Grilled Shrimp With Chermoula Recipe

Plump and tender grilled shrimp topped with chermoula. Photographs: J. Kenji López-Alt. Video: Natalie Holt

Why It Works

  • Treating the shrimp with salt and baking soda helps them stay plump and juicy and brown more efficiently as they grill.
  • Drying the shrimp out in the refrigerator gives them a jump-start on browning.
  • Squeezing the shrimp together on a skewer gives them less surface area, which helps them stay juicier as they cook.
  • Tossing them in a sauce after cooking offers more flavor than a marinade.

Our perfectly grilled shrimp have a clean, sweet shrimp flavor with a nicely charred crust and a plump, juicy texture. They pair wonderfully with chermoula, a North African condiment based on herbs, cumin, olive oil, and lemon.


5 Steps to the Best Grilled Shrimp

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 2 hrs
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 2 1/2 pounds (1kg) large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) sugar
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 recipe Chermoula


  1. Combine shrimp, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl and toss to coat. Thread shrimp onto sets of 2 skewers, alternating heads to tails and pushing shrimp together so that they fit tightly on skewers; you should have about 6 shrimp on each set of 2 skewers. Lay skewers on top of a baking dish so that shrimp are suspended above bottom of dish. Transfer to refrigerator and allow to rest for 1 hour. Meanwhile, combine garlic and olive oil in a small bowl.

  2. When shrimp are ready to grill, brush both sides with garlic/oil mixture. Light 1 chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange coals on one side of charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil grilling grate.

  3. Place shrimp directly over hot side of grill and cook, turning occasionally, until shrimp are just cooked through and well charred, 4 to 5 minutes total. Transfer shrimp to a cutting board.

  4. Carefully remove skewers from shrimp and transfer to a medium bowl. Add 1 tablespoon (15ml) chermoula and toss to coat. Season to taste with more salt if necessary. Transfer to a serving platter, spoon more chermoula on top, and serve immediately.

Special equipment

Grill, wooden or metal skewers (soaked in water for 30 minutes if wooden)

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