As summer comes to a close and days get shorter, try this simple tea smoked shrimp recipe for your next late summer meal. Smoking shrimp, or any protein for that matter is a really simple way to add unique flavor to a dish without adding any extra calories or fat.
Jasmine tea is used twice here, once when boiling the rice noodles and another time during grilling. Since the tea is used in two completely different ways there is a balance of flavors…clean and fragrant yet smokey and deep.
This recipe requires a gas or charcoal grill. I used a gas grill and infused tea flavor into my shrimp by using a smoke packet made from a large piece of sturdy foil. I’ve decided to use a Chinese Jasmine Tea here because this is an Asian recipe, but you can also use this smoking method for other recipes with other teas like Earl Grey (smoked baby back ribs, anyone?). Adding brown sugar and rice help the tea to smoke more slowly and evenly. The sugar also helps to develop some flavor.
Place the smoke packet above the burner shield and below the top grill grate. It’s also a good idea to place the smoke packet just off of the center flame of medium heat. The packet will start smoking in about 5-10 minutes. It’s important to wrap the packet tightly enough so that none of the contents spill out, but it’s also important to allow for a bit of airflow so that the smoke can escape from the packet. If you have a large grill or plan to make a double recipe, you may want to make more than one smoke packet.
Depending on how hot your grill gets, the shrimp should take 5-7 minutes to grill completely. You are looking for a nicely browned but not charred coloring. It’s also a good idea to soak the skewers in some warm water for a few minutes before sliding the raw shrimp on so that the protein doesn’t cling to the wood stick after fully cooking.
I’ve added another layer of jasmine tea flavor here by boiling the rice noodles in tea instead of just water. This adds a very aromatic quality to the noodles and complements the smokey shrimp with a purer taste of the jasmine tea.
Tea Smoked Shrimp with Jasmine Noodles and Peanut Sauce
1 pound of medium uncooked shrimp
salt and pepper
cayenne pepper (optional)
1- 8 oz. packet of dry rice noodles (mai fun)
1 Tbsp jasmine tea in T-sac (or piece of cheesecloth tied with string)
1/2 pound each of veggies to garnish (bean sprouts, shredded carrot, lettuce)
1 bunch each of herbs to garnish (basil, mint, cilantro)
1/2 cup chopped, roasted, and salted peanuts
2 Tbsp jasmine tea
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp rice
1 tsp red curry paste
2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp hot water
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
2-3 tsp lemon juice
1.) Assemble smoke packet on 12.5″ x 18″ piece of foil. Place 2 Tbsp each of tea, sugar, and rice on the foil sheet and toss with fingers. Fold up foil into a secure 6″ packet, making sure the ingredients do not spill out and that airflow is still allowed (see pictures above).
2.) Soak wooden skewers in warm tap water for a few minutes. Prepare shrimp skewers by blotting shrimp with paper towels, then piercing them onto the soaked wooden skewers. Set on large plate and season with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper if desired.
3.) Start grill (gas or charcoal) and when grill is at a consistent medium heat, place packet on top of burner shield/coals slightly off-center of central flame. Allow packet to start smoking, (5-10 minutes) then place skewered shrimp on grill. Grill/smoke skewers for 5-7 minutes or until just orange, curled, and lightly browned by smoke. Remove from heat and set aside.
4.) Cook rice noodles according to directions on packet. Add in the t-sac or cheesecloth filled with 1 Tbsp of jasmine tea to steep with noodles during the last 5 minutes of boiling the noodles. Remove tea bag and drain noodles, then set aside.
5.) In a small bowl or jar, mix together all peanut sauce ingredients until evenly incorporated.
6.) Place cooked noodles into large bowls and add veggies, herbs, and shrimp on top. Serve with peanut sauce and chopped roasted peanuts.