Ok, friends, it’s time we make a collective promise. So, please raise your hand and repeat after me: “I solemnly swear to start making piri piri sauce and using it on any and everything stat.”
I have no idea where or how I first stumbled across Piri Piri Shrimp but what I do know is that it was immediate hearts-in-eyes. Piri Piri is a chile grown in Africa and this namesake sauce is the most common way to use it. There is a variation of piri piri sauce used everywhere from African to Portuguese cuisine and this Piri Piri-Style Shrimp recipe is my version. One taste and it’s easy to understand why it’s so popular: the slightly spicy, flavorful sauce is super versatile — fitting everywhere from tailgates to tapas parties.
I’ve fallen for this Piri Piri Shrimp recipe because I can make it ahead and not worry about it. Serve it on skewers and grill it up once it’s hot out or toss it with your favorite pasta for a quick dish. Or, to keep things super simple, you can just cook it up in your favorite cast iron skillet, serve it over some grains, and call it dinner.
Piri Piri-Style Shrimp Recipe
For The Piri Piri Sauce:
- 3 medium serrano chiles
- 4 medium garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
For The Shrimp:
- 1 1/2 pounds uncooked, deveined, and peeled shrimp, tails left on (about 40)
- Kosher salt
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Lime wedges for serving
- Cooked white or brown rice for serving
- Make The Piri Piri Sauce: Heat oven to 500°F and arrange rack in upper third. Place chiles on a baking sheet and roast until blackened and soft, about 10 to 15 minutes. (Alternatively roast them in a dry cast iron skillet over medium heat.) Set chiles aside to cool briefly then trim off stems, cut in half lengthwise, and remove the white ribs and seeds.
- Combine trimmed chiles, garlic, paprika, lime juice, and vinegar in a blender or mini food processor and blend until smooth and combined, about 1 minute. Add olive oil and blend until thoroughly incorporated and marinade thickens slightly. TIP: Marinade can be made up to two days in advance. Store refrigerated until ready to use.
- Marinate The Shrimp: Combine marinade and shrimp in a medium nonreactive bowl and toss to coat. Let marinate 20 minutes to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
- Cook The Shrimp: Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When heated, add the shrimp and marinate and cook until the shrimp are pink. Season well with salt, toss shrimp with cilantro, and serve with lime wedges over rice.