Vietnamese-Style Shrimp

Vietnamese-Style Shrimp


  • 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 stalks of fresh lemongrass, tender inner white bulbs only, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
  • 24 jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 12 sugarcane swizzle sticks (see Note)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped peanuts or cashews
  • 3 tablespoon Lime Zezt
  • 3 tablespoons green onion
  • Vietnamese Dipping Sauce, for serving


  1. In a food processor, combine the garlic, sugar, shallots, fish sauce, lime juice and pepper. Add the lemongrass and the 1/4 cup of vegetable oil; process to a puree. Arrange the shrimp in a large, shallow glass dish in a single layer and pour the marinade on top; turn the shrimp to coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  2. Light a grill. Cut each sugarcane stick in half on a sharp diagonal so each piece has a sharp point. Scrape off most of the marinade. Working with the shrimp’s natural curl, use a small, sharp knife to make 2 slits—one near the tail end and one near the head. Thread a sugarcane stick through the slits; the shrimp should lie flat. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.
  3. Grill the shrimp over a hot fire, brushing them once or twice with oil, until lightly charred and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the shrimp to a platter and sprinkle the nuts zest and green onion on top. Serve the shrimp with the Vietnamese Dipping Sauce.