Grilled Shrimp Rolls Recipe

Why It Works

  • The tangy herb-infused mayonnaise balances the spice of the seasoning blend.  
  • Nestling the shrimp tightly together on skewers keeps them juicy during cooking.
  • Air-drying shrimp in the refrigerator allows for better browning on the grill.
  • Brushing the hot dog buns with melted butter and warming them on the grill adds a rich, charred flavor.

Shrimp rolls don’t get enough credit; they’re versatile, flavorful, and easy to make on a weeknight. Since they’re so simple to put together, my recipe focuses on getting the details right: hot, buttered buns loaded with perfectly grilled and perfectly seasoned bite-size bits of shrimp tossed in an herb-packed mayonnaise.

I start by making the herby mayonnaise, which is a simple mixture of mayonnaise, parsley, chives, lemon juice, mustard, sugar, and salt, and the seasoning blend for the shrimp, a mixture of chile powder, paprika, garlic and onion powder, and black pepper. If you’re short on time, you can easily use one tablespoon of your favorite seafood seasoning, like Old Bay, in place of the shrimp seasoning mix. 

For the shrimp, I used Kenji’s steps for making the best grilled shrimp, which makes them easier to grill, more appealing to look at, and keeps them plump and moist while maximizing char. However, I chose to skip the baking soda step, as I didn’t think the shrimp needed to be any more snappy and plump. If you prefer shrimp to have that texture and choose to toss them with baking soda and salt to achieve it, just be sure to leave out the salt in the seasoning mix.

I love top-split hot dog buns for shrimp rolls—they’re easier to eat and less messy overall—but I think they need to be liberally brushed with melted butter before you pop them on the grill, both to keep them from sticking and for a buttery boost of flavor. Keep in mind that butter has a lower smoke point than olive oil, so it won’t take long for grill marks to develop on the buns.  

Once the shrimp are cool and the buns are done, I coarsely chop the shrimp into bite-size pieces and toss them with the herby mayonnaise, line the (buttered! hot!) rolls with fresh, silky butter lettuce, load the shrimp up, sprinkle the tops with chives, and dig in!

August 2021

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By Mahir

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