If you’ve already tried Argentinian red shrimp, you know what all the fuss is about. And if you haven’t…buckle up. You’re shrimp-loving world is about to be rocked by the sweetest, most delicious shrimp you’ve ever eaten.
You know how so many people try a new kind of seafood and they say “It tastes just like lobster!” and then you try it and wonder if they’ve ever eaten lobster?
Right. This is not that.
Argentine red shrimp taste like lobster…and honestly, they have a more consistent texture and flavor than a lot of lobster tails sold in grocery stores. At a fraction of the cost. Their meaty texture and sweet, succulent flavors take my pescatarian shrimp dinners to an entirely new level. They are hands down my favorite shrimp for every-day recipes as well as fancy dinner parties. They just never disappoint.
As the name implies, these wild shrimp are considered deep water shrimp and mostly caught off the coast of Argentina. Trader Joe enthusiasts already have easy access to these wonders of the sea, as the store carries several versions of Argentinian red shrimp in that magical frozen section in the center of the store.
As with all shrimp, these red shrimp are quick cooking, ensuring your easy meal is on the table in no time. My favorite way to cook the shrimp to really showcase their flavor is a simple skewer on the grill or indoors on a grill pan. Served alongside a savory chimichurri with pistachios, this meal is unforgettable.
What you’ll need to make grilled Argentinian shrimp with chimichurri:
For the shrimp skewers:
- Argentinian red shrimp, large
- extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and ground black pepper
For the chimichurri:
- fresh parsley
- fresh cilantro
- red onion
- red or green jalapeño
- garlic cloves
- extra virgin olive oil
- citrus zest and juice (orange or lemon)
- red wine vinegar
- fresh oregano
- sea salt and ground black pepper
Step by step instructions for this grilled shrimp recipe:
To begin, make your pistachio chimichurri. First combine parsley, cilantro, oregano, red onion, jalapeno, garlic cloves, red wine vinegar, citrus juices and zest in the bowl of your food processor or chopper. (A note on citrus: orange complements the pistachios and shrimp beautifully, but when I don’t have any oranges, I have found lemons to be the perfect substitute. And now I usually make the dish with a little of each. So follow your heart on this one!)
Pulse the ingredients until well combined. Transfer dry chimichurri to a bowl and add a pinch of salt and pepper and the olive oil. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside.
For the shrimp skewers, clean and devein the shrimp. You can use either shell-on or shell-off shrimp for this recipe. I often make a combination of skewers with each. I love shrimp in the shell, and the shell protects the shrimp from over-cooking the delicate meat. However, the charred grill marks on the shrimp itself are next level delicious. So I like to have a sampling of both.
Use a vegetable peeler to create zucchini ribbons.
Rotate between shrimp and zucchini on each skewer – depending on the size of the skewer you should get 3-4 shrimp per skewer. Drizzle each with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat your outdoor grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. When hot, place shrimp skewers on the grill grate or in the hot pan and leave undisturbed for 2 minutes (for shelled shrimp) and 3-4 minutes (for shrimp still in the shell).
Turn gently. Leave for another 2-4 minutes, until the shrimp is opaque. After cooked through, move skewers to a serving platter. Serve with a small bowl of pistachio chimichurri and grilled lemon halves.
FAQ’s and Serving Suggestions for Grilled Argentine Shrimp with Chimichurri:
As long as the shrimp are large enough to thread on the skewer, any type of shrimp will work in this recipe. And if they are smaller shrimp, skip the skewer and the outdoor grill and toss them in a little hot oil in a skillet and serve them with the pistachio chimichurri and you’ll hear no complaints! Royal red shrimp – caught off the shore of Alabama in the gulf coast – are a perfect replacement flavor-wise if you can find them.
Ummm…only everything! How about shrimp scampi fettuccine, Portuguese garlic shrimp or seafood stuffed potatoes with Old Bay Seasoning? Homemade shrimp wontons with spicy soy sauce for dipping and sweet and spicy Mexican shrimp would also make a delicious meal any night of the week.
Fresh shrimp from Argentina can be hard to come by for many of us who live outside that coastline. Argentinian red shrimp are widely available across Portugal, but almost always frozen. Just thaw the shrimp overnight in the refrigerator. I like to keep them on a rack over a baking sheet to encourage the excess water to drip out of the shrimp before I start grilling.
If you’re already firing up the grill (or the grill pan), I would recommend whipping up this quick marinated grilled asparagus recipe. Garlic brown rice and quinoa or Middle Eastern yellow rice would add complementary flavors to the main dish. And if you’re looking for a refreshing salad, gazpacho salad or Jerusalem salad are just the ticket!
Absolutely – the cooking process for the red shrimp is brief, so we just want to ensure any vegetable you use on the skewer cooks equally fast, or is just as delicious when served raw. With that in mind, cherry tomatoes are a great option. If you want to skip a vegetable and focus on a garnish, lemon slices threaded through the skewer would be beautiful, or scallion tops.
My tiny European apartment also doesn’t have a grill, so I used a grill pan on my induction burner. A large skillet would also do the trick!
To store leftover shrimp, first, quietly celebrate the fact that you get to eat these magic crustaceans two days in a row…then remove the shrimp from the skewers and transfer them to an airtight container. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. I don’t recommend freezing these cooked shrimp.
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