Salt-Cured Ouzo Shrimp

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“From Sunset Magazine (July 2008) A secret to perfectly grilled shrimp: rub with salt and sugar before cooking to seal in their juiciness and sweetness. Allow 45-60 minutes for salt-curing.”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 12 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 12 teaspoons anise seeds, divided
  • 1 12 lbs jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, and with tails on (16 to 20 per lb.)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ouzo (or other anise-flavored liqueur)
  • 1 12 teaspoons garlic, minced


  1. In a bowl, mix sugar, salt, and 3/4 teaspoons anise seeds. Add shrimp and stir gently to coat. Cover and chill 45 minutes to 1 hour. Rinse both the shrimp and the bowl well and drain.
  2. Meanwhile, soak 6 wooden skewers at least 30 minutes, or use metal skewers (no need to soak).
  3. Return shrimp to bowl. Add remaining 3/4 teaspoons anise seeds, the olive oil, 2 tablespoons ouzo, and the garlic; mix to coat.
  4. Thread shrimp onto skewers through each end so they look like the letter C, dividing them equally among skewers.
  5. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for high heat (450° to 550°; you can hold your hand 5 inches above cooking grate only 2 to 4 seconds).
  6. Lay shrimp on cooking grate and cook, turning once, until shrimp are bright pink and opaque but still moist-looking in center (cut to test), 2 to 3 minutes total. Transfer to a platter. Drizzle more ouzo over shrimp to taste.

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