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Grilled Shrimp with Red Rice Salad

Grilled Shrimp With Red Rice Salad

 Grilling season is in full swing, but before you know it, summer will be over and we’ll all move on to heartier soups and stews. But while the weather’s still warm and friends stop by for a barbecue, here’s a recipe to try before the season’s over:

 shrimp bathed in a herby, garlicky marinade, then threaded onto skewers and grilled over hot coals.
Try serving the shrimp over a rice salad, as I did, using a combination of red rice and white rice, plus a bunch of vegetables. You don’t have to be dogmatic about the recipe – just use whatever you have on hand or what you like. At this time of year, backyard vegetable gardens and farmers’ markets are bursting with fresh produce, so it’s easy to come up with flavorful combinations.
I never cooked with red rice until I spotted it recently at a local market. It’s commonly grown in the Himalayan mountains, Southern Tibet, Bhutan, Southern India and more recently, the Camargue region of Southern France. I learned that it’s a culinary and nutritional superstar, rich in minerals like potassium and magnesium. It’s also a good source of fiber and complex carbohydrates. As if that weren’t enough, it’s loaded with antioxidants too, similar to what’s found in deep purple or reddish fruits and vegetables.
For this cold rice salad, I was afraid if I used red rice only, it might end up looking like dog food, so I added in some white rice to make it a little more visually appealing. I added lots of vegetables too, and honestly, with the shrimp skewers covering the top, the salad wasn’t even visible at first. I used a simple dressing of mayonnaise mixed with lemon juice, an idea from my buddy, Marie of Proud Italian Cook.
You can make the salad a day or even two ahead of time, freeing you up the day of your party or picnic. The shrimp can also be served cold, although I like them best when they’re hot off the grill.
Ciao Chow Linda is also on Facebook and Instagram. Click here to connect with me on Facebook and  here for my Instagram page to see more of what I’m cooking up each day.
And if you live in the Central N.J. area, join me on Saturday, August 29 at 11 a.m. at the West Windsor Farmer’s Market, when I’ll be on a panel discussion with other food writers and photographers, including Rome-based Katie Parla and NJ Monthly columnist Pat Tanner.

Grilled Shrimp
for the marinade:
1/2 cup olive oil
6-8 cloves garlic, minced (the more the better)
minced fresh herbs (I used parsley, oregano, thyme and basil)
a few shakes of red hot pepper flakes
salt, pepper
2 pounds raw shrimp (I like to buy wild shrimp caught in the U.S.)
Mix all the above ingredients, except the shrimp. Clean the shrimp, removing the shells and cleaning out the central vein. Place the marinade and shrimp in a bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least two to three hours. Thread the shrimp on skewers and cook over a hot grill for about two minutes on each side. Alternately, preheat the broiler in your oven and cook for a couple of minutes.
Red Rice Salad
1 cup red rice
1 cup white long grain rice
5 cups water
3 carrots, cooked or raw, your choice, minced
1/2 cup minced green or red pepper
1 cup minced tomatoes, deseeded
4 scallions, chopped
2 ears of corn, raw or cooked, your choice, and cut from the cob
a large handful of minced herbs, your choice (I used parsley, thyme and oregano)
salt, pepper1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup lemon juice

Cook the rice in water. Let the rice cool, then add all the other ingredients, except the mayonnaise and lemon juice. Mix the mayonnaise with the lemon juice and add to the rice, stirring it in thoroughly.  Taste and add more seasonings or more mayonnaise and lemon juice, according to your taste. Serve chilled with the shrimp skewers on top.

This Post Has 12 Comments
  1. I want to find some red rice now, TJ's has a mixture that I use sometimes, before that I never even heard of red rice, always learning something. The perfect meal for a crowd, looks so good! Glad you're liking "our" easy dressing.

  2. I enjoy rice salads of any kind, especially in summer, and especially with grilled shrimp. I've seen red rice but have never cooked it. Is the flavor similar to any other rice varieties? I might give it a try. Wish I could come listen to your panel discussion. I'm sure it will be interesting. I'll be dropping Nick off at college *sob*. A presto, my friend.

    1. Domenica- Red rice has a nuttier taste than white rice but honestly, once you mix in all those other ingredients and the dressing, you hardly can tell. It's so much healthier though, so it's worth seeking out. Good luck adjusting to Nick's first year away. You'll feel odd without him around (at first) but it won't take you long to adjust, I'll bet.

  3. I've never tried red rice — I'll have to keep an eye out for it. I've also never tried the black rice which I am planning on doing. Also I've made plenty of pasta salads but never rice. Couscous yes also farro. There are certainly lots of delicious recipes yet to try. The day is getting close when you'll be leaving for Italy. Oh! how I wish I were going. I hope you'll tell us all about it plus all the beautiful photos. Alla prossima.

  4. I love shrimp and grilling it with a good marinadelike you used always brings out such good flavors! I never saw red rice before–it sounds good! I ahve been eat low carb since I returned from my New York family trip –they all fed me too well there and I have to lose some serious weight, especially with the holidays approaching.

  5. What a great looking dish. Red rice is a perfect accompaniment to shrimp. I am THRILLED to hear that you will be on the panel discussion. Congratulations! I am SO sorry I will not be there. I bet it will be fab!

  6. I used to make rice salads all the time and then stopped. Funny how my cooking goes in cycles. This is a beautiful and tasty reason to return to these tasty salads. Will scope out red rice – am sure I have seen it around. Perfect with the grilled shrimp!

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