Grilled Shrimp with Chermoula
Grilled Shrimp with Chermoula

Prawns are marinated in chermoula, a herbaceous North African sauce, and then grilled for a flavorful, easy and delicious summertime dinner recipe.

Freshly grilled prawns are always a treat, but pairing them with the lively herb sauce Chermoula gives it a fresh and lively taste. The ease of grilled shrimp with chermoula makes it a great choice for everything from a quick weeknight dinner to a big barbecue.

Grilled shrimp taste best fresh off the fire, but taste great at room temperature too. A food processor quickly finishes the chermoula, which I use both as a marinade and as a sauce on the side.

Dinner is ready with about 25 minutes of manual work. Not bad.

What is Chermoula?

Chermoula (also spelled Charmoula) is a fragrant North African herb and spice paste that originated in Morocco.

Its herbal base often consists of coriander, parsley, or a mixture of both. It’s brightened up with garlic and lemon and a hint of chili or cayenne pepper, and grounded with cumin. If I have preserved lemon lying around, I throw some in, but I can do without. What’s great about the recipe is its versatility – you can always add more lemon if you feel the need to, or mix up the herb ratio based on what you have.

Chermoula recipes vary by country and region. It is often used as a marinade, filling, topping and/or sauce. It is also universally applicable as it goes well with seafood, meat, poultry and vegetables. Think pesto, chimichurri or zhoug, a Yemeni spicy herb sauce. Keep it in a jar covered with a little oil in the fridge and it will keep for a week.

The size specifications for shrimp are not standardized. What one supplier may call large, another may call jumbo. However, shrimp are labeled with a standardized number per pound.

For the larger shrimp, the number is marked with a U in front of the number, e.g. B. U10. This label means there are less than 10 shrimp per pound.

In this recipe I call for 16/20 shrimp. That means there are 16 to 20 equally sized shrimp per pound. Many, but not all, suppliers refer to the size 16/20 as extra jumbo. If both a name and count size are given, use the count size.

The 16/20’s are the largest frozen wild gulf shrimp (my preference) stocked in my market so I tend to buy these. Unfortunately, that means I have to clean them myself, but the clams are great for making seafood broth. Feel free to use a larger size for this recipe, you just need to grill the shrimp a little longer.

Defrost shrimp

Pretty much most shrimp in supermarkets have been previously frozen. In a pinch, if I haven’t planned on thawing my shrimp, I buy pre-thawed shrimp and make sure they smell fresh.

Another plus for store thawing is that you’ll usually find them already peeled and cleaned. However, I prefer to stock my freezer with frozen shrimp so I have control over how long they’ve been thawed.

Grilled Shrimp with Chermoula Swaps and Subs

You can change the flavor profile of the chermoula by adding:

  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon harissa
  • 1 teaspoon tomato or tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • Puree saffron

You can also: Use all the parsley or cilantro in the chermoula sauce.

Grilled shrimp with chermoula

preparation time
20 minutes

cooking time
5 minutes

marinating time
20 minutes

total time
45 minutes

4 servings

This recipe calls for preserved lemon. If you can’t find them, feel free to swap them out for the zest of a lemon.


For the chermoula

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 2 cups corianderroughly chopped

  • 1 Cup Parselyroughly chopped

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped preserved lemon peel (optional)

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon Cute paprika

  • prize cayenne pepper

  • 3/4 Cup Extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice

For the grilled shrimp

  • 20 Extra Jumbo (16/20) shrimppeeled and deveined, tail on

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

special equipment

  • food processor

  • 4
    Skewers, preferably metal, or 8 wooden skewers


  1. Make the chermoula:

    Pulse the garlic in a food processor until chopped. Add coriander, parsley, preserved lemon if using, salt, cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the oil and lemon juice and pulse until combined.

    The mixture is not fully emulsified. The mixture separates easily with a layer of oil on top and the slightly chunky herb mix on the bottom.

  2. Preheat the grill and soak the skewers:

    If using wooden skewers, place them in a wide, shallow bowl of water. Let them soak for 30 minutes. Preheat grill to medium-high direct heat. You want to get it to 450°F-500°F.

  3. Marinate shrimp:

    In a wide, shallow bowl or container, season the shrimp with salt and toss in 3 tablespoons chermoula. Let marinate for 15 to 20 minutes. Reserve the rest of the chermoula sauce for serving.

  4. Skewer shrimp:

    Thread the shrimp onto the soaked bamboo skewers through the top thicker part of the shrimp and through the section about 1/4-inch above the tail, adding five pieces of shrimp per skewer.

  5. Grill shrimp:

    Using tongs, arrange the shrimp skewers in a single layer on the grill. Grill shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes until seared and lightly pink on the underside. Flip with tongs and sear the other side until shrimp are opaque, another 1 to 2 minutes.

  6. Surcharge:

    Using tongs, transfer the skewers to a platter. Allow the shrimp to cool slightly, then serve with the remaining chermoula on the side.

nutritional information (per serving)
403 calories
41g Fat
3g carbohydrates
7g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!