Easy spicy grilled shrimp flavored with a deeply savory gochujang sauce! The marinade is so easy to prepare, and the shrimp cook up very quickly. It’ll be perfect as a weeknight meal or a simple addition to your summer BBQ.
Sometimes it only takes one special ingredient to give a dish a total makeover. In this recipe, that one ingredient is gochujang (고추장)! 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? It’s deeply savory, peppery, pungent, slightly sweet and spicy – all at once. No wonder everything tastes better with gochujang!
Gochujang is commonly used in Korean spicy marinades, as used in such dishes as spicy grilled chicken, spicy grilled squid, and spicy pork BBQ. If you want to add more spiciness without altering the saltiness, add some gochugaru.
Adjust the amount of sugar or honey in the recipe to your liking, but don’t leave it out. The sugar or honey in the recipe helps balance out the saltiness of the gochujang, and also helps caramelize the shrimp faster.
I used garlic in this recipe, but ginger will be a nice addition to the marinade as well.
How to prepare and grill the shrimp
For grilling, jumbo shrimp work best. I use 16 to 20 count shrimp, but 21 to 25 count shrimp are okay too. Be sure to adjust the cooking time depending on the size of the shrimp. If you bought shell-on shrimp, peel and devein them.
Obviously peeled shrimp marinates better, while shell-on shrimp get extra flavor from the shell. I like to keep the tails on as the cooked shrimp look more attractive with the tails on, and the tail works as a built-in handle.
Be sure to soak wood/bamboo skewers in water for about 30 minutes, so they don’t burn on the grill. If you don’t have skewers, you can grill the shrimp individually. You don’t need to skewer the shrimp if you don’t want to.
Once skewered, lightly sprinkle the shrimp with salt and pepper while preparing the marinade. Let the shrimp marinate for about 30 minutes up to overnight.
Grill the shrimp over open flame or in a grill pan. You can also cook them under the broiler or in a skillet. The shrimp cook up very fast, but the amount of time required will vary depending on the heat source.
Do not overcook. Nothing worse than overcooked dry and rubbery shrimp! The shrimp are cooked when they curl up and turn opaque. Don’t forget that they’ll continue to cook with remaining heat.
Serve the shrimp with grilled vegetables or a summer salad.
More Summer BBQ Recipes:
10 Korean BBQ Recipes: a collection of readers’ favorite Korean BBQ recipes.
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Spicy Grilled Shrimp (Gochujang Saewu Gui)Main, Main Course
- 1 pound large or jumbo shrimp peeled, tail on, and deveined
- salt and pepper
- 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 2 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons gochujang
- 1 tablespoon sugar or honey
- For the garnish:
- finely chopped scallions or chives for garnish optional
- Bamboo/wood skewers
- Soak the wooden skewers in water while preparing the shrimp. Peel and devein the shrimp if they are shell-on. Rinse the shrimp and drain well (or pat dry). Thread 3 or 4 shrimps on to the skewers. Lightly sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
- Mix all the marinade ingredients well in a bowl.
- Spoon (or brush) the marinade all over the shrimp to coat evenly. Let stand for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat a lightly oiled grill. Grill the shrimp over moderate heat until they turn opaque and curled up, a minute or two each side, depending on the heat source. Do not overcook. Baste the shrimp with the remaining sauce while grilling and before serving. You can also cook the shrimp in a grill pan over medium high heat. Garnish with the optional scallions or chives.
This Korean spicy shrimp recipe was originally posted in June 2013. I’ve updated it here with new photos, recipe card, and minor changes to the recipe.
Kevin M says
My wife and I just made these today using tiger shrimp. We leave the shell and head on as we believe it gives it more flavor and fried them in some oil. Turned out delicious! Thank you!
John T. says
Tried this and thoroughly enjoyed it. Grilled the shrimp with veggies for a complete meal. Bravo 🙌
This was so easy and delicious!!!
Anthony A VanSickle says
Made this last night, came out great.
My partner and I tried this one today and absolutely loved it.
We’ve been using your page for inspiration since a few years ago, when I was looking for a kimchi recipe, and they’ve never disappointed.
Thank you so much for helping a very scandinavian couple put some spice in their eating habits and know that it’s such a joy to find new things to try from your page (next one is dumplings!).
p.s. we now always have gochujang at home and it’s honestly one of the best discoveries we’ve ever made <3
Pratima Kapar says
I made this sauce today and marinated the shrimp for 20min. I air fry the shrimp it was delicious. I will try that sauce to marinate the chicken next time.
Great to know air frying works well with this recipe! Thanks!
Absolutely delicious even without the grill! You can saute your shrimp or quick-fix them and use the marinade to coat them afterwards. Still delicious! Even try using melted butter instead of olive oil. LOVE IT!!
Hello Hyosun… ust wondering if you tried the shrimp in an air fryer?
Shelly Kirsch says
This was so easy and tasted great! Will definitely be making this again and again and again 🙂
That’s great! Thanks for trying it out!
Thanks for sharing this tasty recipe for making Spicy Grilled Shrimp Skewers with us. Well explain the process & Ingredients step by step. I really love to browse your post. Thanks for sharing this beautiful article with us.
Kate Berkey says
I was looking for a Korean chicken recipe for the whole family and I stumbled on this article. I read and followed the instructions carefully and I made it deliciously! Every member of my family is so happy! Thanks for this!
Rick Stanford says
Yummmy, Looks fantastic. I guess its time to get my grill back in “active mode”. Can’t afford to miss this delicious recipe.
Thanks! Yes bring your grill back to life! It’ll be totally worth it.
Wendi L says
These are delicious!! I’ve made them a few times now, and sometimes I add a few drops of sesame oil to the marinade: YUM! Thank you for sharing the recipe!
Great! Thanks for letting me know.
Couldn’t find a print icon. Would have helped a lot to make it easier to use your recipe.
Little Cooking Tips says
This is an amazing marinade for shrimps !! We will definitely try it!! 🙂
Hi! Just wanted to tell you that I was cooking an all Korean dinner and I wanted to include some shrimp in the menu so I looked online to see what was out there and I found your recipe… we all agreed it’s great!!!! -I did add some minced ginger to the marinade.
Thank you so much! This recipe is a keeper 🙂
Oh my goodness, this looks amazing. Thank you for the recipe!
Lori Lynn says
agree, can’t go wrong with gochujang! And look at that color of the shrimp! Gorgeous!
Hyosun Ro says
Hi Lori – Thank you for visiting and for the nice comments! It means a lot to me.
kumars kitchen says
we love grilled shrimps in all forms, but this looks just out of the world with its fiery red color and perfect recipe,yummm 🙂
Wow, I am so happy to have found this blog. I live on the Eastern Shore of MD, and been craving cucumber kimchi and yours what the closest to what my mom makes, except with measurements!
Sandra @Sandras Easy Cooking says
What a tempting pictures and very delicious shrimps, Hyosun! I want this now for my breakfast 😀
Hyosun Ro says
Thank you, Sandra!
Just tried this shrimp recipe tonight — it was a big hit with our family! Even the kiddies ate them! We added a little extra sugar (we like things sweet =). Delicious! Thank you for the creative recipe!
Hyosun Ro says
I’m so happy to hear your family enjoyed it! Thanks for letting me know.
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
Oh Hyosun, these shrimps look extremely delicious!!! Love this kind of easy marinade and bbq recipe!
What a great idea. Also, I think this would work very well with chicken. The marinade (minus the gochujang) is my typical chicken marinade for a weeknight dinner, and this sounds like a perfect variation.
Hyosun Ro says
Thanks, Virginia! It does. I’ve been grilling chicken this way too. Added a little bit of rice wine and soy sauce for chicken. Think I should post that soon too. Enjoy!
Irina @ wandercrush says
These look delicious. I can’t wait to get back on the grill this summer! I’m a sucker for spicy shrimp.
Sue | My Korean Kitchen says
Great idea! It looks super tasty. I’m so looking forward to trying this when the summer arrives here!