Saturday, July 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday...Southern Style Pickled Shrimp

Say what you will about the America South...and I would only say the very nicest things...but you must admit they are a culture that takes food and cooking seriously. And they are also a place that takes their steamy hot temperatures seriously. So when the mercury rises (for those of you old enough to remember when they use the deadly dangerous mercury) where to look for food ideas but Down South.Yes, we are having the oh, so easy shrimp again! But this week we are going to pickle them.

Now I must say, I never made Pickled Shrimp before, I never even tasted Pickled Shrimp before, but from what I read, they are one of those quintessential southern dishes, a popular summer appetizer, and they involved very little cooking, so they seemed a win, win.
And I was curious.

As I tend to do, I searched the Internet, reading recipe after recipe, taking something from Martha Stewart, something from Saveur, something from Southern Living and something from Sam Hoffer at My Carolina Kitchen.

You clean and cook the shrimp, this time in some Old Bay seasoning, and then, as Ms. Hoffer suggests, add the hot shrimp to the rest of the ingredients, to encourage them to absorb the flavorful liquid. Layer them in a container, cover and refrigerate overnight or up to several days, because they will just get more pickled and more tasty.
I did add one step...don't I always?
I heated the oil and added the spices to it and cooked them for a minute to two before adding the rest of the ingredients, to let them bloom, something many spices benefit from.

Southern Style Pickled Shrimp

2 tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. fennel seed
1/2 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbs. peppercorns, cracked
1 tsp. coriander seeds

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 vinegar
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
2-4 dried bay leaves

1/3 cup capers, with the liquid
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 lemons, thinly sliced

In a pot, heat the oil and then add the celery seed, fennel seed, coriander seed, red pepper flakes, peppercorns and garlic and cook for just a minute.
Take off the heat and add the sugar, salt, bay leaves, onion and sliced lemons and the lemon juice, capers and vinegar and stir well.

While that is sitting, prepare the shrimp.
Add the Old Bay to about 8 cups of boiling water, and then add the shrimp, cooking a couple of minutes, depending on size, until just done, pink and curled.
Add the hot shrimp to the spice/lemon/onion mixture and spoon into a container. A jar with a tight lid is good because you can turn it over to spread the goodness around evenly while they are pickling in the frig, where they should remain at least overnight before eating.

I think this is one of those recipes you can play around with, taking some of the ingredients and measurements as just a suggestion. I will tell you every recipe I say is different in some way. If you like them hot, add some little dried peppers or if you don't like things hot, leave out the peppers altogether.
I love capers, but if you don't, don't add them. A number of fresh herbs would be nice in there if you happen to have some on hand. You could add a couple of coins of fresh ginger or some dried mustard or some Worcestershire.
I think the lemons, the onions, the oil and vinegar, the salt are required and then go from there.

I understand these are traditionally served as appetizer, just picked up with a toothpick or served on a cracker, and that would be excellent. But I can see other uses for them. They would be lovely on a salad, wouldn't they, or made into a shrimp sandwich or a little taco? Or how about in some pasta salad? Yum!
Use your imagination!
Zip up your shrimp!

This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. I think you're right, they'd be outstanding in a salad! or just by themselves. Great flavor.

  2. I've never heard of pickled shrimp, but there are so many ways to use them, thanks for the idea.

  3. I didn't realize this is a Southern dish. I think I assumed everyone ate it.

    1. nope, don't think so, never heard of it before.

  4. YUM--your last photo especially looks delicious! I love shrimp and I'm from the South, so this sounds like a perfect recipe for me to try. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I never had pickled shrimp but this looks so good. I would love to give it a try.

  6. I have never heard of pickled shrimp! How interesting! I love all the photos, especially the big jar of pickled shrimp - what a wonderful think to have in the fridge!!

    1. I am sure it will not be there for long..

  7. I've never heard of pickled shrimp, actually -- but we're only just barely south of the Mason-Dixon Line in Maryland, haha! I'm intrigued. These look very tasty!

  8. I've never heard of pickled shrimp either! But boy it looks good. And a great summer dish. I just used the last of the shrimp from the freezer, so next week...

  9. Pickled shrimp, while new to me, does not surprise me as a concept here in the South. Thank you for sharing this recipe with all of us.

  10. i hadn't heard of this either! thanks for sharing!

  11. what a good idea. I would never have thought of it. Hope you are having a nice week. My Weekend Cooking contribution was a salmon pizza.

  12. I would try these if put before me, but I don't see myself using the recipe. Aside from salmon, cooking with fish and seafood is outside my comfort zone. I do push myself every so often, but really haven't met with much success. Thanks for opening my eyes a little further.

  13. I've never heard of pickled shrimp! Leave it to the south to have created this interesting way to serve shrimp. I think it would taste great on a salad.

  14. Count me among the ones who have never heard of pickling shrimp. How did they taste?

    1. I tasted them when they had soaked overnight, but then I gave them to the Bro and Sil. I think they needed to pickle more, at least a full day. But they were still very good, quite tasty.

  15. I prefer my shrimp boiled.... lemon butter on the side.

    Mostly we have pickled peppers, onions, PIG FEET..haaaa

    1. When I was a kid and we owned a bar, we sold pickled pig feet..

  16. I'd like to try this one. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Oh yum. I pick up something similar at my Costco and eat it all summer - but I'd much rather make it myself and this sounds delicious.

  18. These prawns look delicious! My favourite way to cook them is to marinate in a citrus and chilli mixture and then barbecue them! Yum.


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