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Grilled shrimp lettuce wraps at lynnecurry.com.

Grilled Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with Mango Salsa

How I love the start of grilling season!

Sure, the weather doesn’t always cooperate, but it’s a great time of year to dust off the grill {literally}, order a new set of tongs and make friends with live flame.

If you’re new to grilling or short on time, shrimp are a terrific choice. Since they change color from translucent to opaque pale pink, there’s no guessing when they’re done.

Grilled shrimp lettuce wraps at lynnecurry.com.

And they take just minutes.

Cooking with Shrimp

Shrimp is a luxury item in my mind. And since there are a host of terrible problems with international shrimp fisheries, I make sure to buy wild American shrimp. They are sold frozen at my supermarket, so I defrost them overnight in the refrigerator.

Shrimp are sold by size with a number on the bag that indicates how many shrimp per pound. The lower the number, the bigger the shrimp. I prefer the 30-45 count, about the size of a quarter cooked for this recipe.

Peeled and deveined save a ton of time. I use a grill pan for ease, but you can also skewer shrimp this size.

Grilled shrimp lettuce wraps at lynnecurry.com.

I find that shrimp benefit from a quick and simple marinade. For this recipe, I turned to the Vietnamese sauce of lime juice and fish sauce called nuoc cham. Then, after a 20-minute marinade and a three-minute shift on the grill, they’re ready.

These lettuce wraps are the ticket for making a pound of shrimp go far. Perfect for a few or a crowd–and for a first meal out on the deck.

Just add small washed lettuce leaves, like Little Gem, romaine or green leaf with this sweet, sour, salty and just a little bit spicy mango salsa. Serve it for a scrumptious appetizer.

Grilled shrimp lettuce wraps at lynnecurry.com.

For a heartier meal, I’d add in sticky rice and a cucumber salad. But even without the sides, my husband said that these grilled shrimp lettuce wraps were “surprisingly filling.”

Now, we’re all warmed up for a whole season of grilling!

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Grilled Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with Mango Salsa

Kick off grilling season with a quick and simple shrimp lettuce wrap for a hearty appetizer or light main dish. Use a portion of the lime juice and fish sauce marinade (nuoc cham) for the shrimp and the rest for the mango salsa. Serve with fresh herbs and extra limes.

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword grilled shrimp, shrimp lettuce wraps
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Marinating time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Lynne Curry

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 Bird's eye, serrano or jalapeno chile pepper, finely chopped optional
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp wild American
  • 8 small romaine lettuce leaves
  • cilantro sprigs for serving
  • fresh basil leaves for serving
  • lime wedges for serving

Mango Salsa

  • 1 medium ripe mango, peeled, pitted and cut into small dice
  • 1 small red pepper, cut into small dice
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Combine the warm water and sugar in a small mixing bowl and stir until dissolved. Add the lime juice. It should taste like very strong but balanced limeade. Add the fish sauce, shallot and chile pepper, if using, to make 1 cup.

  2. Pour 3/4 cup of the marinade over the shrimp and marinate for 20 to 30 minutes while you preheat a gas or charcoal grill to high heat.

  3. Meanwhile, make the salsa by combining the mango, pepper and scallion with the remaining 1/4 cup marinade and toss gently with the cilantro. Taste and set aside at room temperature. Arrange the lettuce cups on a platter, slice the extra limes and put the cilantro and basil on a small plate.

  4. If you do not have a grill pan, skewer the shrimp and place on a sheet pan and pat dry with paper towel. Or, drain the marinade from the shrimp, pat dry with paper towel and arrange on the grill pan. Grill the shrimp until they change from translucent to pink, turning once, about 3 minutes.

  5. Portion the shrimp into each lettuce cup and serve with the mango salsa, herbs and limes.

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