Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Okra.  Watermelon rind.  Peaches.  We Southerners like to pickle just about anything.

Even shrimp!

Pickled shrimp have graced our tables up and down the Southeast coast for decades.  And that's because they're so easy to do, and make such a lovely appetizer or first course, or even a meal.  

Usually they're presented in a large, pretty glass bowl, where the layers make such a beautiful presentation.  I like to layer the shrimp, sweet onions, sliced lemons and bay leaves in a glass jar, especially if I'm headed to a picnic or covered dish supper.  The nice thing about this dish is that it can be done up to three days ahead, and served chilled.

Place the shrimp on a bed of tender lettuce for easy finger food, or serve them with toothpicks.

Pickled Shrimp make a great appetizer.
Watch me making pickled shrimp on WSLS Daytime Blue Ridge

                   from THE OUTER BANKS COOKBOOK, by Elizabeth Wiegand, 2nd edition, 2013, Globe Pequot Press
            Some feel they get more flavor when shrimp is boiled with the shells on, then peeling them. However, it’s easier to remove the vein with that special shrimp peeler tool if done while raw.  Then you can also freeze the shells to use to make shrimp broth.  You decide.

3 pounds shrimp, unpeeled
3 sweet onions (try NC’s Mattamuskeet Sweets)
1 large lemon, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons capers
4 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
½ cup tarragon or white wine vinegar
                                                                                    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
                                                                                    1 cup olive oil

  1. Fill a large pot with 3-inches of water and bring to a boil.  Add shrimp, and bring to a boil again, then cook for about 2 more minutes or until shrimp are pink.  Drain, then peel under running water, leaving the shrimp tails attached.
  2. In a large serving bowl, layer shrimp, onions, lemon slices, capers and bay leaves.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, blend the remaining ingredients, whisking well.  Pour over the shrimp layers.  Cover tightly, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, up to 3 days.  Be sure to stir the mixture occasionally. 

YIELD:  8 or more servings