Ginger Hoisin Summer Shrimp

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This is summer finger food — a big pile of shrimp that you peel and eat with your fingers only needs lots of napkins. Shrimp stay juicier when grilled in their shells, and the short marinating time heightens their character. Serve them hot, warm, or lightly chilled with Cucumber Stick Salad.

For the marinade, you want the dark, fragrant, Asian sesame oil that is used as a flavoring, not the lighter one that is used for sautéing and for things like salad dressings.

Ingredients

Marinade:

  • 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce (available in the Asian section of many supermarkets and in specialty food stores. Koon Chun brand is especially reliable)
  • 1 teaspoon dark Asian sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine, dry sherry, or dry white wine

Shrimp:

  • 2 pounds extra-large shrimp (11 to 15 per pound), not shelled, but with legs removed, rinsed and patted dry
  • Oil for the grill
  • 2 whole scallions, thinly sliced (optional garnish)

Instructions

1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and gently toss to coat with the seasonings. Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes. 

2. Prepare a charcoal grill for two-zone cooking. If using a gas grill, set one burner on high and one burner on low. 

3. Brush the grate with oil and place the shrimp on their sides, about an inch apart, over the hottest part of the fire. Quickly brush them with any remaining marinade then count to 30. Turn them right away with tongs and move them away from the highest heat. 

4. Finish cooking the shrimp until they turn pink and are barely firm, about 3 minutes. Do not overcook. Immediately remove to a platter and scatter with the scallions.

Cook time: 
Yield: 
Serves 4 to 6
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