Yucatan Shrimp

You can serve this dish as an appetizer or as a main meal, and it’s really fun to make around a campfire.

By Justin Brouillard, & Jimmy Kennedy
Cook Ambassadors

Yucatan shrimp is the signature dish for Doc Ford’s in Sanibel and Captiva, Fla., and a family favorite. While I’m not sure this is the exact recipe, it’s pretty close, and there are a few online articles that tout the recipe, as well. I think they boil the shrimp, but I prefer to cook them on the grill until just done and then toss them with the warm sauce. Shrimp are sized by numbers representing approximately how many are in a pound. A common size is 21 to 25s, but I like to use 13 to 15s for this recipe. This is a peel-and-eat shrimp dish with plenty of buttery sauce, so you’re going to need some bread and a lot of napkins. I love the fact that there are only a few ingredients and it only takes a few minutes to make. You can serve this dish as an appetizer or as a main meal, and it’s really fun to make around a campfire.

(Photo: Justin Broulliard)


  • 1 pound large shrimp, shell on, 13 to 15 size
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice from two large limes
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons sambal oelek or chile paste
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
(Photo: Justin Broulliard)


  1. Set a saucepan over low heat on the stove or campfire. Melt one tablespoon of the butter and add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the remaining butter and heat until it is melted. Add the lime juice, chile paste, salt and pepper, a little of the cilantro and a small amount of the jalapeño. Pull from the heat but keep warm.
  2. If you are cooking indoors on a stovetop, bring a pot of salty water to a boil and add the shrimp. Let them cook for just a couple of minutes or until they just start to turn pink and curl up. Drain the shrimp.
    If you are cooking over a grill or campfire, grill the shrimp on both sides for just a couple of minutes on each side until they are just done. Either way you are cooking, when done, remove from the heat and gently reheat the sauce.
  3. Add the shrimp and the warm sauce to a large bowl and toss until the shrimp are well-coated. Add the remaining jalapeño and cilantro and toss again. Serve immediately with fresh bread and enjoy!

Prep time: 10 to 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings for appetizers; 2 servings for main course

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