Moroccan Spicy Grilled Shrimp

Yesterday, after two days straight of rain and cold, we were finally treated to the crispest North Carolina blue sky I have seen in a long time. The temperatures decided to follow suit and in the warmth of the Sunday afternoon sun, we drank in the first glimpses of spring.

Like the eager daffodils that Josh spotted behind the house, people started popping out everywhere. Cyclists zoomed by on the street, runners broke out their shorts and tee-shirts, and dog walkers came out en masse. We decided to join the crowds and celebrate the burst of unexpected warmth by getting outside and grilling.

Grilling shrimp to be exact.

Grilling shrimp with a Moroccan make-you-travel-to-distant-exotic-places marinade to be more exact.

This marinade contains spices such as cumin (both ground and seeds!), paprika, ginger, turmeric, garlic, and fresh chiles that will transport you to faraway lands where palm trees dance and the sand feels hot between your toes.

As mentioned, this marinade is based in Moroccan flavors, and although it was quite easy to picture palm trees by an oasis in the desert as I inhaled the intoxicating scent, when I actually bit into the perfectly plump shrimp, it was the Caribbean I was whisked away to. I coud practically feel the salty breeze of the sea cooling my tingling lips.

Look at that image. Hard to believe I had to defrost my windshield when I left for work this morning and that they're predicting snow this Thursday. The harsh reality of winter is back, but what a wonderful gift yesterday was. And until the next glimpse of warmth, I will take comfort in dreams of spicy shrimp and ocean breezes...

Moroccan Spicy Grilled Shrimp

1 lb medium sized raw shrimp
1/4 cup olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, pressed
2 green chilies, chopped finely
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon paprika

Peel the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Devein them by slitting a thin line down the back of each one and pulling the vein out. Run them under cold water and place them in a colander. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, stir well so that the salt coats all of them. Set aside.

To make the marinade, mix the olive oil, garlic, chilies, cumin, cumin seeds, ginger, turmeric, and paprika in a bowl until well blended. Add the shrimp and stir well making sure that all the shrimp are coated. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for four to five hours (or longer) in order for the shrimp to soak in all the flavors.

Skew the shrimp on skewers and grill 2-3 minutes on each side. Serve hot with a side of fresh greens. We decided on lightly steamed asparagus, sprinkled with salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Delicious!


  1. I love how colorful this meal is! Plus, my boyfriend recently returned from Morocco. Looking forward to trying your recipe!

  2. Hi Caitlin - Oooh, I'm jealous of your boyfriend...what I would give to actually go to Morocco right now! I hope you guys enjoy the meal. Let me know how it turns out!


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