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Chinese BBQ Shrimp and Grits

  • Author: CarnalDish
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 2-4



Chinese BBQ shrimp:

  • 1418 extra large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 46 slices of thick-cut bacon, chopped (you could use spicy pork sausage instead)
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • sea salt and white pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp rice flour, for very light dredging
  • splash of rice vinegar, for deglazing
  • *low-sodium chicken broth or water, plus more if needed (see note)
  • *brown sugar, to taste (see note)
  • jar of Chinese BBQ sauce (any brand)
  • toasted white sesame seeds, for garnish
  • 2 chopped scallions, for garnish
  • canola oil

Creamy Grits:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • super tiny pinch of baking powder (less than 1/8 tsp)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of onion powder
  • Pinch of paprika
  • pinch of granulated garlic
  • 1/2 cup stone-ground grits
  • 12 tbsp softened cream cheese (optional)
  • 2 to 3 tbsp butter
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • squirt of freshly-squeezed lemon juice (optional)


For the Chinese BBQ shrimp:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, season the peeled and and de-veined shrimp with sea salt and white pepper. Sprinkle the rice flour over the shrimp and toss with a spoon until each shrimp is evenly yet lightly coated. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the chopped bacon until crisp on one side (about 5-7 minutes). Add about 1-2 tablespoons of canola oil to the pan. Add the shallot and red pepper flake, and cook in the canola oil and bacon fat drippings until the shallots are softened and bacon is fully crisp. At the very last minute, add the minced garlic and cook for just 30-seconds. Remove the bacon, shallot and garlic from the pan so that there’s just left-over bacon fat and canola oil left in the pan. Pour the hot bacon fat into a safe glass container, reserving 2 tablespoons. Bring the 2 tablespoons of bacon fat back to the hot pan. Place the lightly dredged shrimp into the pan and lightly-fry in the bacon fat for exactly 1-minute on each side. Remove the shrimp from the pan, place on a plate or in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Bring the skillet back to the stove and de-glaze with the rice vinegar, scraping up any bits with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add a desired amount of Chinese BBQ sauce to the skilllet (I used about 2/3 cup, just eyeball how much you want). If your sauce is really thick, thin it out a little with low-sodium chicken stock or water (add a little at a time until you’ve reached desired consistency). Add the bacon, shallot and garlic to the sauce and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Taste and season if needed. Add 1-teaspoon of brown sugar for a little sweetness if you find the sauce to taste harsh. When it tastes just right to you, add the shrimp and continue to cook for just 2-3 minutes longer. Don’t cook it longer than this or you’ll have rubbery shrimp and that’s not a good look.
  4. Remove from heat and serve immediately over the creamy grits.

For the creamy grits:

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the water, chicken stock, and seasonings (except salt) to a boil. Add the baking powder.
  2. Add the grits and immediately bring the heat down to low, while stirring frequently to avoid the mixture from clumping together. Keep stirring until the simmer settles a bit (about 1 minute), then cover. Allow the polenta to cook over low heat for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the heavy cream and allow to cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. Taste the grits to see where they are. If they need a few more minutes to cook, check every 3 minutes until desired tenderness is reached. Season with salt and pepper as necessary. Once they’re finally to your liking, turn off the heat and add the cream cheese, if using. Add butter and taste. Adjust seasoning if need be. The consistency should be thick but creamy and smooth — not too runny or wet, and not too clumpy.
  3. Serve the grits in a bowl and top with the shrimp. Garnish with chopped scallion, toasted sesame seeds, and a squirt of freshly squeezed juice for acidity if you’d like. Enjoy!


**You may find that your jar of Chinese BBQ sauce is on the thick side, depending on the brand. Use the chicken stock or water to thin it out to your desired consistency.

**If you find your Chinese BBQ sauce to need a tiny bit of sweetness, add about a teaspoon of brown sugar to the sauce. Adjust it to suit your needs.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins


  • Serving Size: 2
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