BBQ Spice Mix: Peel-and-Eat Shrimp

Sometimes you have to just feed the kids boxed mac and cheese and make yourself something you really want to eat.  Something with a little kick, something that takes work to eat and is a just little bit adult (I happen to think “peel-and-eat shrimp” is quite sexy).  This BBQ peel-and-eat-shrimp recipe will work wonders for a stay at home date night.  Ice-cold beer optional (or mandatory). 🙂

I usually make a quadruple batch of this spice mix and have used it on firm fish as well.  Sometimes the spiced, pan-fried fish goes into fish tacos.  On Ria’s pieces of fish (she won’t eat shrimp even though I have tried to sell it as “chicken”), I use a minimal amount of spice mix, just to introduce the flavors.  Even though this is not quite her cup of tea as yet, she does help me make this spice mix (measuring and dumping) and enjoys shaking the jar once we are done.

This is definitely a spice mix that you want lying around in the pantry.

Peel-and-Eat-Shrimp with Barbeque Spices – by Bobby Flay


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sweet Pimentón de la Vera (Spanish smoked paprika)
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder (I have used cayenne in the past)
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 pounds large shrimp, deveined but not shelled
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  1. In a large bowl, mix the paprika with the ancho chile powder, brown sugar, cumin, salt, pepper and garlic. Add the shrimp and toss to coat in the spices.
  2. Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in 2 large skillets until shimmering. Add the shrimp to the skillets and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until curled and white throughout, about 4 minutes. Add half of the butter and scallions to each skillet and swirl them in. Transfer the shrimp to a platter and serve.
Note: If you don’t want to fuss with shells, you can use shelled shrimp. Cut the cumin in half and cook over moderate heat.  We happen to enjoy laying out newspapers on the table and enjoy peeling our shrimp and making a huge pile of shells!

3 thoughts on “BBQ Spice Mix: Peel-and-Eat Shrimp

  1. Sounds fantastic (although I don’t understand the phrase “ice cold beer optional”). I just posted about peeling shrimp…I actually like doing it. the mess doesn’t bother me!

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