A fast and easy grilled shrimp appetizer that mixes savory seafood seasoning with tart and tangy key lime dipping sauce. It’s sure to be a BBQ favorite!
It’s been a few months since Kim and I made the move from Florida to Arkansas. While Arkansas has always been home to us, it’s where we met after all, there are a few things we miss about living on the coast. Light, island themed dishes and happy hours featuring tropical drinks and tapas inspire a strange homesickness that the gorgeous mountain scenery just can’t satisfy.
Since I’ve no ambition to move back to the Sunshine State, I have only one option. Bring the flavors of Florida into my own home here in the Ozarks. What better way to do that than to serve a dish featuring a tangy lime native to the Keys? Let’s get started!
Grilled Shrimp Instructions:
- First, if using frozen shrimp, thaw them out and pat them dry with paper towels. For a quick defrost, try pouring the shrimp into a large mixing bowl and then cover them with tap water. Wait 10-minutes, then drain the shrimp, and repeat the process until the shrimp are totally unthawed.
- Next, in a medium mixing bowl, toss the shrimp with the olive oil and seafood seasoning. I used my hands for this step because it’s easier for me to coat the shrimp evenly with oil and seasonings using my fingers.
- Then, thread 4-5 shrimp on each bamboo skewer and place them on a preheated grill for 2-4 minutes in each side. Try to make sure and leave about 1/2-inch of space between each shrimp to ensure they cook on all sides.
- Last, remove them from the grill and set the grilled shrimp on a plate to rest while you make the aioli.
Key Lime Aioli Instructions:
- First, in a medium mixing bowl, combine all the key lime aoili ingredients. That’s correct, there’s no rhyme or reason, no specific order. Just toss all the ingredients into one bowl, no fuss.
- Next, use a whisk or fork to mix everything together. When mixing, really get your wrist into to and break up any spices that might’ve clumped together. The finished aoili should be smooth and creamy. If it’s too thick for you, you can add a little milk to it to thin it out. However, it may affect the flavor and require you add a little more spice. I would caution you against adding more lime juice, this sauce is pretty tart already, so increase the key lime juice at your own risk.
- Last, serve the aoili with your grilled shrimp. Yep, that’s it, it’s that easy. The instructions may look intimidating, but I promise you, this recipe is super simple. You can serve the grilled shrimp over a bed rice or you can remove them from the skewers, place them on the rims of martini glasses, and add sauce to the glass. In other words, cocktail style. Anyway you serve them, they’re sure to please.
Tips for the perfect Grilled Shrimp:
- To ensure your skewers don’t burn on a hot grill, then try soaking them in tap water for at least 10-15 minutes. The bamboo skewers should absorb enough liquid to keep from charring on the grill since they will only be cooking for 2-3 minutes on each side.
- For maximum key lime flavor, prepare the aioli a few hours in advance. It seems to me, aiolis, dipping sauces, and other heavily spiced side sauces seem to intensify in flavor as they chill. This subjective observation is not based on any scientific evidence I’ve found, it’s simply based on my opinion. So as always in cooking, do what you know works for you.
- Pay very close attention to the shrimp as they grill to make sure they don’t over cook and become rubbery. I usually pull my shrimp when the very center of the deveined area is still clear (gray). Then I let the shrimp rest for 5-7 minutes and finish cooking. With that being said, I don’t usually serve my grilled shrimp hot.
Our Coconut Rum Mojito is a wonderful drink to serve with this appetizer. If rum is not your thing, then pair this grilled shrimp with another awesome Summer beverage, like our spiked Lemonade Tequila Drink.
Grilled Shrimp with Key Lime Aioli
- 1 Lbs. Raw, Clean, Deveined Shrimp (if using frozen, thaw and pat dry)
- 2 Tsp. Seafood Seasoning (we used Old Bay)
- 1 Tblsp. Olive Oil
- 4-5 Damp Bamboo Skewers
Key Lime Aioli
- 1 1/2 Cups Mayonaise (we used Duke's Mayo)
- 1/8 Cup Key Lime Juice (preferably fresh)
- 1/2 Tsp. Chili Powder
- 1/2 Tsp. Dill
- 1/4 Tsp. Dried Oregano
- 1/4 Tsp. Cumin
- 1/4 Tsp. Paprika (we used Hungarian smoked paprika)
- 1/8 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
- First, if using frozen shrimp, thaw them out and pat them dry with paper towels.
- Next, in a medium mixing bowl, toss the shrimp with the olive oil and seafood seasoning.
- Then, thread 4-5 shrimp on each bamboo skewer and place them on a preheated grill for 2-4 minutes in each side.
- Last, remove them from the grilled and set them on a plate to rest while you make the aioli.
Key Lime Aioli
- First, in a medium mixing bowl, combine all the key lime aoili ingredients.
- Next, use a whisk or fork to mix everything together.
- Last, serve the aoili with your grilled shrimp.