I must start by saying how much I absolutely ADORE this recipe. I love them all but this is one of my absolute favorites. I could eat this Marinated Key Lime Shrimp every day but it's so fun in the summertime. As someone who is a fan of cold shrimp, this does it for me! It's perfect as an appetizer if you're entertaining or as a snack if you're having it all by yourself. Although the recipe calls for a tiny bit of sugar, it is NOT sweet. The sugar's job is to discipline the other ingredients so they all play nice together 🙂
Watch me make Marinated Key Lime Shrimp here...or continue below
How to make Marinated Key Lime Shrimp
This dish is super simple to throw together and also really versatile! If you want to grill it you can I would just marinate it backward so you can keep all of those bits of onion and other ingredients. If you haven't tried cool grilled shrimp, you definitely should. In a nutshell, all you have to do is prepare your ingredients, and put it all together, allowing them time to marinate.
About the ingredients
Start with a really great quality olive oil. This particular one was purchased at a local farmer's market here in Atlanta; it's a cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. Whole key limes can be difficult to find and I find that fresh squeezed (any type of juice but specifically key lime in this case) is usually the best option for me but in a pinch, you can use a store-bought key lime juice. Key lime juice can usually be found at typical local grocers but depending on your area, you may have to venture to a specialty food store. I would suggest checking online and/or calling to verify before making a trip.
Customize to your liking
I personally don't love largely chopped onion in this case. You have the ability to do what you'd like here. What I do to create the best experience for this particular appetizer is cut up the onion into thin, tiny pieces. I like doing it this way because you don't get large chunks of onion throughout the dish.
Marinated Key Lime Shrimp can be seasoned to taste. I definitely suggest starting with the recommended amount of salt and pepper and then increase from there if desired.
How to prepare the shrimp
Make sure the shrimp are fully peeled and deveined before proceeding with either method. There are a couple of different ways to do this: either via steaming or blanching (my personal favorite). I've done it both ways for this recipe and they work out great!
To steam: bring a large pot of water to boil, place an appropriately sized steaming basket on top. Add shrimp and allow to cook, tossing during the process. Leave in place until shrimp are fully cooked. Note: there are different steaming methods so if you have an alternative way to steam food, I would follow the instructions using your method of choice
To blanch: Set aside a large bowl of ice water- do not overfill as you will add the cooked shrimp to the bowl. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Carefully place shrimp inside, allowing them to cook for 3-4 minutes. Scoop the shrimp out with a slotted spoon and immediately submerge them into the ice bath. Allow the shrimp to cool for 10 minutes. Make sure they are completely dry before mixing with the other ingredients.
This is important!!...
The last stage of this process is to put of the prepped ingredients together in an airtight container. Make sure you mix everything thoroughly before placing them in the refrigerator. Bear in mind that once you add acid to seafood, it will continually cook. The difference is not drastic in this particular dish because of the other ingredients at play however, this is something to be noted. For BEST RESULTS marinate the shrimp for 2 hours, MAX! Serve and enjoy immediately!
The flavors of red onion, cilantro, and lime come together in a wonderful way. Marinating the shrimp really makes the flavors that much more intense without being overbearing. It really is the most perfect, enjoyable snack.Print
Marinated Key Lime Shrimp
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
As someone who is a fan of cold shrimp, this does it for me! It's perfect as an appetizer if you're entertaining or as a snack if you're having it all by yourself. Although the recipe calls for a tiny bit of sugar, it is NOT sweet.
juice of 8 key limes (about 6 tbsp)
1 lb shrimp, deveined & steamed
⅓ cup red onion, chopped small
4 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 tbsp olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon finely ground pepper
- Prepare all ingredients- chop cilantro, chop red onion, juice key limes, peel and devein shrimp-leaving the tails on.
- Steam or blanch shrimp. If blanching-allow shrimp to cool, then drain. Make sure shrimp are patted dry before proceeding to the next step.
- Combine sugar, salt, pepper, olive oil, and key lime juice in a small bowl; mix well. Add shrimp to an airtight container, then add red onion, key lime juice mixture, and cilantro before tossing to combine. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Serve and enjoy immediately!
See post for instructions on how to blanch shrimp.
- Prep Time: 70 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Steamed
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 4 oz
- Calories: 348
- Sugar: 9.8 g
- Sodium: 727 mg
- Fat: 14.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 43.3 g
- Protein: 25 g
- Cholesterol: 182.5 mg
Keywords: key lime shrimp
More fun seafood recipes!!!
Hi, can you use cooked shrimp from store?
Hello! Absolutely! Just be sure to defrost first (if frozen) and try to get rid of any excess water.
I have made this recipe twice, but it never tastes as good as yours.
Sounds awesome and I’m sure it will taste amazing. I am looking forward to making this dish.
Handy Chef says
That sounds wonderful! Please let me know when you do!
What size shrimps & should they be shelled?
Handy Chef says
Hello! I'd say 21/25 or 16/20 and yes..peeled & deveined.