Grilled Shrimp with Cajun Butter

Bubba Gump taught us there are endless ways to cook shrimp. This little shellfish is versatile, but sometimes shrimp recipes are dominated by other ingredients and the shrimp become nothing more than convenient, bite-sized protein. Not this time. This recipe is all about making the tastiest shrimp possible.grilled shrimp with cajun butterMy friend Julie posted a photo of grilled shrimp on Instagram. They looked like tiny grilled Florida lobsters, split down the middle and bursting out of their shells. I had to try them. She passed along a simple recipe from Mark BittmanI have to admit, I’m always hesitant to serve shrimp in their shells. Peel-and-eat is messy and tedious. After trying this recipe, I realized there’s a good argument for leaving them on, especially on the grill. Naked grilled shrimp might have good flavor, but they can be tough and chewy. Leaving the shells on protects the outside from direct heat and locks in the juices.  grilled shrimp with cajun butterBeautiful Key West Pinks, fresh off the boat!grilled shrimp with cajun buttergrilled shrimp with cajun butterWhile it’s okay to leave shrimp in their shells, it’s never okay to leave that gritty vein in there. No one wants to eat that. To clean them, just slice right through the shell along the back with a paring knife, and score through the shrimp about half way. Pull out the vein. You can even slice a smidge deeper and open them up a bit to “butterfly” them. My fishmonger didn’t do that in these photos. (I try not to be picky when someone else is doing the dirty work.)grilled shrimp with cajun butterI’ve tweaked the recipe and added a buttery Cajun-style sauce perfect for dunking the shrimp after you pop them out of the shells.Grilled Shrimp with Cajun ButterSure, you’ll have to get your hands dirty, but these shrimp are so tasty and tender you won’t care.

Grilled Shrimp with Cajun Butter
  1. 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, deveined in shell
  2. 4 tablespoons butter
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1/2-1 teaspoon hot sauce
  5. 1 tablespoon lime juice
  6. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  7. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  8. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  9. 2 tablespoons high-heat oil (grapeseed, canola), plus extra to oil the grill
  10. garnish with limes, green onions, herbs
  1. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter over medium low heat. Saute the garlic for about a minute. Stir in the hot sauce, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, paprika and black pepper. Reduce the heat to low. Scoop out 1 tablespoon of the sauce (reserve the rest for dipping) into a large bowl and add the oil. Add the shrimp to the bowl and toss them in the oil mixture.
  2. Prepare a hot grill. Clean and oil the grates.
  3. Grill the shrimp about 2 minutes per side. Serve with dipping sauce, optional garnishes, and lots of napkins.
Suwannee Rose
Grilled Shrimp with Cajun Butter

4 Comments Grilled Shrimp with Cajun Butter

  1. Nicole September 20, 2016 at 10:39 am

    I adore grilled shrimp, and this flavored butter sounds divine. Thanks for inspiring one of my next meals 🙂

    1. suwanneerose September 20, 2016 at 10:57 am

      Thanks, Nicole! The Cajun butter is so tasty. Excellent on fish, lobster, potatoes… 🙂

  2. Julie February 3, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    I don’t remember seeing this post, but I am totally making these! Super Bowl celebration sounds pretty noisy in your Tampa neighborhood this year. Fireworks every night? Yikes!

    1. suwanneerose February 3, 2021 at 7:32 pm

      You got that right. Koki growls at the fireworks!

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