We have a Sweet AND Spicy Grilled Shrimp recipe that is spiced up with chili sauce and cayenne pepper for a truly unique and flavorful experience. I hope you give this one a try, it hits all the right notes.
BALANCE OF FLAVORS
Before we dig in to make these delicious shrimp, I wanted to point out the unique balance of flavors that make this dish stand out. The combination of spicy and sweet flavors is what gives this dish its irresistible taste.
The cayenne pepper brings the heat, while the chili sauce provides a touch of sweetness. The garlic then adds a depth of flavor, the basil provides some freshness and the acidity of the lime juice balances it all out.
I first made this recipe a few years back while hosting a very large BBQ for my son’s lacrosse team. I quadrupled this recipe and was certain there would be shrimp left for the adults, however, I found out later that some of the boys went back for THIRDS!!
Creating a Flavorful Marinade
To create a flavorful marinade for your shrimp, there needs to be a nice balance of spice, acid and oil.
- Spices – We are using some freshly minced garlic, basil, salt and pepper. The star of the show is in the blend of sweet chili sauce and a dash of cayenne pepper.
- Next, mix in some acid to help tenderize the shrimp and add brightness to the flavors. Lemon or lime juice works well, but today we are using red wine vinegar.
- Finally, add in some oil to help the marinade cling to the shrimp and prevent them from sticking to the grill. Olive oil is a classic choice, but you can also try coconut oil or sesame oil for added flavor.
To adjust the balance of flavors to your liking, start by tweaking the amount of cayenne pepper or chili sauce you use.
- If you prefer a milder dish, reduce the amount of cayenne pepper, or if you have a sweet tooth, you can add some more chili sauce, or even a little honey.
- For a tangier profile, add a little bit more lime juice or even some vinegar.
- The key is to taste as you go and adjust accordingly.
Once your marinade is ready, toss your shrimp in it and let them sit for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight in the refrigerator. The longer the shrimp marinate, the more flavor they’ll absorb.
GRILL GRILL GRILL
There are many ways to prepare shrimp, the oven, sautéing them, you can even air fry them. But nothing compares to grilling them over a hot open flame if you ask me.
- Preheat the grill to high and place the skewers on an oiled grate. These shrimp cook fast, 3-4 minutes per side depending on size. Don’t forget to baste them with the leftover marinade!
What to Pair with Sweet and Spicy Grilled Shrimp
Once your shrimp are grilled to perfection, it’s time to serve and enjoy! Remove the skewers and transfer the shrimp to a serving dish. Drizzle any remaining marinade over the shrimp and sprinkle with chopped cilantro and lime wedges for added flavor.
Grilled Shrimp with Chili Sauce and Cayenne Pepper
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- 2–3 lbs Fresh Shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 4 Cloves Organic Garlic, minced
- ⅓ Cup Olive Oil
- ¼ Cup Thai Sweet Garlic Chili Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
- 4 Tablespoons Fresh Basil, chopped
- ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside ¼ cup to use to baste as the shrimp are cooking.
- Add the shrimp, stirring to evenly coat. Cover and refrigerate up to but no longer than 1 hour.
- Thread the shrimp onto the skewers going through the tail and then towards the top. Leave a little space in between each shrimp.
- Place the skewers on a hot grill- turning once. Cook smaller shrimp 2 min per side, larger shrimp 3 min per side or until pink on the outside and opaque on the inside.
- Remove from the grill and brush with remaining marinade.
- Serve immediately with fresh lemon and/or lime wedges.