An Updated Classic Grilled Shrimp Cocktail


A classic is a classic for a reason, and shrimp on the grill is one of the best. 

I was browsing through a Weber cookbook from 1972 and found a recipe for grilled shrimp. I took that recipe, updated some of the flavors and used a grill basket for more even cooking, but the classic Weber covered cooking technique is tried and true – it needs no updating.

If you can’t find Vadouvan spice (a type of Indian Curry blend), substitute with any spice you like (BBQ spice, Lawry’s Season Salt, Old Bay, etc). Also, make sure you buy shell on shrimp (deveined) when you make this. The shell helps the shrimp from getting overcooked and also adds some extra flavor to the shrimp.

Vadouvan Shrimp Cocktail
By Matt Jost

Serves: 4 people (appetizer)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes (20 minutes to chill the shrimp)

Special Equipment:
Grill basket

1 pound shell on raw shrimp (36-40) deveined
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon Vadouvan spice, ground
2 each green onion, sliced into 1” pieces
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1” piece  ginger, fresh, peeled and minced
1 each lime, zest and juice
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Mix together the olive oil, green onion, red pepper flakes, ginger and lime zest and juice together in a mixing bowl.

2. Add the shell on shrimp and toss very well to coat the shrimp all over.

3. Season the shrimp with the salt and pepper and toss again.

4. Chill the marinated shrimp in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.

5. While the shrimp chills, set up the grill for direct, medium heat cooking (about 450F)

6. After the shrimp has chilled enough time, spread them out on a grill basket (the basket is not preheated, this gives the shrimp longer time to cook and absorb flavors from the grill) and place on the grill. Close the lid.

7. Cook the shrimp for about 15 minutes on the grill. When the shrimp turn pink (but will also be yellow from the curry spice) and is firm when squeezed, they are done. If the shrimp are still pretty soft then cook for another 5 minutes.

8. Once the shrimp have cooked, remove from the grill and chill down as quickly as possible. (Alternative, you can serve hot, right off the grill for another take)

9. Serve with cocktail sauce and lemon wedges.

Keep the coals hot!