Shrimp and Okra Kebabs with Grilled Peaches and Jalapeño-Bourbon Vinaigrette

A splash of bourbon in the vinaigrette adds a sweet, boozy kick of flavor and helps tenderize the shrimp in 2008 F&W Best New Chef Sue Zemanick’s shrimp and okra kebabs.

Shrimp and Okra Kebabs Recipe
Photo: Photo by Tara Donne / Food Styling by Chris Lanier / Prop Styling by Raina Kattelson
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
45 mins

Cutting okra in half lengthwise keeps it big enough to skewer and get charred and crispy on the grill, without falling through the grates. Chef Zemanick recommends salting the okra and cooking at a high heat for the best texture. “Everything about this dish screams summer to me,” Zemanick says. “Being able to cook with ingredients that are in season simultaneously helps to ensure a delicious dish. Although I truly believe fresh is best, feel free to save time by buying peeled fresh or frozen shrimp.”


  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided, plus more for grill grates

  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest plus 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 ounces) bourbon

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped seeded jalapeño

  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided, plus more to taste

  • 1 pound peeled and deveined tail-on raw medium shrimp

  • 3 ounces fresh okra, halved lengthwise (about 1 cup)

  • 3 large fresh peaches (about 1 1/4 pounds), halved and pitted

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to very high (500°F to 550°F). Whisk together 1/2 cup oil, lime zest and juice, shallot, bourbon, jalapeño, maple syrup, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl. Reserve 1/2 cup dressing for finishing. Add shrimp to bowl with remaining dressing; toss to coat. Let stand 10 minutes.

  2. Toss okra with 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Remove shrimp from dressing; discard dressing. Thread shrimp onto four 12-inch skewers (presoaked if wooden) alternately with okra. Sprinkle skewers with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Brush cut sides of peaches with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

  3. Place peaches, cut sides down, on oiled grill grates; grill, uncovered, until grill marks appear, 1 to 3 minutes. Grill shrimp-and-okra skewers on oiled grill grates, uncovered, until charred in spots and shrimp are opaque, 3 to 4 minutes, flipping once halfway through grilling time.

  4. Cut each peach half into four wedges, and divide among four serving plates. Top with shrimp-and-okra kebabs. Stir parsley into reserved 1/2 cup dressing, and drizzle over kebabs and peaches. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Suggested pairing

Unoaked California Chardonnay.

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