Making marinades at home is a simple way to liven up dull ingredients. Marinades for shrimp not only add flavor, they also help to keep the shrimp juicy during cooking. Most marinades use an acid, such as lemon juice, vinegar or lime, as a base to break down the meat, making it juicier and tender. Use your imagination when mixing together a marinade, because the possibilities for flavor combinations are endless. If you use peeled shrimp, devein the shrimp before placing in the marinade.
Lemon Garlic Marinade
Lemon and garlic are a classic flavor combination for shrimp. The citrus and acidity from the lemon cuts through the richness of the shrimp, while the garlic adds a savory flavor. Mix together 4 tbsp. lemon juice, 2 tbsp. olive oil, a diced tomato, salt, pepper and 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley. Add the shrimp to the marinade and set aside for at least 30 minutes. This marinade complements pan-fried shrimp. You can also add red pepper flakes to the marinade if you want spice.
Chile and Lime Marinade
For a spicy marinade, mix 2 tbsp. olive oil, five cloves of crushed garlic, half of a jalapeño pepper, finely minced, a handful of chopped chives, 1 bunch chopped cilantro and the juice from one lime. Season the shrimp with rock salt and add to the marinade. After 30 minutes, remove from the marinade and grill until the shrimp turn opaque.
Ginger Soy Marinade
This marinade blends Asian-inspired flavors with a hint of spice. Peel and chop two large shallots, four cloves of garlic and a 1-inch piece of fresh ginger root. Place the ingredients in a blender. Measure 3/4 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, 2 tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp. black pepper and 1/4 cup peanut oil into the blender. Blend until you have a thick marinade. Pour the marinade over 2 lbs. cleaned shrimp and marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes. Cook the shrimp on a grill.
Honey Lime Marinade
This marinade brings together a number of flavors, including sweet, acidic, spicy and savory. Use this marinade as a substitute for jarred barbecue sauce, which will mask the delicate flavors of the shrimp. Mix together 1 small shallot, finely diced, the juice of two limes, 2 tbsp. freshly chopped cilantro, 1 tbsp. honey, 2 tsp. Thai red chili, 1 tbsp. vegetable oil and 1 tbsp. peanut oil. Use this marinade with jumbo shrimp or tiger prawns that have been peeled and deveined. Pour the marinade over the shrimp in a non-reactive bowl (plastic or glass) and cover with plastic wrap. Place the shrimp in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to one hour. Cook the shrimp in a hot pan until they turn bright pink.
- Photo Credit Zedcor Wholly Owned/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images