Sometimes it only takes one special ingredient to give a dish a total makeover. In this recipe, that one ingredient is gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste)! It turns what would have been ordinary grilled shrimp into something totally different and delicious. I simply added a couple spoonfuls of it to my usual marinade for grilling shrimp. That’s it! If you think about it, how can you go wrong with gochujang (고추장)? It’s savory, peppery, pungent, slightly sweet and spicy – all at once. To complete the meal, serve with grilled vegetables or a summer salad.
For the marinade:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic (or more to taste)
juice of 1/2 of a fresh lemon (about 1-1/2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons Korean red chili pepper paste (gochujang)
1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste
finely chopped scallions or chives for garnish (optional)
Soak wooden skewers in water while preparing the shrimp. Rinse the shrimp and drain. Thread the shrimp on to the skewers.
Mix all the marinade ingredients well in a bowl.
Spoon (or brush) the marinade over the shrimp to coat evenly. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes.
Preheat a lightly oiled grill. Grill the shrimp over moderate heat until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes each side. Do not overcook. Baste the shrimp with any remaining sauce while grilling. You can also cook the shrimp in a grill pan over medium high heat. Garnish with the optional scallions or chives.