Grilled shrimp skewers recipe with ginger and turmeric is flavorful and fast

Grilled Shrimp Skewers With Ginger and Turmeric

Total time:25 mins


Total time:25 mins


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If you want to grill something special this weekend without trying too hard, these shrimp skewers answer that call. The look of them alone is a thrilling statement, with shrimp lined up dramatically while flashing a brilliant yellow-gold hue and gorgeous grill marks.

The skewers deliver on all the bold flavor their appearance promises, with a kick-y balance of ginger, garlic and turmeric, punctuated with just enough cayenne pepper to add a tingly warmth, and brought together with salt and a generous amount of black pepper. (Fun fact: Black pepper enhances the absorption of the beneficial compounds in turmeric, so the two make a synergistic match, health- and flavor-wise.)

How to peel and devein shrimp — a visual guide

Each of the rub’s spices are pantry staple ground and dried versions, making it easy to have the ingredients on hand, minimizing the possibility of burning during cooking (as fresh garlic often does, for example), and eliminating any need for chopping. The spices are simply stirred with a little oil and lemon juice to form a paste, then tossed with the shrimp, which are then threaded onto skewers. (The skewers can be prepared to this point up to a day ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat.)

When that time comes, just fire up the grill and cook the skewers. They make for a tasty and healthy starter for a multicourse meal, but I like to serve them as a main course with grilled flatbreads and a green salad, and reap the big rewards of putting in very little effort.

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Make Ahead: If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 20 minutes. The shrimp can be tossed with the seasonings, threaded onto skewers, covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day, before cooking.

Storage: Refrigerate for up to 2 days.

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as avocado, grapeseed or canola
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp (26-30 per pound), cleaned, ideally tail on
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

In a large bowl, stir together the ginger, garlic, turmeric, salt, pepper and cayenne, if using. Add the oil and lemon juice and stir to form a paste. Add the shrimp and toss to evenly coat. Thread about 5 shrimp onto each skewer. Place them on a platter or baking sheet.

Place a second platter or baking sheet near the stove. Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat (if you want to grill your shrimp outside, see NOTES). Cook the shrimp until no longer translucent and browned in spots with nice grill marks outside, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve hot, with lemon wedges on the side.

NOTES: If using an outdoor grill, make preheating it your first step.

To prepare the grill: If using a gas grill, set it to 375 to 400 degrees. If using a charcoal grill, fill a chimney starter with charcoal, light it and when the coals are red hot, pour them into the grill. Add more charcoal. When all the coals have ashed over and are gray but still very hot, about 15 minutes, your grill should be medium-hot. (Use a grill thermometer or test the heat by holding your hand, palm-down about 5 inches from the grill. If you can hold it there for 4 to 5 seconds, the heat should be at medium heat, or 375 to 400 degrees. ) If using charcoal, this dish may take about 15 minutes longer to prepare.

If you are peeling and deveining the shrimp, put the skewers in water to soak before you start, and they should be ready for use by the time you’ve prepped and seasoned the shrimp.

Calories: 67; Total Fat: 4g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 54mg; Sodium: 634mg; Carbohydrates: 2 g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Sugar: 0g; Protein: 6g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

From cookbook author and registered dietitian nutritionist Ellie Krieger.

Tested by Ann Maloney; e-mail questions to

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