04 Aug2007


Grilled shrimp are spectacular regardless of seasoning, as long as the shrimp are fresh. I have done versions of this easy grilled item before. I was at the market this morning in Batangas and found these utterly spectacular prawns, on their last gasps of air, still moving… Back home, I decided to make up a simple olive oil and citrus marinade, throw them on the barbecue and voila, a delicious platter of prawns in minutes…


For the marinade, I mixed the following ingredients in a bowl… olive oil, the juice of one lemon, the juice of one ponkan or mandarin, red chilli pepper flakes, freshly gorund black pepper, crushed pomegranate arils for some of their juice, and lots of salt. If you have time, and you brine your shrimp in salty water they will be really juicy, but I didn’t bother with these recently living specimens…


Just toss the shrimp (I slit their backs first and removed the black stuff, but left their shells and heads on) in the marinade 10-15 minutes before cooking, then grill just enough to cook the shrimp, baste with extra marinade… Do not overcook, I find that 80% of folks have a tendency to way overcook prawns. These had a deliciously sweet meat, the marinade was just right, I don’t think the pomegranates did anything noticeable so you can do the recipe without them and still get good results. I also sprinkled the platter with pomegranates for arte. Delicious…

More shrimp dishes? Check these out:

Skewered and Grilled Suahe
Steamed Shrimp
Laing with Prawns
Sabaw na Kundol, Hamon at Sugpo
Ulang / Giant Freshwater Shrimp
Prawns for Breakfast
Sinigang na Hipon at Kamias
Santol at Sugpo sa Gata
Prawn/Shrimp Cocktail a la Marketman
Grilled Prawns with Garlic Butter & Dalandan



  1. leila antonio says:

    I love it! Yummy! I’ll try it tomorrow Sunday Lunch. I didn’t know that you can also brine shrimp. I thought they only do it on chicken meats. Thanks for the tip.

    Aug 4, 2007 | 5:52 pm


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  3. Hershey says:

    Grilled shrimp is one of my favorites too. Fresh shrimps taste really sweet so I often buy live ones. I usually marinate them in lime, pepper and premium light soy sauce. I’ve tried marinating them once in bbq mixture but I didnt like it that much, I think I overdid it. :-(

    Aug 4, 2007 | 9:22 pm

  4. apm says:

    I do love charcoal broiled shrimp. I don’t agree however with grilling them in their shells. The meat tends to stick to the shells and the shells don’t really provide any additional flavor. I just remove the shells marinate the shrimp in an olive oil based marinade and grill peeled shrimp and the heads separately. You must however be careful that you do not overcook the shrimp. I then use the heads as a smoke infused stock which I could either reduce to use as a base for a lemon (or vanilla) butter cream sauce (the cream acts as a stabilizer so that the beurre blanc will not split we do live in a tropical country)or use as a base for a bisque. I am not a fan of sucking prawn heads but if your guests are such fans then by all means serve the charcoal broiled heads beside the peeled shrimp.

    Aug 5, 2007 | 12:44 am

  5. Maria Clara says:

    The freshness of your shrimps makes a lot of difference compared to farmed frozen shrimps in refrigerated containers crossed the Pacific Ocean and China Sea with lay over at the custom clearing lot – then the distribution center of the importers before its reach the retailer’s shelves. Salt and oil will do great justice on grilled shrimp and no further need of brining. The dipping sauce will further enhance them.

    Aug 5, 2007 | 3:35 am

  6. Marketman says:

    leila, brine the shrimp in a bowl of cold water, with lots of salt, inside the fridge for say an hour or so, not much longer. Hershey, your marinade sounds good to me… apm, I guess it is fine to cook without peel as well, particularly since most shrimp in the West comes peeled. But I find that keeping the peel on protects the meat from drying out and seals in flavor of the shrimp itself, rather than focusing on the marinade. Also, I find that shrimp skins that stick to the underlying meat are either not that fresh, or if you got them alive, they are at the near molting stage where they are about to change their shells. These shrimp in the photo had shells that just peeled right of the meat… But I do know what you are referring to when the shells stick to the meat. Your shrimp heads for the stock sound superb… MC, yup fresh beats frozen any day, but surprisingly, for many recipes, the frozen ones seems to do fine…

    Aug 5, 2007 | 7:20 am

  7. connie says:

    I don’t ever get fresh shrimps or prawns where I live. American grocers will almost always have their shrimp or prawns skinned, deviened, beheaded and decapitated already. They are still good for grilling but nothing beats having the head and skin there, nothing more satisfying that sucking the head, no natter how barbaric that sounds. LOL.
    Even if I go the the Asian grocers, most of their fish and seafood are frozen, except for the tilapias which they fish straight from the tank. I have to thoroughly thaw the prawns in a water bath or marinate it for at least an hour to yield good results.
    For Hershey or whoever wants a barbecue taste in your shrimps, I just usually use Jack Daniel’s marinade mix and use their grilling sauce when I’m grilling. Or use Dale’s steak seasoning. I used this two marinades when I’m too lazy too think about want sauce I’m going to use, just pour from the bottle and you are good to go. It’s really for the lazy cooks. *laughs*

    Aug 5, 2007 | 10:24 am

  8. dhayL says:

    This is yet another delicious and simple shrimp recipe! My husband and I have been craving for shrimps for days now. Unfortunately, we have to settle for “frozen shrimps” however, the ones that they have nowadays in Asian grocery are still a bit small, we sort of agreed that if we’re having shrimps, might as well buy the biggest ones!

    Aug 6, 2007 | 3:01 am

  9. Guia says:

    Hi, Sam’s or similar wholesale stores in America have nice frozen peeled or unpeeled shrimps.

    Aug 6, 2007 | 10:04 am

  10. Risa says:

    Hello MM,

    The link to the first picture seems to be broken.

    Aug 6, 2007 | 10:45 am

  11. Adam says:

    Hi, just to add my variation: we picked up some big fresh prawns from the market on Saturday. In a bowl we mixed fresh parsley, butter, olive oil, lots of garlic – previously softened by cooking lightly in butter with slices of ginger in – calamansi juice, salt, pepper and some dessicated coconut. Then gave it a very quick whizz in the blender. A kind of anything but the kitchen sink mixture! But it does work really well.

    Slit the backs of the prawns (keep shell on) and took the gunk out and then used wooden skewers,running through the entire length of the prawn. Into the now open back of the prawn we stuffed lots of the marinade. Then laid them on home made tin foil trays – to keep the juices – and barbecued them for a minute or so on each side. Then we took them out of the foil and laid them on top of the bbq grill for a few seconds to get them a little burnt. Absolutely delicious and timing is key – do not under any circumstances overcook them. And do not let the accompanying cold beer get warm!

    Aug 6, 2007 | 11:00 am

  12. Marketman says:

    Adam, that sounds utterly superb… yes, I love the whole butter and citrus mix. Yum!

    Aug 6, 2007 | 11:04 am

  13. inday hami/iloveiloilo says:

    Great dish..these prawns. Last time I checked, it was 800 a kilo in Iloilo. A luxury for most of us.

    Aug 6, 2007 | 7:09 pm

  14. Jdawgg says:

    Hello Marketman,

    I love the pix. This dish looks and I bet it taste delish. One thing I notice, I think you forgot to “devein” the shrimp and that just kills the flavor. With the sandy grit on the back of the shrimp that’s a no no. If you ever need a special knife to devein your shrimp in the future I got them for you. Hit me back on my email. I’ll send you a couple free of charge.



    Aug 7, 2007 | 3:52 am

  15. brenda says:

    looks really yummyyyy….. can you also use the marinade to crabs and pan fry instead of grilling?

    Aug 7, 2007 | 6:58 am

  16. Marketman says:

    Jdawgg, sorry, I should have been less wordy, “slit the backs and remove the black stuff” is meant to be “devein” in the post… :) But thank you very much for the kind offer, I just use a sharp knife… brenda, I hadn’t thought to use this on crabs but it might work as well… Inday, prawns, at PHP800 a kilo!? That’s pricey… they are PHP380-500 in the Batangas/Manila area…

    Aug 7, 2007 | 9:24 pm


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