Grilled Harissa Shrimp
I’ve previously mentioned that my family vacations in Gulf Shores in the summer. It’s a great family-friendly destination with awesome seafood right out your front door. Infact, it’s so good my eyes got a bit bigger than my stomach the last trip and I purchased way too many shrimp to eat during our stay. I brought the extra home and froze them. Well, it’s time to put those beauties to good use. Today I’m going to show you how to prepare Grilled Harissa Shrimp.
Start that fire
Before we prepare our shrimp I’m going to go ahead and start my fire and let my grill come up to medium-high heat. I’m also going to grill the shrimp on wooden skewers. I picked up some inexpensive bamboo skewers at my local supermarket. While the grill is coming up to temp I’m going to soak the skewers in water so they are less likely to catch fire while on the grill. You will need two skewers for every 5-6 shrimp.
You’re so vein
Depending on the type of shrimp you buy you may need to de-vein the shrimp. It’s safe to eat the shrimp with the vein in but it can cause the shrimp to have a muddy/gritty taste and texture. It’s relatively easy to remove so I highly recommend it. Take a small pairing knife and run it down the back of the shrimp to expose the vein. Using the tip of the knife gently lift the exposed vein and pull it out. Easy as that. If this seems like too much work you can simply ask your local seafood market for peeled and deveined shrimp.
Hit me with the Harissa
After our shrimp have been deveined I’m going seasoned the shrimp with a healthy pinch of salt and pepper and a few tablespoons of spicy harissa sauce. Harissa is a North African pepper sauce that adds a wonderfully complex, savory, heat to our shrimp. I’ve previously created a recipe so you can make your own Harissa Sauce at home. If you don’t have time to make it yourself I enjoy the Mina Harissa you can find in supermarkets or online. After our shrimp have been thoroughly coated in harissa it’s time to make our skewers.
Vlad the Impaler
By now our bamboo skewers have soaked enough. Time to impale our shrimp. We are going to use two skewers for every 5-6 shrimp. Using two skewers instead of one keeps the individual shrimp from spinning when you go to rotate them on the grill. If you skip this step and only use one you may end up fighting a few shrimp that want to keep cooking on the same side while the others have been flipped over properly. After you have got all your skewers made cover them and place them back in the fridge.
So good they named it twice
To go along with the shrimp I’m going to make some couscous with zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes, and green onion. Dice one small to medium size zucchini into 1/2 inch pieces. Roughly chop 1/3 cup of sundried tomatoes into 1/2 inch pieces. Finally, dice 2-3 green onions. Dice the pale green section into 1/4 pieces and thinly slice the green top to add as a garnish at the end.
Use those Skillet Skillz
In a skillet add a TBS of olive oil and sautee zucchini and sun-dried tomatoes for 3-4 minutes until you can start to pierce them with a fork. As we sautee add in a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Be careful not to overcook the zucchini because it will turn mushy. While the zucchini is being sauteed we need to make our couscous. In a medium saucepan bring 1 cup of chicken stock to a boil. After the stock has reached a boil add in one cup of couscous, a pinch of salt, and the 1/4 pieces of our green onion. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. After five minutes add in our sauteed zucchini and tomatoes and fluff the couscous with a fork. Return the lid and keep warm.
Hey Grill! Hey!
Place our skewers on the preheated grill and cook for 2-3 minutes per side until they are no longer transparent. Care should be used here to not overcook your shrimp. If you leave them on too long you will end up with an unpleasant rubbery texture instead of a wonderfully juicy and charred piece of shrimp.
Time to Eat!
After our shrimp skewers are done spoon out a bed of our couscous on a plate and place 1-2 skewers on top. Garnish with the thinly sliced green onion tops. This dish pairs great with dry white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. If you’d rather have a beer an IPA goes great with spicy grilled foods like these wonderful Grilled Harissa Shrimp. Enjoy.
Grilled Harissa Shrimp
This spicy North African inspired Grilled Harissa Shrimp recipe is simple to make and will have your tastebuds singing. Let's fire up that grill!
- 1 pound Shrimp Gulf Shrimp preferrably
- 1/3 cup Harissa Sauce
- 1 Medium Zucchini
- 1/3 cup Sun-dried tomatoes
- 3 Green Onions
- 1 cup Couscous
- 1 cup Chicken Stock
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 1/2 TBS Salt
- 1/2 TBS Black Pepper
- 8-10 Bamboo Skewers
Light your grill and bring it up to medium-high heat
Soak skewers in water
De-vein shrimp if needed
season shrimp with salt/pepper and harissa sauce
Skewer shrimp with two skewers. 5-6 shrimp each
Place skewers into the fridge until ready to grill
Dice zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes, and green onions separating the pale green bottoms from the dark green tops.
In a skillet add 1 TBS of olive oil and sautee zucchini and sun-dried tomatoes for 3-4 minutes.
In a medium saucepan bring 1 cup of chicken stock to a boil and add couscous and green onion bottoms.
Remove couscous from heat and cover with a lid and let stand for 5 minutes
After five minutes mix in sautéed zucchini and tomatoes.
Place shrimp skewers on pre-heated grill and cook for 2-3 minutes per side.
Plate shrimp on a bed of couscous and garnish with thinly sliced green onions.