five spice grilled shrimp with sweet and sour sauce

These five spice grilled shrimp are marinated in soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, chili paste and brown sugar then tossed on the grill for a touch of smoky char. The notes of star anise and fennel add irresistible flavor to seafood, and these shrimp skewers are no exception.

  • Author: Indi Hampton
  • Prep Time: 00:40
  • Cook Time: 00:10
  • Total Time: 00:50
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: American


sweet and sour dipping sauce

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened pineapple juice (juice from an 8 oz can of rings is the perfect amount, can use water in a pinch)
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbsp water

five spice grilled shrimp

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 (4 inch) piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 5- 6 metal skewers or bamboo skewers (soaked 30 minutes in water)


sweet and sour dipping sauce

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk to combine brown sugar, salt, ketchup, soy sauce, vinegar, pineapple juice and pepper flakes (if using). Cook, whisking occasionally, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is just beginning to bubble at the edges, about 3 minutes.
  2. Give cornstarch mixture a stir then pour it into the sauce. Whisk constantly until mixture reaches a full boil and thickens, then remove from heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed then transfer to a small bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature with five spice grilled shrimp.

five spice grilled shrimp

  1. In a large bowl, whisk to combine vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, five-spice powder, cayenne and salt. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper if needed. Add shrimp to bowl, toss to coat, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  2. When ready to grill, thread four to five shrimp onto each skewer.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Clean then lightly oil grill grates. Grill shrimp until cooked through, opaque and slightly charred, about 2 ½ minutes per side.
  4. Arrange on a platter, sprinkle with cilantro and serve with sweet and sour sauce (recipe above).


serves 4-6 as an appetizer, 2-3 as an entrée 

Shrimp are best eaten immediately. Sauce can be made a day ahead and will last up to 4 days refrigerated. 


Keywords: grilled shrimp, spicy grilled shrimp, five spice shrimp