This grilled shrimp with mango salsa and cilantro rice has now supplanted all others as my husband’s favorite grilled shrimp meal, it is light, colorful and so very tasty so I am happy to make it whenever he asks. This recipe was the result of my needing a simple fun date night meal for the two of us that we could enjoy making together.  In our house most nights my husband sits at the bar in the kitchen entertaining me as I make dinner, he also helps by writing down ingredients and helping take photos for this blog.  On date night we add a few cocktails and I like to pass the actual cooking part of the meal over to him and his grill. A trip earlier in the day to the grocery store yielded ripe mango and avocados plus my Cilantro plant was in dire need of a haircut. And is how I concocted this wonderful meal for us.

This is a meal really  shows how much better you can eat at home than in a restaurant. I am able to buy nice raw in the shell large or medium shrimp for anywhere between $7/lbs to $12/lbs depending on if I find them on sale. Compare that to $20 or more for a small serving of shrimp in a restaurant and you are already miles ahead. The rest of this meal is mostly produce, during the summer mangoes and avocados are in season so this should be a pretty inexpensive trip to the grocery store.  Add a bottle of prosecco and this would easily be a $100 or more date night in a restaurant; at home it’s about one third that cost.

This is also a kind of dish that lends itself to being cooked at home. Restaurants, especially ones that do high volume have to be efficient.  This meal is not one that will improve being made the way most restaurants would have to make it to be efficient.  Making the mango salsa right before you grill the shrimp keeps its vibrant colors and fresh flavors, at most restaurants this could not happen, the chopping and mixing would all be done long before the dinner rush and the salsa would be stored until needed…how every long that is.  The same with the rice, the cilantro is added at the last moment before serving so it stays nice and green and fresh. Shrimp is a food item that many large restaurants often cook badly, shrimp are normally over cooked and under seasoned, one more reason that this dish is really better at home.  Plus you can control how much fat and salt is added at each step making this healthier at home than in a restaurant too.

Grilled Shrimp with Mango Salsa and Cilantro Rice


  • 12-20 Medium or large shrimp peeled and deveined

For the Marinade

  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 shot of tequila if you don’t have tequila add juice of a second lime
  • 2 tsp fresh cilantro diced
  • Half a diced and seeded jalapeño
  • 1 tsp Adobo season salt
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the Mango Salsa

  • Juice of half a lime
  • 2 tsp fresh cilantro diced
  • Half a diced and seeded jalapeño
  • 2 mangoes
  • 2 Hass avocados
  • ½ cup of jicama diced
  • ½ cup purple onion
  • 1 to mato seeded and chopped
  • Small drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 tsp Adobo season salt
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Cilantro Rice

  • 2-4 servings of brown jasmine rice white jasmine rice would work too
  • Juice of half a lime
  • ½ cup of cilantro diced


Marinate the Shrimp

  1. Clean your shrimp being sure to remove the vain on the back of the shrimp. Dry them well and transfer them to a non reactive container.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together and pour over the shrimp. Give the shrimp a quick toss coating it in the marinade. Let the shrimp marinate for no more than 10-20 minutes, be careful any longer as they will start to cook from the acid in the marinade. If the shrimp start to turn white and pink they are becoming ceviche get them out of that marinade and on to the grill. I normally clean the shrimp before I start the salsa, and about half way through making the salsa I will add the marinade to the shrimp.
  3. To grill the shrimp place them on a very hot grill for about 3-5 minutes a side. Shrimp cook very quickly especially if you have a nice hot grill so keep an eye on these guys. As soon as they are pink they are cooked.

Mango Salsa

  1. The salsa is pretty simple you just chop everything up and toss it together. Be gentle so that the avocado does not bruise. I try to chop things close to the same size so it’s easy to eat. Not everyone uses jicama often, so remember these suckers are hard, be careful you don’t get cut if your knife slips. Cut away all the rough outside skin on the jicama before you dice it for the salsa. If you can’t find jicama you could use apple, Asian pear or cucumber as an alternative.
  2. If you are not accustom to working with mangoes they are wonderful fruit you should try to use them more often. Some people find the sap irritates the skin so be careful to wash the fruit well especially if any sap is still around the stem. You can tell they are ripe when the skin is no longer green but has changed to yellow/red and the flesh is tender. To clean the mango start by standing it up balanced on the narrow end then slice down each side about one third of the way from center. You have to cut around the large almond shaped pit in the center of the fruit. Repeat on the other side. The two halves you have cut have about 80% or more of the useable fruit in them. Slicing carefully so that you don’t pierce the skin, cut across and down the inside of the halves making the size pieces you will want. Once you are done use your fingers and pop the mango inside out so that you can use a small knife to detach each cube from the skin . If you don’t like mango or can't find any ripe ones you could opt for pineapple as a substitute.

Cilantro Rice

  1. Cook the rice per the package directions. If you are using long grain conventional rice you might need to start the rice cooking before you do anything else in this dish so check your cooking time. Mix the lime juice and cilantro into the cooked rice right before you serve it so that the herbs don’t wilt.

Assembling the Dish

  1. I served the salsa and shrimp arranged over the bed of brown rice. It looked so pretty and the photos for this post came out great, totally better than what most restaurants will serve. Enjoy this meal all summer long with a light wine like a sparkling white, a clean rosé, or even a sweet Riesling.
  2. My husband also reminded me that I have to tell everyone that any leftover salsa you have goes great on tortilla chips as a snack. And, I will add my thought that this salsa would make a rocking fish taco topping too.

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