Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pickled Shrimp

Boiled or sautéed shrimp, layered with paper thin strips of lemon, red onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, and garlic, whole bay leaves and dressed with a vinaigrette. Shown here on a slice of toasted bread.
Boiled or sautéed shrimp, layered with paper thin strips of lemon, red onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, and garlic, whole bay leaves and dressed with a vinaigrette. Shown here on a slice of toasted bread.

Pickled Shrimp

The Cajun went shrimping last Friday and I spent most of the weekend heading and putting up shrimp. Of course, his favorite way to eat shrimp, hands down, is my crispy Fried Shrimp, so those were on the menu right away! I mean c'mon... the man certainly earned that in the least!

I also boiled about 7 pounds, both to eat, and to use in other easy and cool meals this week, like my Shrimp and Macaroni Salad or Shrimp and Egg Salad. I also thought it would be a great time to use some of those to get my Pickled Shrimp recipe up!

You'll need about 3 to 4 cups of cooked shrimp, depending on the size of the shrimp you're using. You should have enough that it will fill a quart sized jar about 3/4ths full. These can be cooked shrimp you boil or saute yourself, or shrimp purchased already cooked. If you purchase already cooked shrimp, use the seasoning tip in the recipe. While all of the ingredients can be mixed together for marinading, I prefer to layer this dish, similar to how I do my Fire 'n Ice Pickles. A canning jar works well and can be turned over several times during the marinading process.

Mise en place is a good practice here - so get all of your layering ingredients sliced and ready. You'll want paper thin slices of lemon, red onion, bell pepper (I used red), pickled jalapenos and garlic and some whole bay leaves for the layers.

Shrimp goes in first, followed by the lemon.

Add the red onion and red bell pepper.

Add the pickled jalapeno, garlic and bay leaves; add the second layer of shrimp and press down lightly; repeat the layers.

Isn't it just pretty enough to eat already? Well, not yet!

Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over the shrimp.

Close it tightly and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, turning it over occasionally; don't shake though, just rotate the jar, turning it upside down for a bit, then back right side up for awhile, and repeating that every once in awhile.

When you're ready to serve, dump the contents into a serving bowl and discard the bay leaf. Serve with party picks, and a side of quality, sturdy crackers, crostini, or tortilla chips.

If you've never tried them, don't expect Pickled Shrimp to taste, say, like a sour dill or sweet pickle. This is more of a vinaigrette or marinade. Of course, it's also one of those recipes where you can vary the ingredients to your own taste, so use more vinegar if you want it more tart, add more jalapeno if you like it more spicy, bump up the garlic if ya ain't kissin' nobody. Make it your own! I absolutely adore this little appetizer and it's downright addictive for me. It'd sure be a nice one to have handy for your 4th of July party, though you'll probably want to double, or even triple it for your guests.

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Recipe: Pickled Shrimp

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min | Inactive time: 24 hours | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings


  • 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of hot pepper sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon of celery seed
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 to 4 cups of cooked small to medium, peeled shrimp
  • 1 lemon, sliced very thin
  • 1/2 cup of thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 of a red, yellow or green sweet bell pepper, or any combination, sliced very thin
  • 1/4 cup of thinly sliced, pickled jalapeno, or to taste
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced very thin
  • 8 whole, small bay leaves

Whisk together the dressing ingredients until well blended and thick; set aside.

In a quart sized lidded jar with a tight fitting lid, add half of the shrimp. Top with a layer of half of the lemon, onion, bell peppers, jalapenos, garlic and bay leaves. Repeat the layers. Whisk the dressing again and pour over the shrimp, cover tightly and refrigerate at least 24 hours, and up to 2 days, periodically turning the jar over, but not shaking it. When ready to serve, pour into a serving dish, discarding the bay leaves. Serve with party picks, and a side of quality, sturdy crackers, crostini, or tortilla chips.

Cook's Note: I use Colman's spicy dry mustard. Can substitute canola or vegetable oil and white wine vinegar.

Tip: I used my shrimp boil recipe to cook these shrimp. If you're using precooked or raw frozen shrimp, melt a tablespoon of olive or vegetable oil in a skillet and pat the shrimp dry. Add to the skillet and saute just until the shrimp turns pink, or if already cooked, just to warm through. Sprinkle with some Cajun or Creole, seasoning and a bit of Old Bay seasoning, just to give it a bit of flavor punch.

Variation: This makes a great pickled onion recipe, using either red or sweet Vidalia onions, my personal favorite. Simply omit the layered ingredients, except for the garlic. Increase vinegar to 1-1/2 cups using either white or cider, and increase the sugar to between 1/4 and 1/2 cup in the dressing. Use 4 cups of thinly sliced red or vidalia onion, about one extra large vidalia onion. I like to add 1/2 teaspoon of dill weed. You may also increase sugar to desired taste. Whisk the dressing together until sugar dissolves, toss slices of garlic with the onions and pack into a quart sized mason jar, top with vinegar mixture. Shake well and refrigerate overnight before using.


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