Shrimp on Skewers

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Four


Appears in

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1969

  • About

The word kebab has been accepted in the American lexicon as meaning “something on skewers.” Thus people speak of “lamb kebabs” or “beef kebabs” or whatever kebabs, and in origin this is incorrect. Kebab is the Turkish word for meat. Shish is the Turkish word for skewer and, thus, more properly one should speak of lamb shish, beef shish, or whatever.

Every bit as good as meats on skewers are fish and shellfish. The important point about skewered things is that they be marinated briefly before broiling. The best of all marinades is a French mixture made with oil and lemon juice, lime juice, or vinegar, plus whatever seasonings one desires.

Here is an excellent recipe for shrimp on skewers, and it illustrates the versatility of the marinade. If you have no taste for shrimp, use 1-inch cubes of swordfish or salmon.


  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • cup finely chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice or lime juice
  • cup peanut oil or salad oil (do not use olive oil, the flavor is too pronounced)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (see below) or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 drops Tabasco sauce or to taste
  • 32 medium-sized shrimp
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 8 tablespoons (½ cup; 1 stick) butter, melted
  • Juice of ½ lemon


  1. Place the garlic in a large mixing bowl and add the parsley, lemon or lime juice, oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and Tabasco sauce. Beat lightly with a fork to blend. Add the shrimp and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. Stir occasionally to turn the shrimp in the marinade.

  2. Meanwhile, build a charcoal fire or light the broiler and prepare the vegetables.

  3. Remove the stems from the cherry tomatoes.

  4. Peel the onion, then slice it into quarters. Pull the onion sections apart and cut the large outer sections into convenient rectangles to fit on skewers.

  5. Split the green pepper in half. Trim away the core, pulpy white fibers and seeds. Cut the green pepper into rectangles the same size as those made from the onion.

  6. Use four skewers. Arrange equal portions of shrimp, rectangles of onion and green pepper, and cherry tomatoes in any desired manner. Place the skewers over hot coals and cook, basting with the marinade, until shrimp are done on one side. This should take about 3 to 5 minutes. Turn carefully and cook until shrimp are done on the other side, about 3 to 5 minutes. Baste once or twice as the shrimp cook. When ready to serve, push off one piece at a time onto plates or tomatoes will shatter. Pour hot melted butter seasoned with lemon juice over all and serve hot.