Aside from overcooking, it’s hard to go wrong with shrimp.
Whether you broil, grill, stir- or deep-fry them, the briny, fresh taste of shrimp makes a savory spring or summer meal that cooks quickly and pairs well with crisp salads and easy-to-drink sweet white wines.
Take a simple approach, tossing the shrimp with just olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Or reach for complex flavors, dousing them in a blend of melted ghee and curry powder.
This recipe for shrimp marinated in coconut milk and lime juice has a tropical taste. But if you’d rather skip the coconut milk, follow the recipe using just the lime juice and a bit of tequila for a margarita-inspired dish.
Very large shrimp are the easiest to grill. And high-quality specimens can taste almost like lobster. But these can be pricey. Smaller shrimp can be substituted, but you may need to reduce the cooking time.
Smaller shrimp are easiest to grill when skewered. Bamboo skewers are inexpensive. Just soak them in water for about 30 minutes before they go on the grill to prevent them from burning.
Just remember, whatever your cooking technique, shrimp cook very quickly. As soon as the meat is solid white or the shells are pink, they are done.
Large shrimp need 1 to 2 minutes per side. Smaller can take less than a minute.
Coconut lime shrimp
2pounds raw shrimp, peeled, tail on
1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
1tablespoon kosher salt
1/2teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3cup unsweetened coconut flakes
Use a fine grater or zester to remove and reserve the zest of 1 lime. Juice all the limes (about 1/8 cup juice or 2 tablespoons).
Place the shrimp in a large, zip-close plastic bag. Add the coconut milk and three-quarters of the lime juice, then seal the bag and gently shake to coat the shrimp. Refrigerate 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a food processor combine the lime zest, kosher salt and black pepper. Pulse until the zest, salt and pepper are well blended. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
In a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat, lightly toast the coconut flakes. As soon as the coconut begins to brown, remove it from the heat. Set aside.
Generously coat a grill grate with cooking spray and preheat on medium-high. Alternatively, set a grill pan over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray just before you are ready to cook.
Remove the shrimp from the marinade, discarding the marinade. Place the shrimp on the grill or grill pan and cook about 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until the exteriors are pink and the centers are opaque white.
While the shrimp are still on the grill, drizzle them with them remaining lime juice.
Transfer the shrimp to serving plates, then lightly sprinkle them with the salt-lime zest mixture, then with a bit of toasted coconut.
Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 330 calories; 92 calories from fat; 10 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 388 mg cholesterol; 4 g carbohydrate; 52 g protein; 1 g fiber; 672 mg sodium.