Thai Grilled Shrimp (in a Tom Yum Marinade)

Thai Tom Yum Grilled Shrimp
Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt
  • 30 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 3 to 4 Servings
Ratings (8)

This Thai Grilled Shrimp is extremely flavorful and is sure to please anyone who loves Thai flavors. It's the marinade that makes the shrimp sing: a delicious Tom Yum paste which can be whipped up in your mini-chopper or food processor in no time. This paste can also be used to make a delicious side sauce (nice with rice), although the shrimp are just as wonderful eaten right off the grill. If desired, you can add some scallops to your grilled shrimp brochettes.

What You'll Need

  • 4 tbsp. frozen prepared lemongrass (available at Asian stores), or fresh lemongrass
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb-size piece ginger or galangal
  • 1 fresh red chili, or 3/4 tsp. crushed chili (available in the spice aisle)
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves and stems
  • 2 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. dark soy sauce (or 1 1/2 tsp. regular soy sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp. shrimp paste (available at Asian stores)
  • 3 tbsp. lime juice
  • 3 heaping tsp. brown sugar
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 12 to 18 medium to large shrimp
  • 12 to 18 small scallops, optional
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk or heavy cream for side sauce (if sauce is desired)
  • A handful of fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, for garnish, optional

How to Make It

  1. Place marinade ingredients in a mini-chopper or food processor and blend to create a flavorful Thai paste. (If you don't have such a gadget, simply mince the ingredients well and stir together.)
  2. Place shrimp (and scallops if using) in a bowl and pour 1/2 to 3/4 of the marinade over (depending on how much shrimp you are making). Slather the marinade over the shrimp with your hands or stir gently with a spoon, ensuring all the seafood is coated. Reserve remaining marinade for the side sauce, if desired, or refrigerate for use later (this marinade is also terrific on grilled fish).
  1. Marinate the shrimp 10 to 12 minutes (no longer, or the lime juice will cause some of the seafood's natural juices to leak out). If using wooden satay sticks, soak them in water for 10 minutes to prevent burning.
  2. Heat the grill to medium. Skewer the shrimp onto the satay sticks. If also making scallops, weave the scallops into the inside of the shrimp's curl.
  3. Grill the brochettes 8 to 15 minutes, turning once, or until shrimp are pink and plump and have firmed up. Baste the shrimp the first time you turn them with a little of the leftover marinade.
  4. If making the side sauce: Place reserved marinade in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer the paste for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then add the coconut milk or cream, stirring to create a sauce. Taste-test the sauce, adding more sugar if too sour. If too spicy for your taste, add more coconut milk or cream. If too salty, add more lime juice. Add more chili for a spicier sauce.
  5. Serve the shrimp hot off the grill, either on their own or with rice and the side sauce. Top with a little fresh coriander, if desired.