Grilled Shrimp with Lemongrass and Ginger


I can never resist buying jumbo shrimp when they are on sale. I’m talking GIGANTOR shrimp, that really could be mistaken for small lobster tail. The best thing to do with this monsters is to grill them whole, shell-on with a lemongrass and ginger marinade.

So, how do you prepare Lemongrass-Ginger Grilled Shrimp this big? I’ll show you how to clean them and de-vein them without removing the shell.

How to devein shrimp with shell-on

It’s really easy to devein shrimp with the shell-on. The larger the shrimp, the easier it is too – because the vein is much larger, making it easy to grab and remove. Here’s how to devein shrimp (which really isn’t a vein, you know that right? it sure sounds better than digestive tract). I have 2 methods for you:


First, you want to take a pair of kitchen shears and snip off the little feet of the shrimp.

Method #1: Deveining Shrimp with Shell on


Now take a pair of sharp kitchen shears (small pointy sharp ones) I loooove my Joyce Chen Kitchen Shears and snip the shell along the back of the shrimp. All the way along the back of the shrimp, stopping just before you reach the tail. Don’t go too deep- you want to keep the vein intact for easy removal. Basically, you are splitting open the shell along the back of the shrimp.


Now you can remove the shrimp’s vein. The shell stays intact and you can just lift that vein out.

Method #2: Deveining Shrimp with Shell on

If you don’t want to split open the shell of the shrimp along its back, here’s another method:


Take a toothpick and go right between the shell segment, just under the “vein”


With your toothpick, now you can gently pull out the “vein” of the shrimp and discard. The vein should come out cleanly in one piece.

Lemongrass Ginger Grilled Shrimp

Lemongrass Ginger Grilled Shrimp

If you like spicy, you can add finely minced fresh chili pepper or a dash of chili powder to this recipe. The finer you chop the lemongrass, ginger and garlic, the more flavorful the shrimp.

I suggest using a microplane grater to grate the lemongrass and ginger, and a garlic press for the garlic. If you don’t have lemongrass, substitute with 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest. For grilling, I say the bigger the shrimp the better! And I like grilling or broiling with the shrimp shell on; it protects the delicate meat, and I just enjoy eating foods that require a bit of work. But feel free to remove the shell before marinating, or buy already shelled shrimp.

1 stalk lemongrass, outer leaves discarded, bottom 3 inches finely minced or grated
1-inch piece of ginger, finely minced or grated
2 or 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 stalk green onion, finely minced
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound shell-on shrimp
12 bamboo skewers
Cooking oil, for brushing on grill grates
Lime wedges, for serving

In a bowl, combine the lemongrass, ginger, garlic, green onion, oil, salt and pepper together.

Devein the shrimp using a pair of small sharp shears. Starting from the head end of the shrimp, snip along the top (the shrimp’s back) just deep enough to pull out the black vein. Pat the shrimp very dry. Marinate them in lemongrass-ginger mixture for 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, soak the bamboo skewers in water for 15 to 20 minutes before skewering the shrimp.

When ready to cook, preheat your barbecue grill or broiler. If grilling, brush the grill grates with cooking oil so the shrimp won’t stick. Grill the shrimp 2 to 3 minutes on each side until they are cooked through. If broiling, brush cooking oil on your broiler pan. Broil shrimp 2 to 3 minutes each side. Serve with lime wedges.

Makes 4 servings

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Comments 28

  1. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    Does marinating with the shell on allow much of the marinade flavor to get to the shrimp?
    haha i forgot to mention how Asians eat shrimp and crab – we leave shell on – because we like to suck on the tasty shell before peeling! The happiest Chinese are the ones with a big mound of shellfish in front of them to eat! ~jaden

  2. Jessie

    Oh, these are gorgeous! Love the step-by-step on the deveining, too. (Icky task but so worth doing.) Thanks!

    a.k.a. The Hungry Mouse

  3. Gera @ SweetsFoods

    Jaden, an awesome photo-tutorial how to devein shrimp and much better the recipe of grilled lemongrass shrimp.. drooling with the garlic-ginger taste at the screen!
    I’d delighted to add a spicy touch to them πŸ™‚

  4. Culinarywannabe

    Thanks for the step-by-step! I’m totally a wimp and grossed out by the “vein” and buy my shrimp with it already out. But I totally love peel ‘n eat shrimp – thanks for solving my dilemma!

  5. Danielle

    What a wonderfully healthy way to eat shrimp. Anywithing with ginger and lemongrass has my vote any day. Have a great weekend!

  6. Chuck

    I can’t wait for BBQ season. I printed out this recipe and placed it with all my to do BBQ recipes. Thanks!

  7. Trisha

    Your photos and how-to are so helpful. (So it’s not a vein? Darn — don’t tell my kids…) Love the result — succulent!

  8. finsbigfan

    Love this recipe. The flavors sound yummy. Wondering if I can grow lemongrass in Florida. Have always wanted to try it.
    Totally! it grows like weeds here in FL. My backyard at one point was overrun with lemongrass. ~jaden

  9. ossi

    Nice pictures, and the mental image of a smiling chinese man sitting with a mound of prawns in front of him πŸ™‚

  10. Dawn in CA

    Oh mama. Jumbo shrimp on the grill? Hello, lovelies! I’ll take jumbo shrimp any day, even over lobster. Heresy, I know. But king crab legs beat them all. Can you tell I’m craving seafood?

  11. Judy

    This sounds SOOOO good. Would the recipe change if I took the shells off? Less marination and/or less time on the grill, maybe?

  12. Ross

    How would you recommend modifing this for the oven/broiler?
    Broil the same amount of time each side! about 2 minutes each side

  13. Esi

    This would be great at one of my next potlucks! I keep seeing gingergrass at the farmers market so now I will have to pick some up.

  14. kamaile

    Those are some tasty lookin’ shrimp! This may sound like blasphemy, but my hubby doesn’t like shrimp (well at least shrimp that isn’t breaded :P). Could I use this for fish?

  15. Cakebrain

    We Canadians don’t call them shrimp. We call ’em Prawns.
    That way we don’t mix people up with the oxymoron(ic) term “Jumbo-Shrimp”. Our shrimp are aptly tiny!

    I haven’t met a crustacean I didn’t like and your lovely Vietnamese-inspired flavoured PRAWNS look amazing! Nice char!

  16. Paula Maack

    Fantastic post! These look positively scrumptious!! I can’t wait to try them.

    Beautiful photos of the deveining process, as well. I love that you included the how-to for your readers. That is very cool.

    I just did a post on jumbo shrimp/prawns recently, here, should you be interested. They were such a huge hit that I am already getting more repeat requests to make them on Oscar night.

    Jumbo shrimp are taking over!!! YUMMY!


    ~ Paula

  17. Tracy

    Those look amazing, thanks for the tutorial on how to devein unpeeled shrimp. I think the benefit of using jumbo shrimp is that there are fewer that need deveining per serving!

    I’m bookmarking this for warmer weather.

  18. Patsyk

    I’m always seeing the gigantic shrimp at Costco when they bring in the fresh stuff… now, I know what I’ll do with it next time I see it! YUM!!!

  19. Jules

    raining for 3 days straight, just threw it all in the wok w/ some soy! amazing over jasmine rice! =]…..

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