Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pickled Shrimp

This is a CLASSIC Low-Country dish; an appetizer that appears on ANY high-end Charleston appetizer menu. The term 'pickled' often puts people off; these shrimp do NOT taste like dill pickles at all. Just cooked and marinated in a tangy herb blend, it's more like a vinaigrette.

If there is one good thing we have here in the Deep South, it's shrimp. Gulf shrimp are pretty hard to beat, and can be bought for REALLY cheap here. (IRONY: the state of Alabama doesn't have a single Bubba Gump restaurant). 

Though Saveur published this recipe for October 2011, this is really more of a dish better suited for warm weather, as it's served chilled. And, even though Alabama woke up to 40 degree weather this morning, I knew I HAD to have some pickled shrimp TODAY. Thanks to having a shrimp-allergic BF, I don't even have to share (I'm sorry, C.)!!

Pickled Shrimp
adapted from Saveur

2 quarts water
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled & deveined
1/2 medium yellow or Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1/4 tsp whole allspice berries
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1/4 cup packed, chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 bay leaves

Bring the Old Bay and the water to a boil; add the shrimp and reduce the heat to low. Cook shrimp JUST until pink, about 2 minutes. Drain and chill in ice water. Drain again.

Meanwhile, grind the celery seeds and allspice in a spice grinder or with a mortar & pestle. Transfer to a spouted cup and stir in the oil, lemon juice, parsley, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic and bay leaves. 

Layer the chilled & drained shrimp with the onion slices in a 1-quart container. Pour the oil mixture over to cover. If the shrimp aren't fully covered, you can add additional oil and lemon juice or cider vinegar. Place a lid on the container and chill overnight, GENTLY stirring on occasion (do NOT shake the container). 

Serve alone, with cold soba noodles, or atop salad or crusty bread slices.


  1. Wow, looks awesome. You're right, people give pickled stuff a bad rap. Funny that you should post this today, as I just got finished making a batch of honey-pickled apples.

  2. Honey-pickled apples? Sounds AMAZING!!!