinner party fare. We served them with Sriracha Mayonnaise, from the New York Time’s recent article, and there was not a shrimp left to be found in the house despite my Dad’s urging that I make “EXTRA” because they are “FANTASTIC leftovers!”

Grilled Shrimp with Lemon, Garlic, and Garden Herbs dipped in Sriracha Mayonnaise – Adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Serves 4-6

Platter of awesomeness…these got scarfed up quickly!


  • 2 lbs raw shrimp, tail on, shells off, thawed
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt (or 2 TB table salt)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 quarts cold water


  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp table salt
  • 4 TB olive oil
  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 tsp garden herbs (oregano, basil, thyme, chives, whatever suits your fancy)
  1. In a large bowl combine the water, salt, and sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the shrimp and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mince garlic with salt to form a smooth paste. Combine garlic paste with olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh herbs. Set aside.
  3. When thirty minutes is up, drain the shrimp and RINSE them for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Return shrimp to large bowl, add the herb paste, stir to toss, and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours, stirring occasionally if marinating for the longer term.
  5. When ready to cook, light a grill and allow to get very hot, preheating for 15 minutes or so, and ensuring that grates are scraped clear. Meanwhile, skewer the shrimp, catching both the tail and body so they are securely on the skewer.

    Skewer the shrimp through both the tail and body to ensure they stay in place.

  6. Reduce the grill heat to 75%, and avoiding direct flame as much as possible, cook until just cooked through and pink, about 4-6 minutes total time (2-3 minutes per side).

    Sweet Nadia took this picture when I wasn’t looking…be sure not to cook the shrimp too long!

  7. Serve with Sriracha Mayonnaise, blasted asparagus, grilled bread, and quinoa salad.


  1. Ha! I like the shouting. We’ll have to try these. I’ve been wanting shrimp lately. They sound great.

    • Erina says:

      If you like shrimp you will LOVE these! They really were exceptionally good. Will I be seeing you at BlogHer Food Conference this weekend?

      • I wish! I didn’t even look into getting tickets until FAR too late. It would have been fun to see you! I’d be curious to hear what you think about it, tho. Also, we may be at the Fairmont at 12:30, so maybe we’ll at least get to rub elbows with some of the conference goers.

  2. Maman says:

    Any chance these could be “grilled” in a super hot
    black iron skillet rather than the grill?
    Really eager to try these tempting morsels from Big T and E
    Thanks for the inspiration
    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:
    Email (required) (d to be.

  3. Karen says:

    I had never thought of brining shrimp. Thanks for the tip.

  4. Reblogged this on Seattle Foodshed and commented:
    When we saw this grilled shrimp recipe over at Shut Up & Cook, we had to share it with you. Check out the recipe, and then check out the blog. Erina loves food and animals (a lot like us) and we think you’ll love her, too.

  5. Such a cute post Erina! How neat that you and your dad can share in the passion and creativity of cooking! Brining is great for shrimp! Really adds moisture and flavor. I’m with you, and your dad. Do you brine other proteins as well? Great with pork tenderloin too! Look forward to meeting you at the Chobani dinner at Canlis!

    • Erina says:

      Thanks Sally! Really looking forward to meeting you as well. I’ve certainly brined chicken and turkey, and have some done some brining with pork belly, but never pork tenderloin. If you have a particular recipe you recommend, I’d love to try it out!

  6. hannah says:

    I just came across your blog and love this post! Your dad sounds like my dad … or, oddly enough, my husband. (How had I never noticed this before? ๐Ÿ™‚ ) Looks like a great recipe – I am not a shrimp eater, and have certainly never brined them – but everyone I cook for loves them, so I’m adding this to our grill list for this summer!

    • Erina says:

      Hi Hannah,

      It is SO true isn’t it….we marry our parents!!

      I’m honored that as a non-shrimp eater you’ll add this to the mix. Let me know what you think. That’s for stopping by!

  7. haha – dude! herbs, garlic and grill?? dude! these prawns look pretty darn fantastic! I’m not much of a mayo fan but I do dig sriracha – thank you for sharing!!

    • Erina says:

      Thanks Kristy! Let me know what you think! You could also dip just the shrimp in sriracha and skip the mayo all together!

  8. Great meeting you last night and some awesome shrimp here!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I was just looking for a good grilled shrimp recipe!! Will make this next!

    • Erina says:

      Lovely to meet you too! These shrimp are definitely a cut above the rest, so I would highly recommend. Excited to hear what you think. Hope to cross paths soon!

  9. That sounds like a lot of fun! Great minds think alike – I just posted a recipe this AM that has Sriracha Mayo ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Sheila says:

    These look delicious and so easy! Erina it was so nice to chat with you this past weekend!

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