Chile-Garlic Marinated and Grilled Shrimp

This quick marinade is a cheater's version of Vietnamese nuoc mam cham, which is a mixture of Asian fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and chiles. Using crushed red pepper flakes rather than the fresh variety means less chopping, and finely grating the garlic into the marinade ensures it doesn't burn on the grill.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 45 min (includes marinating time)
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: Serves 4
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3 large limes (about 10 ounces)

2 large cloves garlic

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 pound jumbo shrimp (16/20), peeled and deveined

1 small scallion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves


  1. Zest and juice 2 of the limes (you should have about 1 tablespoon zest and about 1/4 cup juice) and add to a medium glass bowl. Finely grate the garlic and add to the bowl along with the fish sauce, canola oil, sugar, red pepper flakes and shrimp. Toss to combine.
  2. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the remaining lime into wedges and reserve for serving. 
  3. Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove the shrimp from the marinade and put on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. In batches, grill the shrimp until lightly charred in spots on both sides and just cooked through, about 3 minutes total. Transfer to a large plate. 
  4. Top with the sliced scallions and cilantro and serve with the lime wedges.