Chili-Lime-Brandy Grilled Shrimp Recipe

Leela Punyaratabandhu

Tipsy shrimp, grilled, and doused with a sauce that is a cross between Thai sweet chili sauce and the most typical Thai spicy seafood sauce—all done in 30 minutes.

Note: This is an easy grilling recipe which can also be adapted for stove-top cooking. When the weather does not cooperate, simply broil or pan-sear the shrimp and douse them with this spicy sweet and sour sauce. Try serving this with coconut rice (jasmine rice cooked in half coconut milk and half water instead of plain water).

Recipe Facts

Active: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp or large prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce, divided
  • 2 tablespoon brandy (or tequila)
  • 2 tablespoons plain vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Thai bird's eye chilies or 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper
  • 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh juice from 2 to 3 limes
  • 2 tablespoons zest from 2 to 3 limes, divided


  1. Put shrimp, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, brandy, and oil in a medium mixing bowl; toss to coat; set aside.

  2. To make the sauce, put sugar, chilies, garlic, and the remaining fish sauce in a small saucepan set it over low heat, and bring the mixture to boil, whisking constantly. Once sugar has melted and mixture becomes syrupy, remove saucepan from heat. Whisk in lime juice and 2/3 of the lime zest; set aside.

  3. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.

  4. Thread marinated shrimp lengthwise onto bamboo or metal skewers. Grill shrimp over medium-high heat, brushing with prepared sauce. Once exteriors are slightly charred and the shrimp flesh turns opaque, remove the shrimp skewers from heat and arrange them on a serving platter, about 3 minutes total.

  5. Sprinkle the remaining lime zest over the grilled shrimp and serve.

Special equipment

Bamboo skewers

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