Here, fresh, sweet jumbo shrimp are marinated in sweet orange juice, spicy smoked paprika, pungent garlic and spicy sambal oelek.
Grilling the shrimp over rock salt imparts some saline flavor, but the rock salt is used more for regulating heat conduction. By providing an even source of heat, the rock salt gives us more control during the cooking process. Placing oranges over the shrimp while grilling them traps in moisture and allows the shrimp to absorb additional citrus flavor.
- Shrimp tips. Buy raw, head-on shrimp and clean them yourself. The heads will add serious flavor to your shrimp broth and the whole shrimp are generally fresher than the shrimp that have already been cleaned at the fish market.
- Curl cues. If you see that the shrimp curl very quickly when you put them on the grill, the grill is too hot. Remove the shrimp and lower the heat. You want the salt to be hot enough so that the shrimp won’t stick, but if it’s so hot that they curl on contact, the outside will get tough before the inside cooks through.
These tools are the ones we find especially helpful when making this dish.
- Perforated grill pan - Michael uses a perforated stainless steel chef’s pan to cook the shrimp. Its holes are small enough to keep the rock salt in, but big enough to let the flame through, imparting a delicious, smoky flavor. If you don’t have one, a non-perforated, 2-inch deep grill or griddle pan will do the job.
The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish.
Perforated fry pan
Plate lined with paper towels
For shrimp marinade:
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp with shell and head on*
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Juice of ½ orange
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon sambal oelek, or another spicy red chili paste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For grilling shrimp:
- Rock Salt, about 4 cups
- 1 orange, sliced in ¼” rounds, (there should be enough slices to cover the shrimp)
Note: There tends to be confusion surrounding the term “prawn”, which is used to describe several different types of shellfish. Although prawn typically refers to a species that is part of the lobster family (such as the French langoustine and Spanish langostino), the term is often loosely used to describe any large shrimp.
Total Time: 3 hours and 20 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
- Peel shrimp, saving the heads and shells. Using a paring knife, make a shallow incision up the back of the shrimp from the end of the tails to the heads. Reserve the shells for Shrimp Broth Remove the end trails, or “vein” and discard.
- Place the peeled and deveined shrimp on a plate lined with paper towel.
- In a large bowl mix together oil, smoked paprika, garlic, sambal, orange juice and pepper. Add shrimp and toss to coat well. Let sit in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
- Cover the bottom of a two-inch deep grill pan or griddle pan with ½ inch food-grade rock salt. Shake salt pan over baking sheet to get rid of excess salt. Heat over high heat. Use caution as salt will pop and bounce as it heats – cover until ready to grill.
- Place shrimp on a baking tray lined with a rack and let excess marinade drip off.
- Place shrimp on hot salt in a single layer. Lay orange slices on top of the shrimp and place grill pan cover on top. Let cook for 3 minutes.
- Turn shrimp and let grill for another 3 minutes. Shrimp are done when they feel firm but not hard and are pink instead of translucent.
Grilled shrimp with andouille sausage & rice
For one of our favorite surf-and-turf combos, start by browning some andouille sausage in a sauté pan. Deglaze with orange juice and saffron, add some cooked rice and serve with the salt-grilled shrimp.