Shrimp with Cilantro, Lime and Peanuts — As Easy As It Gets

This dish comes together in a flash.
This dish comes together in a flash.

Now that the kids are back in school, and summer getaways have done come and gone, it’s time for quick-cooking dishes that require little thought but deliver way more than anticipated.

“Shrimp with Cilantro, Lime and Peanuts” is that kind of dish.

It’s from “Martha Stewart’s Grilling: 125+ Recipes for Gatherings Large and Small: A Cookbook” (Clarkson Potter), the new cookbook by the Kitchens of Martha Stewart Living, of which I received a review copy.

I’d already tried out one recipe from this cookbook that boasts more than 125 to choose from. Since it came out so delightfully well, I couldn’t resist trying my hand at another one before the grilling days of summer end.

This shrimp dish takes barely 10 minutes to put together. You’d be hard pressed to find another that cooks up faster with this much punch.

Jumbo-sized shell-on shrimp get grilled in all of 5 minutes. Then, they’re drizzled with a a zesty yet simple sauce of lime juice, lime zest, fish sauce and a pinch of sugar. Chopped scallions, cilantro and roasted peanuts get strewn all over the top.

If you want added spice, serve the shrimp with slices of jalapeno on the side.

Because the shrimp are shell-on, you have to do a little work to eat these. But not much. And it’s well worth the effort to cook the shrimp with their shells to protect the flesh and ensure they don’t stick to your grill.

It’s a light, fresh dish, redolent of tropical citrus, crunchy nuttiness, and savory Vietnamese flavors, with a gentle smokiness from the grill.

I’ll let you in on a secret: This dish is actually an appetizer that serves four. But what I did was to turn it into an entree for two, by serving it with steamed rice and stir-fried veggies. It was a hit that way. The shrimp also would be great tumbled over a mound of rice noodles.

It’s a lively dish that’s as easy as it gets.

Be it an appetizer or an entree, it's a dish you'll be making again and again.
Be it an appetizer or an entree, it’s a dish you’ll be making again and again.

Shrimp with Cilantro, Lime and Peanuts

(Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 as an entree)

2 limes

2 teaspoons fish sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons vegetable oil, plus more for the grill

1 pound jumbo shrimp (about 15), shells on, deveined

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

2 scallions, finely chopped

1 jalapeno, sliced (optional)

Using a microplane zester, finely grate zest of limes into a small bowl. Squeeze in juice from 1 lime. Whisk in fish sauce and sugar.

Heat grill to high. Lightly oil grates. Brush shrimp with oil on both sides; lightly season with salt and pepper. Grill until pink and firm to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Toss shrimp with fish sauce mixture, cilantro, peanuts, and scallions until thoroughly coated. Squeeze lime juice from remaining lime over shrimp and serve immediately, with slice jalapenos, if using.

Adapted from “Martha Stewart’s Grilling” from the Kitchens of Martha Stewart Living

Another Martha Stewart Grilling Recipe to Enjoy: New England Fish Sandwiches

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  • Shrimp is great when you want a meal on the table in a jiffy. Really like the flavor combo of all the ingredients here — the peanuts strike me as a particularly nice addition. And I’ll never turn down jalapeno! This looks gret — thanks.

  • Easy yet SO flavorful and fabulous. Love this ingredient combination.

  • I would love to make this recepie but have no grill. Is ther any way to make it without a grill?

  • Hi Marita: You could use a grill pan on top of the stovetop. Or you could just saute the shrimp in a frying pan. Both ways will work fine, though, you won’t get the deep smoky flavor you’d get from an actual grill. The dish should still taste marvelous, though. Enjoy!

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