How to make tasty campfire shrimp on your next outdoor adventure.
By The Alaska Life
On a trip to Prince William Sound one May our friend, Kip, hand delivered fresh spotted shrimp to our campsite! We decided to cook them two different ways, and wasted little time in preparing a campfire shrimp throw down!
A few years prior I learned a little secret: if possible, cook your fresh crustaceans in sea water! This method gives the meat incredible flavor and the natural salt water has just the right salts and minerals to achieve that “melt in your mouth” experience. If sea water is unavailable, salt the water and bring it to a boil.
To begin the process of cooking our campfire shrimp we filled a pot full of sea water and brought it to a rolling boil over the fire. Next, we placed the shrimp into the water and kept an eye on them so they would not over cook. Shrimp don’t take long to cook—approximately 5-7 minutes. To check whether shrimp are done you can fish one out of the water after a few minutes and crack it open to check to see if the meat is bright white all the way through. If not, throw ‘er back in and give it another minute or two. You will be able to visibly see the shrimp turn a bright white, this is what you are looking for to achieve correct doneness. For these shrimp all we did was boil and eat. The group couldn’t get enough!
For the second batch, we used a grate and grilled the shrimp over the open fire. Since we were in the sticks, and didn’t bring our spice cabinet, we simply prepped the shrimp with a bit of salt and pepper. I did, however, bring some cooking spray so we gave the grate a quick spritz before adding the shrimp (be sure not to use an aerosol directly over a fire). Cooking this way can take a bit longer and the meat does not turn as bright of a white as when boiling—more of an off white. You should still be able to tell if it is all the way cooked. Cooking the shrimp over an open wood fire gave them an excellent smokey flavor and with the complement of salt and pepper it was a tough call on which variation won the award! While certainly not a game changer, the only thing that could have added to the excellence was a yummy garlic butter sauce to dip them in. Next time! Having something so simple was a fantastic way to end a long day of hunting. Enjoying a delicious treat and enjoying the camaraderie around the fire are what trips like this are truly about.
Below is my favorite garlic dipping butter recipe!
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon of minced or mashed garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- a few twists of fresh ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and a few shavings of lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley (optional)
In a sauce pan over medium heat melt 1 Tbs. of butter then add your minced or mashed garlic and sauté until golden brown (about 3 minutes). Add remaining butter and stir frequently until melted. Reduce heat to low, add lemon juice and seasonings. To infuse all of the flavors cook on low for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain before serving if desired.
If you enjoyed this article, check out “Easy Campfire Pastries.”