By the time I visited Australia with Cousin Martin in 1988, Americans knew all about "shrimp on the barbie", thanks to Crocodile Dundee actor Paul Hogan's ads for Australia tourism. It's taken me until now to make grilled shrimp that remind me of the hot days we spent in Alice Springs, enjoying barramundi and prawns cooked on large outdoor grills at a local bar.
For this recipe, you need large shrimp; I use 21/25 size (remember, that means 21 to 25 shrimp to the pound), but you could step up to 16/20 size, which would make a two-bite appetizer. Slice Persian cucumbers, which are tender and almost seedless, for the insert. And, don't forget to soak your skewers in cold water for at least 30 minutes before you put them on the grill. These shrimp will be the hit of any party, in the Outback or out in the back yard.
Grilled sesame-lime shrimp and cucumber skewers
Serves 4; can be doubled, tripled, or more. You can cook these shrimp under the broiler; I used my new panini press, opened flat, rather than firing up the outdoor grill.
2 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1-1/4 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp agave nectar
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 lb large (21/25 size) shrimp, defrosted, peeled and deveined
1/2 small Persian cucumber or 1/4 seedless (English) cucumber, cut into quarter-rounds
Black and white sesame seeds, for garnish
In a medium bowl, stir together the soy sauce, sesame oil, agave, lime juice and black pepper. Marinate the shrimp in this mixture for 30-45 minutes.
In the meantime, soak your skewers in a bowl of water for at least 30 minutes.
Heat your grill (or broiler), and when it has reached high temperature, thread the shrimp and cucumber pieces onto the skewers by wrapping the shrimp around the cucumber. If there's any marinade left in the bowl, paint it on the shrimp.
Place the skewers on the grill (use a perforated grill pan, if you have one). Cook for 1 minute on each side, or until the shrimp turn pink and curl around the cucumber (not more than 3 minutes total).
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve hot or at room temperature, or make ahead and serve chilled.
Shrimp and edamame salad with sesame ginger vinaigrette, from The Perfect Pantry
Shrimp teriyaki, from The Perfect Pantry
Sesame shrimp with honey mustard sauce, from Steamy Kitchen
Mango and black bean salad with sesame shrimp, from Culinary Adventures of a New Wife
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