Pickled Shrimp

If you are from the South, you may have heard of pickled shrimp. It is a southern staple that has gained popularity over the past few years. If you are not from the South, odds are you have never heard of this and you think that we are crazy. If the latter we want to warn you: this dish changes lives. The delicious acidity, depth from the spices, sweetness of the shrimp, and crunch from the veggies may create a party in your mouth that will rival a late night Rihanna and Drake dance-off with you and your perfectly intoxicated crew. And lord knows we love dance parties.   



½ cup fresh lemon juice

¾ cup white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon coriander seed

1 tsp white peppercorns

1 tsp mustard seeds

2 tsp chili flakes

1 tsp fennel seeds

5 bay leaves

6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 cups olive oil

2 med sweet onions, ½ and thinly sliced

1 large bulb fennel, ½ and thinly sliced

5 stalks celery, washed and sliced ⅛”

3# domestic shrimp, peeled and deveined

3 tablespoons plus 1 ½ tablespoons fine kosher salt

  • Heat 1 gallon of water in a large pot on the stove, bring to a light simmer

  • Combined coriander seeds, white peppercorns, and mustard seeds. Coarsely grind in a coffee grinder.

  • Combine ground spice, fennel seed, chili flakes, bay leaves, garlic, olive oil, onions, fennel, celery, white wine vinegar, and lemon juice in a large bowl

  • By this time, your water should be at a light simmer.  Season with 3 tablespoons kosher salt.  Cook the shrimp in two rounds so as not to bring the water temperature down too low.  Continually stir the shrimp for even cooking.  Cook until the shrimp are no longer transparent in the middle.  Over cooked shrimp and undercooked shrimp are both tough, so it is important to get it right in the middle.  Remove from water with a spider and drain on a paper towel.  Allow water to come to a bubble again before dropping the second round.  Repeat.

  • Combine cooked shrimp and 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt to the large bowl and mix until combined.  

  • Press a sheet of plastic wrap in the top on the mixture making sure that all the ingredients are marinating.

  • Allow to sit for a minimum of 12 hours and a maximum of 48

  • Slut it up:

    • When serving, mix will ¼ cup rough chopped parsley, ⅛ cup picked dill, ⅛ cup picked tarragon

    • I love serving this dish alongside pan toasted bread.  The juices become so flavorful and I love nothing more than dipping bread in them.  Grab a loaf of sourdough, slice and inch thick, brush with olive oil (both sides), and toast in a cast iron pan on stovetop on medium heat until golden brown.  You may need to press the bread a little bit for even toasting.  Toast on both sides.
sarah adams