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Grilled Spicy Honey Ginger Shrimp
In an alternate universe – one where I am much cooler, braver, and tougher – I would be a fisherman or a farmer. I grew up in a fishing family so the allure of something so hands on and tangible has always been there. Also, I have a fiercely brown thumb, so the former seems more plausible than the latter. Nonetheless, knowing where the food that will feed my family and others comes from is one of the most magical and rewarding careers I can think of. The idea of working in the dirt all day with my dogs in tow or waking up on a fishing boat to calm morning seas and mountain views both sound magical.
The husband and I dream about a grittier, more hands on life where our fingernails are always dirty and the knees of our jeans torn. But this morning, I woke up to find the last of my strawberries infested with a mystery parasite and last weekend’s reminder that my sub 5 foot stature is no match for a fishing net or a commercial crab pot is still fresh in my mind. So, as romantic as the idea sounds, there are a good many reasons why these aren’t likely career paths for me – even in an alternate universe.
If I zoom out on that dream and dig down to the root of it, a desire to care for and connect with the land and the natural resources surrounding me exists at the core. Its the same reason why I visit the farmers market every sunday and buy our fish directly from the fishermen: The assurance of knowing where and how my food was grown or caught and a connection to the person who grew or caught it.
It certainly helps knowing the proprietor cares and understands more about sustainability than I can begin to comprehend. When I consider and appreciate the knowledge base of the people from whom I purchase my food, I find myself at peace with my role in the chain and much more content to leave the harvesting to the experts.
But, what about the items that can’t be grown locally? Here in the Pacific Northwest, local sourcing only gets you so far. What about spices? How much do I really know about where and how those were grown? The honest answer was “not much.”
Knowing more about the impact of my food purchasing decisions is important to me! So, I’m really excited to be partnering with Frontier Co-Op! The company was founded in 1976 and was an early advocate of the organic movement. They were actually the first U.S. company to offer Fair Trade Certified spices (non-GMO and non-ETO, too!)! The are committed to sustainable farming practices, offsetting their carbon footprint, and giving back to the the global communities of their organic farmers (A well building project in Madagascar brought water to 25,000 people, and an organic training center in Sri Lanka educated over 500 small farmers in its first year!). #CookWithPurpose! Supporting a company who prides itself on responsible practices and is generous with its success is hugely important to me – especially when their products impact so many global communities! I have used a good number of their spices and seasonings now, and I love the quality, freshness, and flavor their products!
For these shrimp skewers, I used the Frontier Organic Crushed Red Chili Peppers in the spicy honey ginger glaze! The crushed pepper flavor pops through so much that I really only needed a small amount for a big impact! This glaze comes together in no time and is perfectly sweet, tangy, and spicy! It would be a great brushed on any grilled protein actually, but I have been on a bit of a shrimp kick this summer. 😉 Since shrimp is one of the leanest, quickest cooking proteins around, these skewers are making frequent grill-out appearances this summer! Anytime, I can get delicious BIG flavors with just a few ingredients, count me in! #GrillTheGoodness
While I might not be trading in my MacBook for a pair of Extra-Tuffs anytime soon, I will continue to care about how the foods I eat connect to and impact the world – whether thats right here in the Pacific Northwest or elsewhere. Plus, when things are fresh, sustainable, and when possible, local, they also tend to be to be really, really tasty. 😉
A big thanks to Frontier Co-Op for sponsoring this post!
- 2 lb. jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
- olive oil, for brushing grill
- freshly ground black pepper, for sprinkling
- kosher salt, for sprinkling
- 12 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 2+ hours
- 2 tbsp. cilantro leaves, chopped
- 3/4 c. apple cider vinegar
- 6 tbsp. honey
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 tbsp. ginger, peeled and minced
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp. Frontier Organic Crushed Red Chili Peppers
- 1/4 tsp. chili powder
To make the glaze: Combine apple cider vinegar, honey, ginger, garlic, chili pepper flakes, salt, and chili powder in a sauce pan and bring to a boil stirring constantly. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until reduced by about 1/3. Transfer to heat proof bowl and set aside. When cool to room temperature, cover and chill. Can be made up to 2 days ahead.
Remove glaze from fridge and allow it to come to room temperature prior to serving.
Aesthetically, I prefer to leave the tails on my shrimp, but thats up to you! String shrimp onto skewers through tail and head end (3-4 shrimp per skewer). Sprinkle each side of assembled skewer with a couple pinches each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
Prepare gas or charcoal grill so that coals or heat reach 400 degrees when lid is closed. Oil the grate with olive oil to prevent shrimp from sticking. With grill lid open, grill for about 1 minute on each side or just until that side turns pink. Shrimp cook very quickly! Remove skewers from heat and immediately brush both sides with glaze. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.