Grilled Shrimp with Palapa - Sizzling Summer Series

The patio is getting crowded, the grill is blazing, and everyone is outside enjoying themselves. Yep, it's summertime, and the Sizzling Summer Series rages on with terrific menu ideas to get you through the season. Next up is Grilled Shrimp with Palapa, an intense combination of flavor, aromatics, texture. Featuring toasted coconut, garlic, and ginger surrounding plump, flavorful shrimp for the perfect poolside combo that is refreshing and gorgeous. With a deck full of guests and a large grill surface, this preparation is a great way to grill shrimp that is fun and exciting!

Most of the time for this dish is in the making the palapa from scratch. If time is an issue, many premade varieties can be used with excellent results. Yet, if you have the time to crack open a whole coconut, dig out the meat, and roast it for unbelievable flavor, homemade always tastes better. The palapa is a roasted mixture of coconut, garlic, ginger, ground mushroom, Thai chiles, lime leaves, sugar, and salt that almost smells better than it tastes. Marinate the shrimp the palapa for at least an hour to infuse with the addicting flavor and grill over medium heat adding more palapa on top. The final stroke is grilling lemon halves and squeezing them over the finished shrimp for an absolutely divine experience. With summer is flying by, fire up the grill, get your shrimp on, and make memories enjoying fantastic food with the people you love!

Serves 8

Grilled Shrimp with Palapa Ingredients


  • 16 red Thai chiles
  • 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 fresh coconut or 4 cups dried unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1½ heads of garlic, cloves separated, finely chopped
  • 1 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled, finely chopped
  • 6 makrut lime leaves, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Diamond Crystal or 2 tsp. Morton kosher salt

Shrimp and Assembly

  • 2 lb. jumbo shrimp, preferably head-on, peeled, deveined
  • Vegetable oil (for the grill)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 lemons, halved

Grilled Shrimp with Palapa Directions


  1. Pulse chiles in a food processor until finely chopped (if you’d rather chop them by hand, wear gloves!). Transfer to a small bowl.
  2. Grind mushrooms in a spice mill or with a mortar and pestle (or use food processor again) to a powder.
  3. Hold coconut in one hand and strike it firmly around the equator with the back (blunt side) of a heavy knife or cleaver, rotating coconut as you go until it splits. Whack coconut halves with the back of a knife to loosen meat from the shell. Remove meat and shred using the large holes of a box grater (or use a food processor fitted with a grating plate). Toast shredded coconut in a dry wok or large cast-iron skillet over medium heat, often stirring, until deeply browned in spots, 15–20 minutes. Transfer to another small bowl.
  4. Heat oil in the same wok over medium-low. Cook scallions, garlic, and ginger, constantly stirring, until very fragrant, about 3 minutes. Mix in chiles, mushroom powder, toasted coconut, lime leaves (if using), sugar, and salt. Cook, often stirring, until golden brown and very fragrant, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

Do Ahead: Palapa can be made 3 months ahead. Cover and chill.

Shrimp and Assembly

  1. Toss shrimp with 2 cups palapa in a large bowl. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.
  2. Prepare a grill for medium heat; oil grate. Arrange shrimp on the grate and pack any palapa still in the bowl on top; season lightly with salt. Grill, turning once or twice and keeping as much palapa on shrimp as possible until opaque all the way through, about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, grill lemon halves, cut side down, until charred, about 5 minutes.
  4. Serve shrimp with lemons for squeezing over.

Taken from