When you’re on a tight budget, shrimp is a rare treat. Even buying them in bulk usually leads to a price tag of 25 cents a piece, which means when you eat them you typically want something spectacular. Sometimes I’ll chop up 2-3 shrimp a person and stretch them in a salad, curry, or soup. But one of my favorite ways to eat shrimp is hot off the grill.
There’s only been a few days of sun the past month, so every time there is we try and grill for dinner to get the most out of a nice day. Our cat Cappuccino was circling the grill as these babies were cooking, he totally made me flashback to the Garfield cartoon I loved as a kid!
When grilling shrimp, I like to balance out their natural sweetness with spicy and tart flavors. I marinate and grill them with the shells on because they protect the shrimp from getting stuck to the grill, plus there’s something so primal about ripping the hot shells off and popping juicy shrimp from their tails into my mouth!
I had some Chinese chili peppers and smoked paprika that I got when I went to World Spice Market in Seattle, and thought they’d add a perfect touch of heat with a little bit of minced garlic. I didn’t have any lime juice or lemongrass on hand (my usual citruses for seafood) so went with lemon juice and thought it worked really well.
Since the shrimp had kind of a Thai mix of flavors, I made a radish jicama salad with a similar flavor profile. (Coming soon!) When you’re trying to save money on food, go light on your protein and bulk up on really affordable side dishes. You can’t go wrong!
Chili Garlic Grilled Shrimp Recipeserves 2
8-10 medium to large raw shrimp (shells on)
1 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp crushed Chinese Chilis
1 tsp smoked paprika
4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
Place all ingredients in a Ziploc bag and mush it around until everything is mixed. Marinate in the fridge at least 15 minutes. Spear shrimp on skewers and grill for 3 minutes on each side. Remove shells as you eat!
Approximate cost/serving: My shrimp worked out to 25 cents each so it’s about $1.15-$1.40 per person
Gluten Free: Good to go!
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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.