Thursday, April 11, 2013

Lenny's Grilled Thai Shrimp

I have a dirty secret.

If you follow this blog, could get the impression that I eat nothing but meat for every meal of the day.  You might be surprised to know that if I don't bring leftovers to work, my favorite lunch is a VEGGIE SUB from Lenny's Sub Shop.  Yeah, this carnivore has a thing for VEGGIE subs. 

What does a sub shop have to do with a Grilled Thai Shrimp recipe? 

Easy.  Every time I get the same thing (on white, provolone, swiss, lettuce, tomato, onion, green bell pepper, pickles, black olives, oregano, mayo and the hot red pepper relish).   That hot pepper relish is what makes it so good.  I buy jars of it from them to use at home in recipes.  So Monday as I was paying for my veggie sub, I saw this recipe that they had.
recipe from Lenny's Sub Shop

I was going to make it but you know me.  I can't follow a recipe to save my life, I have to create something of my own.

Lenny's Thai Grilled Shrimp

Prep Time: 10 min plus 30 min marinade
Cook Time: 10 min

Ingredients (2 dinner or 4-6 appetizer port)
    You'll need
    • 1 lb jumbo shrimp (10-15 ct), peeled and de-veined
    For the marinade
    • 3/4 cup coconut milk
    • 2 Tbsp Lenny's hot red pepper relish*
    • 1 Tbsp lime juice
    • 1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
    • 2 tsp ginger, fresh diced
    • 1 tsp basil paste (or 1 Tbsp fresh basil)
    • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1 tsp turbinado sugar or palm sugar
    • 1 lemon
    • 6-8 cocktail skewers
    • long handled tongs
    1. Put the marinade ingredients into a blender and thoroughly mix together. Pour over the shrimp and marinate for 30 - 45 minutes.  Note:  For mild, use 1 Tbsp of the relish, 2 for medium and 3 for hot.
    2. Preheat a charcoal grill to 500f and make sure your grill grates are clean.
    3. Assemble skewers: Place three of the shrimp on a cutting board so they are stacked, alternating head to tail as pictured. Piece with two of the skewers.
    4. Grill: Lightly oil the grill grates. Grill the skewers 3 minutes and then flip them. Add the lemon halves, cut side down. Finish cooking the skewers until the shrimp are bright pink and cooked through, another 2-3 minutes.
    5. Finish: Remove the skewers to a plate. Using long tongs, squeeze the lemon halves over the shrimp. Serve immediately.
    6. Serving suggestions - serve with Jasmine cilantro rice and stir fried veggies.
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    The hot pepper relish is vinegary, spicy, and makes a veggie sub kick it.
    I wanted a stir fry side dish but stir fry and shrimp need to be served quickly after cooking.  For us, it worked best to cook the veggie stir fry first then grill the shrimp, but you have to have it all ready to go before you start.

    Making the kabobs.

    Notice how the shrimp are alternated head to tail .  This promotes even cooking.

    Seafood deteriorates quickly so keep it on ice while getting the grill fired up.

    See the flavor in that marinade?

    Use tongs, the lemon and juice are still HOT. 

    I tried a side by side experiment with this.  I tried grilling with the shells on and shells off.  The one with the shells were a little more tender but had less of the marinade flavor.   The ones without the shells had the full impact of the flavorful marinade.

     How do you like to grill your shrimp?  Shells on or off?

    [Standard disclaimer] I have no affiliation with Lenny's and paid full price for the relish.


    1. I'm with you. What fun is it to slavishly follow directions. (Or to ask for them.) Can't really answer your question about shell-on or off since I don't grill. However, there may be a hibachi in my immediate future.

    2. That sauce looks a lot like sambal olek, the crushed pepper paste that's on the table at most Vietnamese restaurants. Oh, and shells on, nothing worse than dry shrimp.

    3. Indeed, recipes are more inspiration than instruction at my house, too ... :)

    4. Looks outstanding! I gotta try the grilled lemon trick next time. Sadly, there's no Lenny's here. Is it similar to Thai sweet chili sauce?

    5. No it has a strong vinegar kick to it and the heat level is similar to sambal olek. You could probably use either though and still get good results.

    6. Way to go, Chris! Wish Lenny's was here as that relish has to be great. I'm about the same with directions, except when it comes to baked goods. Have a good rest of the week and weekend!

    7. Hot pepper relish and coconut milk? Yes! That would be great on pork too. :) Of course, you eat more than just meat...but technically, shrimp is meat too, right?

    8. Those shrimp look fantastic, Chris! And I'm with you, I've tried grilling with the shells on and although the shrimp seems to come out better, you loose so much of the flavor...and that is just not acceptable :)

    9. The shrimp looks fantastic and that pepper relish? oh man, it sounds amazing. I like to cook shrimp without the shells, because it seems to absorb more flavors that way.

    10. Man oh man does that look good! I like veggie subs too & I KNOW I would love this dish.

    11. i like your version better! we had a lenny's subs in philly that sold a similar relish and it really does make the sandwich. i didn't care what was on it as long as there was relish!

    12. Ha! I knew there was a veggie lover beneath that carnivorous exterior. :P

    13. I hear ya....I happen to love my Tony's Veggie Sandwich too. This shrimp looks really good Chris. Wish I had some Lenny's sauce in the pantry.

    14. OMG your marinade looks amazing! I was worried there for a minute... going off the meat path! But then we got back to shrimp :) I really want to drink that marinade. I wish I could be more like you and make recipes my own!

    15. Always on the look out for new shrimp recipes. Bookmarked.

    16. Yummy! can I make it in a grill oven as well?

    17. Food and Wine - I don't see why not, that should work.