Learn how to master shrimp on the grill and pair it with a delicious lightly spicy and savory shishito for the perfect appetizer or easy dinner. This recipe will elevate any basic shrimp cook and help you become a pro at making grilled shrimp skewers.
No matter the time of year, being able to quickly light up the grill and toss on a few skewers of my favorite veggies and proteins are an easy way to cook and create a healthy and low carb dish everyone will eat. I particularly love grilling shrimp because it’s easy to prep, versatile to season, and cooks even faster on the grill than a lot of other foods too.
I love this recipe that uses shrimp and grilled shishito peppers because the flavors compliment one another really well and it’s a perfect dish for snacking and sharing. While you can pair this as a main dish and enjoy it with your favorite rice (or in my case the best cauliflower rice since I eat a keto low carb diet), I actually love serving this as a healthy appetizer to share.
I encourage you to take a moment and read through some of the helpful tips and techniques I’ve outline in this post so you can be a grill master! Though this recipe is easy, I am here to guide you with some tried and true culinary teacher tips to make your cooking experience that much better! Get all the details below and give it a try.
- Bamboo Skewers / Metal Skewers
- Mixing Bowl
To be honest, there really is nothing too intimidating about grilling shrimp or shishitos, but I do have some (in my opinion) game changing tips to up your grill game. This is particularly true regarding how to skewer shrimp and how to skewer shishito peppers without them spinning and twirling when you try and flip them! So, stick with me and I’ll guide you through the process!
How to make the spicy sesame marinade?
The beautiful thing about a marinade is it’s easily customizeable, tenderizes, and adds a lot of flavor. I don’t often marinade foods, but I do enjoy it with seafood or grilled chicken because they tend to be such lean proteins (the absence of fat can sometimes mean the absence of flavor) and helps prevent these dishes from coming out bland.
I went with a spicier sesame based marinade for this recipe because I liked the nuttiness paired with the sweet and slightly spicy flavor of the shishito peppers (I don’t find them spicy at all personally).
In a bowl combine some sesame oil, soy sauce, chili paste for heat, and of course some salt and black pepper. I like to garnish with some toasted sesame seeds at the end so they don’t end up burned onto the shrimp from grilling, so reserve these and set them aside. Whisk everything else together and give your shrimp a nice toss in this mixture and let sit for an hour or so.
What’s the best way to skewer when grilling?
Have you ever tried grilling shrimp on a skewer and struggled to get it to easily flip, finding the shrimp spinning around and going every which way, making it impossible to flip in time!? Trust me, it happens and it is quite the pain.
The trick to grilling both the shrimp and shishitos here is to grill them on your skewer of choice and to not use only one, but two skewers. Set the two skewers no more than and inch apart to secure your spin-prone foods (like shrimp and peppers)! It seems a little awkward at first to thread the shrimp especially this way, just carefully add one at a time and don’t space it out too much. This will ultimately make both items grill up with ease and with also help prevent over cooking or foods fall down the grill grates.
Don’t have skewers? Try using a slatted grill pan instead like this, but be prepared to move them a little more frequently so they don’t over cook or burn.
How long do I cook shrimp and how do I prevent it from sticking?
Shrimp takes nor more than a few minutes per side took cook depending on their size. I prefer to make sure my shrimp is oiled lightly (in this case I used sesame oil in the marinade) but I also like to use a medium high heat grill to create a hot enough surface to sear the shrimp fast, helping them naturally release.
Additionally, you can lightly oil the grates as well. If I oil my stainless steel grates on my gas grill, I stick with a higher smoke point oil like grape seed or avocado oil. Olive oil or canola oil do work, but tend to cause more smoke on the grill, so just make note of this! I will add the oil to a paper towel and use tongs to brush the grates quickly.
How do you blister a shishito pepper?
The nice thing about pairing these peppers with shrimp is they all cook in the same amount of time. Assemble them onto skewers the same way as your shrimp and let them blister quickly, rotating and turning a handful of times.
Blistering occurs on the shishito when you see the skin on the pepper start to change to a lighter gray and slightly black color. You want to find a balance between blistering them entirely, but still getting that crispy affect to coating the outside skin of the pepper. Once you remove your peppers from the grill
Whats the best way to serve this dish?
There are several easy ways to serve this dish up! I love this as a low carb, savory appetizer and often mix some chili paste and sower cream with some lemon juice for a tangy dipping sauce. Garnish your final dish with a 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper and those toasted sesame seeds too!
Want to make it a whole meal? Serve these up with some jasmine rice or cauliflower rice for my keto crowd out there. You could get creative and wrap these in a low carb flatbread or even on a keto tortilla and make a taco!
Love shrimp recipes? Check out these favorites too!
Easy Grilled Sesame Shrimp with Shishito Peppers
- 1 lb. Peeled & Deveined Shrimp
- 6 oz. Shishito Peppers
- 2 tbsp. Sesame Oil divided
- 2 tbsp Chili Paste or Sauce
- 1 tbsp. Soy Sauce or Coconut Aminos
- 1 Lemon or Lime juiced
- 1 tsp Salt & Pepper divided
- 1-2 tsp. Toasted Sesame Seeds
- 1. In a bowl combine, 1 tbsp of sesame oil, the chili paste, soy sauce or coconut aminos, lime juice and a 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper. Coat the shrimp completely and allow it to marinade for up to an hour if desired.
- 2. Toss the shishito peppers in the remaining sesame oil, salt, and pepper and set them aside as well until you are ready to prep the shrimp.
- 3. To skewer your shrimp and peppers (do not put on the same skewer) use the two skewer method. Place the skewers no more than an inch apart and thread each shrimp onto both skewers evenly. This makes it easy to turn and easier to grill. Repeat the same process with your peppers as well.
- 4. Preheat the grill to medium high heat and grill your shrimp and peppers about a minute or two per side. Shrimp should be cooked to 145 F and the peppers should have a slightly blistered skin all the way around.
- 5. Remove from the grill and removed from the skewers. Toss in a bowl and garnish with the toasted sesame seeds and serve with a dipping sauce or over cauliflower rice.