Recipe: Harissa Gulf Shrimp Skewers with Maine Maple Syrup
by SoPo Seafood's Jacqueline Clark - April 21, 2021
These easy prosciutto-wrapped shrimp are spiced up a bit with a glaze using local maple syrup and spicy harissa sauce. Perfect as either a bite-sized portion for a passed hors d’oeuvre, or a more sizable dinner portion, this recipe is adaptable for any occasion. We like to top off our skewers with a delicious bite of fresh melon that has been soaked in maple syrup to compliment some of the spice and smokiness from our harissa-marinated, prosciutto-wrapped shrimp.
We recommend using a larger shrimp for this recipe—they come out plumper and juicier. (The shrimp used for this recipe can be purchased for delivery here) The harissa, or anything similar, is the key ingredient as it is what adds the spice and savory component. Harissa is a Tunisian hot chili pepper pate, the main ingredient of which are roasted red peppers. This is an ingredient you will likely find in the International section of your local grocery store—our favorite easy-to-find harissa is from Trader Joe’s. Not a fan of harissa? Sriracha is a great substitute in this delicious recipe.
Similarly, a good quality maple syrup will also result in a fantastic flavor. We used the Amber Syrup from local maple farm Cooke’s Maple Farm , located in Brunswick, Maine. If you don’t have maple syrup handy, honey is a great alternative.
Gulf Shrimp Recipe Video
• Prep Time: 30 minutes
• Cook Time: 15 minutes
• Total Time: 45 minutes
• Wooden skewers or toothpicks, soaked in water for 30 minutes
• Roughly 3 slices of prosciutto, torn into 12 pieces (equivalent to the amount of shrimp in your recipe)
• 12 extra-large raw jumbo shrimp, shelled with tails left on (about 1 pound)
• 3.5 TBSP Pure Maple Syrup, separated
• 2 TBSP Harissa (or sriracha)
• Half a lemon, cut into wedges, for serving
• 1 green onion, finely chopped, for serving
• ½ cup melon or cantaloupe, with the melon balled into individual servings equivalent to the number of shrimp
• Wooden skewers or toothpicks
• 1 ¼ inch melon baller
1. Soak the Skewers. Whether you are working with toothpicks or skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes prior to cooking. This will ensure they will easily pierce the shrimp meat, and will not splinter during the cooking process.
2. Defrost the Shrimp. If working with frozen shrimp, defrost, and remove the shells. Removing the shrimp tails prior to cooking is option – it depends if you want to leave them on for an added aesthetic component. Once defrosted, pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel, and lightly season each shrimp with a light dusting of salt. Place the shrimp in a bowl to prepare for the marinade.
3. Prepare the Maple and Harissa Marinade. In a small bowl, combine the 3 TBSP Maple Syrup and the Harissa. Whisk to further combine. Pour the mixture over the shrimp, and toss so that the shrimp are evenly coated. We like to reserve roughly 2 TBSP of the marinade to brush over the shrimp just before baking. Refrigerate for a minimum of 15 minutes to allow the shrimp to soak in the flavor.
4. Pre-Heat the Oven. Pre-heat the oven to 400 °F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
5. Wrap the Shrimp. Once the oven is pre-heated, remove the marinated shrimp from the refrigerator. One by one, wrap a torn piece of prosciutto around the shrimp, and secure with a toothpick. Place the wrapped shrimp on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush each wrapped shrimp with a dollop of the remaining marinade.
6. Bake the Shrimp. Bake the shrimp in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until the shrimp appear pink and opaque. Brush the shrimp again with the Maple and Harissa Marinade, and cook for one more minute.
7. Core the Melon. Using a 1 ¼ inch melon baller, or a teaspoon, scoop 12 balls of canteloupe or honeydew melon, and transfer to a small bowl. Add ½ teaspoon of maple syrup. Cover and chill until the shrimp are ready.
8. Combine. Remove the shrimp from the oven and let rest. Once cool enough to handle, place one piece of canteloupe/melon on each shrimp skewer. Serve with lemon and chopped green onion.
Buy Gulf Shrimp Online
This recipe was created using SoPo Seafood's Jumbo Gulf Shrimp. They are available in a 2 lb bag, IQF. Thaw out what you need and leave the rest in your freezer.