Micah A. Leal
Active Time
5 Mins
Total Time
5 Mins
Makes 3/4 cup, enough for 1 pound of shrimp

Shrimp are one of the most versatile proteins you can throw over smoldering embers—the charred smoky flavor that comes from cooking over an open flame easily penetrates the soft flesh, adding a new depth of flavor to the simplicity of shrimp. Depending on how you season the shrimp, they can sit alongside grilled corn and potato salad or they can fill a taco packed with fresh cilantro, lime, and avocado. No matter how you want to serve your grilled shrimp, we have a marinade that will enhance the natural sweetness of the shrimp while providing some salty flavor that can be riffed on with a variety of spices and ingredients.

Olive oil and garlic form the base of the marinade with flavors familiar to the grill. Lime juice is used as an acidic element that adds brightness (something always needed for grilled meats) and honey is stirred into the mixture for a mellow sweetness that won’t overpower the other flavors. A small amount of chili sauce balances the sweet and salty with a small kick of heat that takes the flavor profile to the next level.

White miso is the final ingredient in the marinade, and it adds a lip-smacking, savory quality to the shrimp that is unparalleled by any other spices or seasoning. Miso is made from fermented soybeans and is common in many Asian cuisines, but here it is being used to tie together all of the other flavors of the marinade. Today miso is widely available in grocery stores, typically refrigerated near the produce section, but if you can't find it, it's OK to omit it from this recipe.

The brightness of the lime, the sweetness of the honey, the earthy richness of the garlic, and the heat of the chili sauce need one heavy savory component to make a balanced marinade for the delicate shrimp—white miso is that secret component. Trust us when we say that you’ll want to use it for more than just grilled shrimp after you give this marinade a try! 

How to Make It

Step 1

Grate garlic cloves on a microplane (or finely mince the garlic) to make a paste. Stir into olive oil.

Step 2

Use a fork to break down miso into lime juice. When fully incorporated, mix with oil-and-garlic mixture and remaining ingredients.

Step 3

Place marinade in a ziplock bag with 1 pound peeled raw shrimp. Allow to marinade for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. (Note: Do not allow shrimp to remain in marinade for longer than 2 hours).