Shrimp with Thai Lemongrass Marinade

Variations on this marinade are used throughout Southeast Asia, especially with seafood, pork and beef.

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  • Servings: 4

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  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 Thai chiles, thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks of fresh lemongrass, bottom third only, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup Asian fish sauce (see Note)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined

How to make this recipe

  1. In a food processor, combine the garlic, chiles, lemongrass, shallot and ginger and process to a paste. Scrape the paste into a bowl and stir in the fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, cilantro, coriander and pepper.

  2. Light a grill. Coat the shrimp with 2/3 cup of the marinade and let sit for 15 minutes. Thread the shrimp onto skewers and cook over a hot fire for about 2 minutes per side, using the remaining marinade for basting.


Fish sauce, which is made from pickled anchovies, is available at Asian markets and specialty shops. In a pinch, you could substitute soy sauce.

Suggested Pairing

The briny shrimp would benefit from the accent of a crisp white, but the zing of the marinade narrows the choice to a white with assertiveness as well. Top pick? An Oregon Pinot Gris.

Contributed By Published June 1999

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