Grilled Shrimp Skewers (Korean)

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Easy Grilled Shrimp Skewers are ready in less than 15 minutes and are packed full of tangy, savory, sweet, and spicy flavor thanks to a unique Korean gochujang marinade.

Suitable for Gluten Free and Low Carb diets. Weight Watchers Points included. 

These easy Grilled Shrimp Skewers, or Shrimp Kabobs, are quite versatile. If you’re looking for a nice appetizer to serve your guests, grab some small skewers, and make these shrimp. If you’re on the hunt for a healthy, quick family meal and easy recipe, make this Grilled Shrimp Skewers Recipe.

These are great for a neighborhood Cookout, BBQ, your portable grill camping, outdoor grill, cooking on a broiler, gas grill, grill pan, or air fryer, and for when you want a zesty seafood recipe to enjoy.

And this unique Korean marinade made with Gochujang is full of bold flavor, but you can always try other marinades to your taste. 

Peeps, I just looooove grilling during summer. Check out some of the other wonderful grilling creations we’ve been enjoying, like our coconut Grilled Chicken Skewers, or Coconut Grilled Chicken Salad, or rather delicious Grilled Mackerel.

What Is Korean Gochujang?

Gochujang is an ingredient common in Korean recipes that is a sweet, savory and spicy flavoring. It’s also known as Korean red pepper and is a thick chili paste made from chili pepper flakes. It really brings a unique flavor that you’ll love. Check it out on my Slow Cooker Short Ribs– it’s amaaaaazing.

a plate of cooked grilled shrimp skewers with lime slices

Why Make This Recipe

  • Who doesn’t love anything grilled on a stick? And shrimp on skewers, yes please.
  • Dinner on the table in under 15 minutes.
  • Simple and quick, yet different recipe for your entertaining.
  • Versatile meal that you can change up for different flavors every time.

Ingredient Notes

  • Shrimp – this uses raw shrimp especially peeled cleaned jumbo shrimp. If you have unpeeled shrimp, you would need to peel it first.
  • Korean Gochujang – Add more or less Korean red pepper paste to your taste.
  • Soy sauce – To keep this gluten free, use gluten free soy sauce. But if not then you can use regular soy sauce.
  • Honey – Honey adds a touch of sweetness but you can use maple syrup instead.
  • Flavorings – Minced garlic and red pepper flakes and lemon juice complete this. Use fresh lemon juice rather than bottles and you can use a little lime juice instead.
  • Oil – This use olive oil but you can use other oil like peanut or canola oil.

How To Grill Shrimp Skewers

Get the complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.

  1. Soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes before using.
  2. Mix together olive oil, soy sauce, honey,  Korean Gochujang, lemon juice, garlic and red pepper flakes if using, in a large bowl.
  3. Add the peeled shrimp to the bowl and mix until coated.
  4. You can cook straight away or leave to marinate the shrimp. If marinating, marinate for 30 minutes up to 2 hours ahead. Thread the shrimp (about 5) to each soaked skewer.
  5. Preheat the grill (or charcoal grill), broiler or griddle pan to medium high heat, oil the grates and grill the marinated shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side or until opaque.
  6. Transfer skewers to a plate and serve immediately with lime wedges or lemon wedges.
image collage showing the steps for making grilled shrimp skewers

Make In The Air Fryer

  1. Create the skewers as you did in the instructions above using steps 1-4.
  2. Preheat Air Fryer to 350 degrees F /1 80 degrees C. Place shrimp in the Air Fryer, making sure the skewers don’t touch. 
  3. Cook for 5-8 minutes, turning skewers halfway through the cook time. Since air fryer temperatures can vary, start with less time and then add more as needed.
grilled shrimp skewers inside the air fryer basket

Recipe Tips

  • Don’t marinate for more than a couple of hours as the shrimp might slowly start cooking in the marinade. But do try and let them marinate for at least 30-60 minutes.
  • Make sure the shrimp is peeled before marinating so that the marinade goes in.
  • It’s better to use large shrimp so they don’t fall between the grates while cooking and so they cook evenly since shrimp cook so quickly. 
  • These cook quickly so keep an eye on them so they don’t overcook.
  • Cook shrimp of the same size together as much as possible.
  • I recommend oiling the grill grates before turning on the grill if you can so you don’t get shrimp stuck on. 
  • Metal skewers are great for grilling because they transmit heat well.
  • Flat skewers are ideal for grilling shrimp so they don’t twirl around the round skewer.  
  • No time to soak the shrimp before marinating? No problem. Use grill plates to help keep the shrimp plump and juicy

Recipe Variations

Korean Grilled Shrimp Skewers are sooooo versatile. Here are just a few ways you can customize to suit your taste;

  • Change out the shrimp size: While using the biggest shrimp you can get is always optimal, you can change out the size of the shrimp if needed. 
  • Add in some quick cook vegetables: Grilled veggies such as zucchini, mushrooms, onion, or peppers make a great addition.
  • Try out a different marinade: Pomegranate Harissa marinade, any of these different homemade marinades, or whatever your favorite is. A simple alternative is garlic shrimp skewers with a fresh garlic or garlic powder and olive oil marinade
  • Vary the amount of ingredients to your taste: Like more heat? Add more gochujang. Like more sweet? Increase the honey.
  • Toppings – top with fresh herbs like fresh parsley for extra taste and color.
  • Vary spices – skip the Korean and go for different flavorings including Italian seasoning, chili flakes, smoked paprika, etc.
  • Add zest – lime or lemon zest makes a great addition. garlic shrimp skewers

Prep Ahead And Storage

  • Prep Ahead – This recipe is so easy to make on the grill. Keep in mind the longer you marinate them, the more flavorful they are!
  • Store – Store cooled cooked shrimp in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 
  • Freeze – You can freeze the uncooked shrimp in the grilled shrimp marinade. Follow the handy tips below on how to freeze this. Transfer shrimp and marinade into freezer bags. Squeeze out all the extra air and seal the bags. Label the bags and store them flat in the freezer for three months.
  • Freeze cooked shrimp – Freeze cooked shrimp, within 2 hours in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.
a plate of cooked grilled shrimp skewers

FAQs

How Long Do You Grill Shrimp Skewers?

Shrimp cook very quickly on the grill. They only take about 2-3 minutes on each side, so be sure to keep an eye on them. 
When shrimp are done, they turn a bit pink and opaque. They should be only slightly firm when biting them and are no longer translucent. 

Why Do You Soak Bamboo Skewers?

You want to make sure you soak your bamboo skewers in warm water for at least 30 minutes prior to using them. This helps prevent them from catching fire or cooking as you’re grilling. You may even want to soak them overnight if you’re marinating your shrimp overnight too.

Can You Use Frozen Shrimp? 

Yeap folks, you sure can make these grilled skewers using frozen shrimp. Just make sure to fully thawed shrimp before adding to the skewers and cooking.

What’s So Special About This Grilled Shrimp Marinade?

These are so flavorful and I can almost guarantee it’s a flavor you haven’t had that often, if at all before. 

The Korean gochujang paste really brings the sweet, savory, and spicy flavors to the Korean marinade. The honey brings an added sweetness and the lemon juice brings a nice tangy, zesty kick. It really is quite delicious. 

Like all marinades, this Korean shrimp marinade really tenderizes the shrimp and enhances the flavoring. If this marinade isn’t for you, try my Harissa marinade or one of the 7 other marinades I have like I mentioned above. Keep in mind that you can use a ziplock bag for marination as this can be a space saver for your refrigerator and less clean-up in the end. 

What Size Shrimp Do You Use?

I recommend using the biggest shrimp you have available. While the larger shrimp cost more per pound, they are the easiest to keep on the skewers and you can be sure to cook them all evenly and thoroughly since shrimp cook so fast, the small ones may cook faster than you realize. Number of Shrimp per pound: 

Medium – between 41-50
Medium/Large – between 36-40
Large – between 31-35
Extra Large- between 26-30
Jumbo – between 21-25
Extra Jumbo – between 16-20 
Colossal – under 15 
Super Colossal – under 12 
Extra Colossal – under 10

marinated grilled shrimp skewers ready to be cooked

More Kabob, Skewers and Grilling Recipes

Want more grilling recipes and shrimp recipes. Then try these below

Serving Suggestions

So many rice pilaf, wedge salad, dipping sauce and more!

Grilled shrimp kabobs on a salad

Weight Watchers Points 

There are 2 Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving.

Tools You Need 

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korean grilled shrimp skewers served on a bed of greens
Print Recipe
4.89 from 9 votes

Korean Grilled Shrimp Skewers

These flavorful Seafood Skewers are ready in under 15 minutes!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time6 minutes
Total Time11 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: american, western, asian
Servings: 16 skewers
Calories: 76kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce or regular soy
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons Korean Gochujang
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Red pepper flakes to taste optional
  • 2 pounds (907g) peeled and cleaned shrimp, tails still on

Instructions

  • Soak bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes before using.
  • Mix together olive oil, soy sauce, honey, Korean Gochujang, lemon juice, garlic and red pepper flakes if using, in a mixing bowl.
  • Add the shrimp to the bowl and mix until coated.
  • You can cook straight away or leave to marinate the shrimp. If marinating, marinate for 30 minutes up to 2 hours ahead. Thread about 5 shrimp to each skewer.
  • Preheat the grill (or charcoal grill), broiler or grill pan to medium heat, oil the grates and grill the shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side or until opaque.
  • Transfer skewers to a plate and serve.

Make In the Air Fryer

  • Create the skewers like you did in the instructions above using steps 1-4.
  • Preheat Air Fryer to 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C. Place shrimp in the Air Fryer, making sure the skewers don’t touch.
  • Cook for 5-8 minutes, turning skewers halfway through the cook time. Since air fryer temperatures can vary, start with less time and then add more as needed.
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Notes

  • The longer you marinate these Korean shrimp skewers, the more flavor they’ll have. 
  • It’s better to use the larger shrimp so they don’t fall between the grates while cooking and so they cook evenly since shrimp cook so quickly. 
  • I recommend oiling the grill grates before turning on the grill if you can so you don’t get burned. 
  • Metal skewers are great for grilling because they transmit heat well.
  • Using flat skewers is ideal for shrimp so they don’t twirl around the round skewer.  
  • No time to soak the shrimp before marinating? No problem. Use grill plates to help keep the shrimp plump and juicy. 
There are 2 Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving. 

 

Nutrition

Calories: 76kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 567mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 1mg

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