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Grilled Shrimp with Chile Oil & Cilantro-Lime Aioli

This is a simple, yet stunning dish. We coat the shrimp with homemade chile oil, and then throw them on the grill for a few minutes. They come off the heat smoky and full of the oil’s aromatic spices — ginger, cinnamon, star anise, and coriander. A little salt, a few lime wedges, some cilantro, and they’re done.

We serve them with a very garlicky cilantro-lime aioli. Dip the shrimp, and all those pungent, savory flavors come together beautifully. It feels like a celebratory dish.

Our tip: Enjoy these shrimp with a crisp, dry sparkling wine, like Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore. Don’t be fooled, its fine bubbles and delicate fruits will stand up to your shrimp.

Servings: 4


3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 cup mayonnaise

½ cup cilantro, divided (¼ cup chopped, ¼ cup leaves with stems removed)

2 Tbsp lime juice, plus 1 lime, cut into wedges

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 lb tail-on shrimp, deveined (16-20 shrimp)

½ cup homemade chile oil, divided

Salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

Pinch of flake salt

Special equipment: 8 to 10 skewers


  1. Heat the grill or grill pan to medium-high. If the skewers are wooden, soak them in water so they don’t catch fire on the grill.

  2. To make the aioli: In a mortar, combine the garlic with a pinch of salt and mash it into a paste with a pestle.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic paste, mayonnaise, chopped cilantro, lime juice, and olive oil. Season with salt and set aside.

  4. To make the shrimp: In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with 1 tablespoon of chile oil, a pinch of salt, and a few cracks of black pepper.

  5. Thread 4 to 5 shrimp onto 2 skewers that are a ½-inch apart. (This will keep the shrimp in place and make them easy to turn.) Repeat with the remaining shrimp and skewers.

  6. Place the shrimp on the hot grill, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the shrimp, brush them with a little chile oil, and cook them for another 4 to 5 minutes.

  7. Once the shrimp are firm and pink, remove them from the grill. They should have some nice grill marks.

  8. Remove the shrimp from the skewers, put them on a serving dish, and drizzle them with remaining chile oil, a little flake salt, lime wedges, and cilantro leaves. Serve hot with the aioli for dipping.

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