Charred Lemon & Honey-Shrimp Skillet
“I’m serving shrimp” is a home cook’s shorthand: It means that I care enough to make this meal a special one. For cooks in the know, it also means a minimum of prep time and a maximum of enjoyment and compliments.
The charred lemons make this dish standout, so be sure to take the time to prep them as you’re pulling the other ingredients together. While it seems like a fancy, chef-y sort of move, charring citrus is just a matter of heating up the broiler, popping them on a tray, and waiting for 10 to 15 minutes as their flavor deepens and sweetens. Hitting the lemon with that little bit of concentrated heat imparts so much depth and complexity to the citrus flavors, it’s one of our favorite kitchen hacks. (Try it in a cocktail, like our smoky charred lemonade with mezcal.)
Once the juice from the charred lemons meets up with this recipe’s other ingredients, great things happen. The honey and sambal oelek, brightened by the citrus notes, make a sweet-savory glaze that clings to the shrimp and creates a delightfully crunchy crust.
There really is no place this one-dish meal wouldn’t be a standout. Serve it as a starter for a special dinner, and you’ll soon hear requests to feast on the app alone. Carry it along to a picnic at the beach, and it will add a touch of elegance to the salty, sandy day. Or add a quick winter slaw and a side of rice, and you’ve got yourself a satisfying dinner that’s ready in a flash.
Our tips: The sturdy glaze helps the shrimp hold up well for day-after bowls, salads, and tacos. Slice those leftover lemons into julienned strips to add a bit of extra punch to your leftovers.
Servings: 4 to 6
1 ½ lb Gelson’s jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup honey
3 charred lemons, divided
1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, grated
2 tsp sambal oelek
1 tsp grapeseed oil
2 Tbsp minced green onion, plus more sliced, for garnish
Optional: cooked rice and your favorite vegetable, for serving
Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat,, stirring frequently, until it has melted, foamed, browned, and smells nutty, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium. Add the honey, juice of ½ charred lemon, soy sauce, garlic, and sambal oelek. Stir well and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Pour all but 2 tablespoons of the sauce out of the pan and into a container. Set aside.
Add ½ of the shrimp to the pan in one even layer. Sear until browned and no longer translucent, about 2 minutes on each side.
Transfer the shrimp to a plate, wipe out the pan, and repeat step 5, using 2 additional tablespoons of the sauce with the teaspoon of grapeseed oil.
Add the first batch of shrimp, the remaining sauce, and the minced green onions. Cook until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Season with salt, as needed.
Serve over rice and your favorite vegetable. Garnish with thinly sliced green onions and the remaining charred lemon halves.