Sunday, April 29, 2012

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Appetizer

This is the appetizer that I made on Friday night when Alexis' boss came over for dinner. 

The recipe is ripped off from inspired by Chris Lilly's Barbecue Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp with Basil Stuffing from my favorite barbecue book Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book (great book, buy it!).  I helped him prep that recipe for a cooking class he was conducting a few years ago so the basic idea for this recipe was a no-brainer for me.  The main difference is my version uses plank grilling instead of traditional indirect grilling and an Asian flavor profile.

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Appetizer
Inspired by Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book by Chris Lilly

  • 1 lb shrimp 16/20 count, peeled, deveined and butterflied
  • 8 slices thin bacon, cut in half*
  • 1 Tbsp McCormick's crystallized ginger*
  • 4 large leaves fresh basil, stemmed and cut into quarters
  • 1.5 Tbsp Dizzy Pig Tsunami Spin*
  • 1.5 tsp black pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 cedar plank* 6" x 15", soaked in water for 1 hour
For the Sweet Tamarind BBQ Sauce
  • 1/2 cup sweet soy sauce*
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce*
  • 4 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  1. Preheat a charcoal fire to 400F (Medium-High) for a direct heat cook. 
  2. Mix the sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Season the shrimp with some of the pepper and Tsunami Spin.
  4. Roll a piece of crystallized ginger in a quarter leaf of basil.  Stuff into the butterflied shrimp and wrap with bacon.  Place tail side up on the cedar plank and gently press down on the base of the shrimp to stabilize it so it will stand.  Repeat with other shrimp.  Sprinkle the entire plank with any leftover seasoning.
  5. Place the plank on the grill, close the lid, and grill for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the plank from the grill, dip each shrimp into the Sweet Tamarind BBQ Sauce, place back onto the plank and return the plank to the grill.  Cook for 3-4 more minutes.
  7. Remove plank from grill and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Serve on a bed of shredded lettuce.
  • Thin Bacon - use the cheapest, thinnest bacon you can get.  Thick bacon will be not done before the shrimp is fully cooked.
  • Crystallized ginger - This is a key ingredient.  Don't try to substitute ground ginger.  You might be able to get away with using a sliver of fresh ginger but I haven't tried it that way.
  • Tsunami Spin - This is a great Asian style rub from Dizzy Pig for chicken and seafood.  If you don't have it available, you could just experiment with a mix of turbinado sugar, salt, five spice, onion powder, garlic powder, turmeric, and some celery salt.  Or heck, just use some salt and pepper, it'll still be good!
  • Plank - I used Fire & Flavor brand planks.  For the pictured shots, I cut one in half since I was doing a half order of the recipe.
  • Sweet soy sauce.  This stuff is fantastic.  It is not even close to the same thing as soy sauce.
  • I used Draper's Smokin' Sauce
Roll the stuffing up like this.
This is a half order of the recipe.  Assembled and ready to go onto the grill.

Sauced and back onto the grill.

[Standard Disclaimer]  I received no direct compensation for this post.  I have received compensation and free products from McCormick's earlier this year. 


  1. If this didn't impress him, I don't know what would. It's gorgeous and a true labor of love.

    Super photos too Chris.

  2. Mmmm, these look great! Double my order and I'll have them for the main course please! I may not be a fan of regular fish but I love shellfish. Perfect shrimp recipe, I can taste it! :)

  3. Ok, first of all these sound wonderful and I particularly like your Asian spin on them. The idea of the stuffing is intriguing and I bet that combo of the basil and ginger is a nice surprise. I also have to agree with you on the sweet soy sauce. It is a new favorite ingredient of mine. I did a glaze with it for grilled salmon last week and it was sooo good!

  4. This helps support my belief that bacon makes everything better. This is on my menu for the next party we host for sure - wow - looks delicious!

  5. Oh my gosh, these are gorgeous! I love that final smattering of sesame seeds. I can almost taste them!

  6. What a beautiful photo and delicious sounding appetizer. I'm sure you impressed the boss! And "Dizzy Pig Tsunami" ???? Great name! :)

  7. That is one delicious way to suck up to the wife's boss. Your hired!!!!

  8. This sounds FANTASTIC! Wow. I've never even heard of sweet soy sauce. I just added it to my shopping list for the next time I'm at the Oriental Market near my house. Thanks for the great ideas!

  9. Absolutely beautiful. Now I can buy the cheap bacon but I need some of that sweat soy sauce also. Great photos as usual.

  10. Wow, this looks amazingly delicious. I'll have to try this one! Great photos too.

  11. That's a lot of work for appetizers but the results are amazing and clearly worth the extra effort. Great job Chris.

  12. Dangerous! I'd have a really hard time not eating the whole batch.

  13. Way to rip Chris Lilly of... oops, I mean way to be inspired by him!! :) Looks fantastic, as always!!!

  14. I want to eat that whole plankful in one bite. I have been insane for asian flavors lately. Nice one!

  15. I love tamarind and this looks amazing,Chris!

  16. So...did you impress the boss enough that Alexis got a raise??? I hope so. :P

  17. Dizzy Pig Tsunami Spin? That is quite a product name. From the ingredient list, it sounds like a great flavor for seafood and pork too. The five spice is a nice touch.


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