Spicy Peel-and-Eat Skillet Shrimp with Garlic

Shell-on shrimp are essential for this recipe; the shells help insulate the delicate shrimp from the heat of the grill so they cook evenly without becoming tough. Give each raw shrimp a quick snip with a pair of scissors along the back for vein removal and easy shelling at the table; you can also look for wild American shrimp marked “EZ Peel,” or ask your fishmonger to tackle the task. In lieu of grilling, the shrimp may be cooked in a skillet over high heat in a well-ventilated kitchen.

Spicy Peel-and-Eat Shrimp with Garlic Recipe
Photo: Eva Kolenko
Total Time:
35 mins
4 to 6


  • 1 pound unpeeled raw jumbo shrimp

  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil, divided

  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided

  • 8 medium garlic cloves, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 small lemon

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems


  1. Using small scissors, cut lengthwise down the back of each shrimp shell; remove and discard vein. (Do not remove shells.) Rinse shrimp with water, and pat dry. Stir together shrimp, 2 tablespoons oil, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl.

  2. Preheat grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F). Place a large cast-iron skillet on grill grates. Cover grill; let skillet preheat 5 minutes. Uncover grill; add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to skillet. Add shrimp; cook, uncovered, turning occasionally, until shrimp begin to turn pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is golden, shrimp are cooked through, and shrimp shells are beginning to crisp, 3 to 4 minutes.

  3. Remove skillet from grill; immediately transfer shrimp to a serving platter. Cut lemon in half; squeeze 1 lemon half over shrimp (discarding seeds). Sprinkle shrimp with cilantro and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cut remaining lemon half into wedges, and serve with shrimp.

Suggested Pairing

Bright, coastal California Chardonnay.

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