Many barbecuers forget how delicious smoked shrimp can be, because they are so caught up cooking meat.
Garlicky, buttery smoked shrimp are a perfect accompaniment for a Surf ’N’ Turf beef dinner, but there are also incredibly tasty for a light Chinese style cook up such as this recipe.
We find that the best woods for smoking fish are fruit woods such as apple or cherry. Use one or the other, or even a half and half mix of both.
Ingredients For the Smoked Shrimp Marinade
3cm Piece of Ginger Peeled and Finely Chopped
Good Quality Raw Whole Shrimp – Aim for 10 Per Guest
2-3 Garlic Cloves Peeled and Finely Chopped
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
1 Teaspoon Groundnut Oil (Peanut Oil)
2 Tablespoons Light Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Dark Soy Sauce
4 Tablespoons of Fresh Shrimp Stock (See Below)
1 Teaspoon of Chinese Rice Wine
Ingredients for Shrimp Stock
Heads and Shells of Peeled Shrimp
3cm Piece of Ginger Peeled and Left Whole
2 Garlic Cloves Peeled and Whole
2 Finely Chopped Spring Onions/Green Onions
1/2 Mild Red Chilli Deseeded and Finely Chopped
Smoked Shrimp Recipe Step 1 – Peel and Devein Your Shrimp
This is a slightly messy step but well worth it in the end. Make sure you keep the heads and shells for your shrimp stock.
You may want to wear rubber gloves for this if you’re worried about your hands smelling of shrimp!
The easiest way to peel the shrimp is gently twist the head off, and then use your thumb and forefinger to gently work the shell downwards off the shrimps back, making sure to keep the meat inside intact.
Some people like to devein (remove the brown intestinal tract down the middle of the shrimp) as well, but it’s really up to you.
If your shrimp are on the small side this can get really messy!
Smoked Shrimp Recipe Step 2 – Make Your Shrimp Stock
Place all your shells and heads into a pan and cover with boiling water.
Add your whole ginger and whole garlic cloves to the water, and return to the boil.
Once it has come to a boil, turn it down a simmer and leave for up to half an hour, while you make the marinade and leave your shrimp in it, and get your smoker to temperature.
Smoked Shrimp Recipe Step 3 – Make Your Marinade
Add all of your marinade ingredients to a bowl along with your shelled prawns.
Give them all a good shake up in the bowl together to mix the flavours, and then cover with clingfilm for up to an hour. The longer the better.
When your shrimp stock is ready take it off the heat and pass it through a fine sieve. If you have a muslin cloth put it over the top of your sieve. If not use some kitchen paper to catch any grainy bits and give you a lovely smooth stock.
Add 4 tablespoons of it to the shrimp marinade for a while before smoking.
The flavour your stock imparts is amazing!
Keep your marinade and brush your shrimp with it a few times during cooking to keep your shrimp from drying out.
Keep the rest of the stock to add to Asian style meat, chicken or fish dishes (e.g. Chow mein) on another occasion.
You could also use it for a shrimp risotto, or curry for extra flavour.
It will keep for a couple of days in the fridge, so it’s probably best to freeze it.
Smoked Shrimp Recipe Step 4 – Smoke Your Shrimp
Now it’s time to get cooking!
Depending on how big your shrimp are it may be difficult to put them directly on your grill, as they might fall through.
There are a few ways round this but here are the two we recommend.
You can either put your shrimp onto metal skewers and then place them directly on the grills, or you can cover your smoker grill with foil and place them on that way.
You’ll need to pierce the foil in a few places to let the smoke through.
If your shrimp are a big enough size you don’t need to worry about this.
Put the lid down on your barbecue or smoker, and have a nice beer or glass of wine.
Cooking time at a low and slow heat of or 110°C or 225°F will be around 30-45 minutes.
If your smoked shrimp are on skewers you will have to turn them halfway through.
Make sure to baste them at least of couple of time with your leftover marinade to keep them moist during smoking.
When you are happy the smoked shrimp are done to your liking, remove from the heat and put them on a big serving plate, ready for your guests to tuck in to.
Serve with rice, noodles, or a Chinese style salad.
These smoked shrimp also make amazing appetisers on their own, before a meatier main event.
Smoked shrimp nailed!
If you enjoyed this article you could have a look at our article ‘How to Smoke Brisket.’
Or our article on ‘BBQ Vegetables Recipes.’
If you would like to read another helpful article on smoked shrimp try this one: