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Shrimp Marinade

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A delightful shrimp marinade infused with the zesty combination of Sambal Oelek, bright citrus flavors, and savory soy sauce. This marvelous blend adds heat, tanginess, and umami goodness to grilled, seared, or smoked shrimp. 

Shrimp marinade
Shrimp marinade

With these amazing ingredients, you can elevate the flavor of grilled or pan-seared shrimp. This is the best shrimp marinade and it will infuse shrimp with a zesty, vibrant flavor. It is one of our favorite marinades to use on shrimp for summer BBQ’s or cocktail parties. It’s so easy, and your guests will love it.

Please note that this recipe makes enough marinade for 1 pound of jumbo shrimp. Double or triple the recipe as needed.

Why marinate shrimp?

A shrimp marinade is a flavorful mixture applied to shrimp before cooking. The marinade infuses this protein with a combination of ingredients that adds depth and complexity. It also helps the shrimp retain moisture during the cooking process and prevents them from drying out. 

How long do you marinate shrimp?

The optimal marinating time for shrimp ranges from 15 minutes to 1 hour. Shrimp meat is delicate and absorbs flavors quickly, so they don’t require as much time to marinate. Err on the side for 15-30 minutes if using an acid like citrus juice or vinegar in your marinade. Acids can “cook” the shrimp, leaving them quite mushy.

Shrimp marinade ingredients

  • Vegetable oil: We’ll also be using sesame oil in this shrimp marinade, so it is best to pair it with a neutral flavored oil for this recipe.
  • Sesame oil
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime: Use large limes for this recipe. You’ll need about two tablespoons of juice in addition to the lime zest. Always zest the citrus first before extracting the juice.
  • Soy sauce Substitute with tamari or coconut aminos for gluten and soy allergies.
  • Sambal oelek (Indonesian chili sauce): Substitute with sriracha or smoky Korean gochujang if preferred.
  • Dark brown sugar: You can substitute with light brown sugar, palm, coconut, or a brown sugar alternative.
  • Garlic
  • Ginger or ginger powder
  • Fresh herbs: Use parsley, chives, or cilantro, or a combination in this shrimp marinade.
  • Salt and black pepper
The Best Shrimp Marinade

How to make a shrimp marinade

  • Combine oils, zest, lime juice, soy sauce, sambal oelek, sugar, garlic, and ginger in a medium bowl. 
  • Whisk ingredients together until the sugar has dissolved and the ingredients are well combined.
  • Add fresh chopped herbs, stir through, and taste the shrimp marinade. Season with salt and black pepper as needed.
  • Use marinade immediately on 1 pound of thawed, peeled, and deveined shrimp, or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Recipe Tips

  • Acids: If you’d like a brighter, sweeter shrimp, use 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice or pineapple juice in the marinade. You can also use fresh lemon juice and lemon zest if preferred.
  • Sweeteners: You can use coconut or palm sugar instead of brown sugar in this recipe. If you choose a liquid sweetener like honey or agave, use 1 tablespoon.
  • Fresh herbs: Swap out chives for cilantro, lemon grass, green onion, or flat-leaf parsley. 
  • Baste: Double the shrimp marinade recipe and separate it into halves. Use one half to marinate the shrimp and use the other half as a baste while the shrimp cooks.

More shrimp recipes to try!

The Best Shrimp Marinade

Shrimp Marinade

A delightful shrimp marinade infused with the lively combination of Sambal Oelek, bright citrus flavors, and savory soy sauce. This marvelous blend adds heat, tanginess, and umami goodness to grilled, seared, or smoked shrimp.
Recipe makes enough for 1 pound of jumbo shrimp.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Marinades/Brines
Cuisine: Fusion
Keyword: Flavoring shrimp, Shrimp Marinade
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 0.75 cup
Calories: 177kcal
Author: Sabrina Baksh

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • zest of 1 medium lime
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce sub with tamari or coconut aminos
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek Indonesian chili sauce. Sub with sriracha or gochujang if preferred.
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger or 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley chives, or cilantro
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Combine oils, zest, lime juice, soy sauce, sambal oelek, sugar, garlic, and ginger in a medium bowl.
  • Whisk ingredients together until the sugar has dissolved and the ingredients are well combined.
  • Add fresh chopped herbs, stir through, and taste the shrimp marinade. Season with salt and black pepper as needed.
  • Use marinade immediately, or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
    Recipe makes enough marinade for 1 pound of jumbo shrimp.

Nutrition

Calories: 177kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 2968mg | Potassium: 163mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 18IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg
Derrick Riches
Derrick Riches

I began writing about Barbecue & Grilling in 1997 with one mission, to help the backyard chef have the best experience possible.

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