Margarita Shrimp Skewers

shrimp skewers

A happy hour in themselves, these kebobs flaunt a breezy, south-of-the-border spirit. We usually flavor shrimp with rubs or thick pastes, which help crisp the surface quickly during the brief grilling time, but the marinade manages the same job here because the orange juice concentrate fosters a light, crusty singe. Be careful to avoid overcooking the shrimp, though, because the coating will burn unpleasantly. Serve the skewers with margaritas, por favor.

Makes about 2-1/2 dozen kebobs


Margarita Marinade
1/2 cup tequila
1/4 fresh lime juice
One-half 6-ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1-1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and, if you wish, deveined
Soaked bamboo skewers
3 fresh jalapeños, each cut into 8 small pieces
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch squares
Kosher salt or other coarse salt
Minced fresh cilantro
Lime wedges


Prepare the marinade, combining ingredients in a small bowl. Place the shrimp in a plastic bag or shallow dish, pour the marinade over them, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Fire up the grill, bringing the temperature to high (1 to 2 seconds with the hand test).

While the grill preheats, drain the shrimp, discarding the marinade. Skewer the shrimp with the jalapeños and bell pepper pieces, avoiding crowding. Slide one end of the first shrimp on a skewer, add a piece of jalapeño and bell pepper to rest in the curve of the shrimp, and then slide the other end of the shrimp over the skewer. Repeat on the skewer with a second shrimp and the jalapeño and bell pepper pieces. Assemble the remaining kebobs and sprinkle them lightly with the salt.

Grill the kebobs uncovered over high heat for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes per side until the shrimp are just opaque with lightly browned edges. The jalapeño and bell pepper should remain a bit crisp. If grilling covered, cook the kebobs the same amount of time, turning once midway.

When done, sprinkle the kebobs lightly with cilantro and serve them hot, with lime wedges for squeezing. As a variation from serving the shrimp on the skewer, we sometimes pile them in margarita glasses with salted rims and lime wedges.

Technique Tip:

When you're serving kebobs hot off the grill as finger food, always cook on bamboo skewers, much easier and safer to handle than hot metal skewers. Even after soaking, the bamboo itself can scorch during grilling, so place the exposed handles near the cooler edges of the fire. We like skewers nine inches or longer, simply because they look better to us for entertaining, not because we're trying to cram a lot of food on them. As you may notice in later chapters, where we present some main-course kebobs, we usually switch to metal skewers when grilling large pieces of food.


Recipe from:
Born to Grill
by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison
The Harvard Common Press
1998, Hardcover, US $27.95
Recipes & photos reprinted by permission


Born to Grill



The electronic Gourmet Guide launched in 1994 and later merged into the Global Gourmet website in 1998 (now This is an edited archive of one of those early pages.


Modified June 2007