Turn Up the Heat: Spicy Shrimp Skewers with Charred Lime and Chimichurri

It completely baffles me as to why the older I get, the more I crave spicy things.  Is it my palate’s way of trying to prove that it’s still as daring as it was in the days of my youth?  Whatever the reason, all I know is that my kitchen cabinets are full of heat-inducing spices that, more often than not, are finding their way into my everyday meals.  The following recipe is super-simple, with punched-up shrimp getting a spicy makeover, and can be served with warm tortillas or over rice.

Spicy Shrimp Skewers with Charred Lime and Chimichurri

Ingredients (for shrimp):

1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

¼ Tbsp cayenne pepper

½ Tbsp adobo powder (If you use the unsalted variety, add salt to taste.)

3 limes, quartered

Cilantro leaves, for garnish

Red pepper flakes, for garnish (optional)


1. Pat peeled, deveined shrimp dry and, in a medium-sized bowl, toss with cayenne pepper and adobo, coating evenly.  Squeeze juice of half a lime over shrimp and set aside.

2. Thread quartered limes onto wooden skewers that have been soaked in water (so as not to burn) and cook on grill (or in a grill pan) until limes are slightly charred; about 5-7 minutes.

3. Thread shrimp in similar manner as limes and cook for about 3 minutes on each side until pink and opaque.  To assemble skewers, arrange in alternating shrimp/lime pattern, garnish with chimichurri, chopped cilantro leaves and red pepper flakes (if desired).


Ingredients (for chimichurri):

1 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, trimmed of thick stems

3-4 garlic cloves

2 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves (or substitute 2 tsp dried oregano)

½ cup olive oil

2 Tbsp red or white wine vinegar

1 tsp sea salt

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

¼ tsp red pepper flakes


1. Finely chop the parsley, fresh oregano, and garlic (or process in a food processor with several pulses).  Place in a small bowl.

2. Stir in the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes; adjust seasonings.  Serve immediately or refrigerate.  If chilled, return to room temperature before serving.  Will keep refrigerated for 1-2 days.


About Iris "The Palate Princess" M.

Food writer | Author of Food Lovers' Guide to Philadelphia, Main Squeeze: Juicing Recipes for Your Healthiest Self, and On the Line (coming soon)


  1. September 23rd, 2011 5:54

    This also happened to me! didn’t enjoy spicy food for a long time and now i cant get enough of it! These look delicious!


    • September 23rd, 2011 10:23

      I think in my case it’s hereditary–my mother was the same way. She could eat whole jalapenos without so much as blinking.


  2. September 23rd, 2011 9:54

    These look seriously fantastic. I didn’t like spicy food until I was like 12… I always had a boiled egg and soldiers when my parents had a curry… cute huh? 😀


    • September 23rd, 2011 10:21

      Being from the US, I had to Google ‘soldiers’ to find out what they were…LOL. Language is a funny thing, but I seriously think I found what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow! Keep those comments coming! 🙂


  3. October 10th, 2011 17:52

    Mmm! These look so good! I also am wanting more spicy food as the years go by…


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