Cedar-planked spicy shrimp

An easy, impressive appetizer!

These tasty little morsels were a smash hit when I served them recently. They can be prepared a few hours ahead and left to marinate in the fridge, then put on the grill for just a few moments of cooking time. I skewered them on pretty little picks before planking them so they would be easier to cook, serve and eat. Grilling the halved lime before squeezing it over the cooked shrimp gives the juice a subtly smoky flavour that enhances the dish. As with all seafood, it’s good to source sustainably harvested shrimp if you can. Also, size matters; I used the extra jumbo (16/20 count) to make the dish as impressive as possible; you can use an equivalent amount by weight of jumbo or even large shrimp instead, though you’ll have more turning to do at the grill. You could easily double or triple this recipe; just be sure you have enough planks on hand, or cook the shrimp quickly in batches before the board catches fire. Icy cold beer is the perfect accompaniment.


  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) smoked or sweet paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon (0.7 mL) cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) freshly ground coriander seeds (or 1/4 teaspoon regular ground coriander)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) honey
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) soya sauce
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) olive oil
  • 1 lime, halved
  • 1 pound (454 grams) uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) chopped fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish

Equipment needed: 1 cedar plank per pound of shrimp


  • Soak the cedar plank in water for at least one hour. This moisture will keep it from igniting when you put it on the grill.
  • In a large bowl, blend together the salt, pepper, chilli powder, paprika, cayenne, coriander, honey, soya and olive oil.
  • Add the shrimp to the bowl and use a rubber scraper to gently turn them over and over so they are evenly coated with spice mixture.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 3 hours.
  • When ready to cook the shrimp, heat grill to medium high heat.
  • Place the plank on the grate and heat until the plank is just beginning to smoke.
  • While plank heats, put the shrimp on individual picks or skewers.
  • Arrange the shrimp in a single layer on the plank; put the lime halves, cut side down, directly on the grill.
  • Close the lid of your barbeque and cook for 3 minutes (less if using smaller shrimp).
  • Carefully turn the shrimp over one time and cook for another 3 minutes or so, until they are uniformly opaque and hot.
  • Remove the lime halves, plank and shrimp from the grill; transfer shrimp to a platter. Squeeze lime juice over the shrimp and garnish with parsley or cilantro.

Serves 4.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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