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Pickled: An Appetizer and Me, Part 1

I have to admit; I got a little pickled at this year’s New Year’s Eve celebration. If you ask my non-drinking sister, this is the norm for all of us (except her, of course) on NYE, but I really tried to drink a lot of water this year.  I guess I failed by the magnitude of my headache the next morning. Maybe we should not have started so early. But more on that when I blog about what we drank which will be part 2 of Pickled: An Appetizer and Me.

So the other pickling was an incredible appetizer. I had been holding on to this pickled shrimp recipe for a while now waiting for the opportunity to give it a go. New Year’s Eve seemed like the perfect time. It was all and more than I had hoped. And when I suggested to everyone to be sure and grab a slice of lemon with the shrimp, they all looked at me like I was a loon, then you could hear the collective moan throughout the room when they tried it.

This recipe is a definite do-over.

Quick Pickled Shrimp


1 1/2 pounds (25 count per ) fresh raw shrimp

1 cup cider vinegar
4 cloves, fresh garlic, minced
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp capers
2 tsp celery seed
1 tsp dried dill (do not use fresh)
1 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp whole peppercorns

1/4 cup canola oil
1 small Vidalia or other sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 lemon*, ends removed, thinly sliced (best if you use a mandolin)


Clean, peel and de-vein the fresh shrimp. Set aside. Bring a stockpot of salted water to a raging boil.

pickled shrimp

While waiting for the water to boil, in a large bowl, combine the cider vinegar, garlic, lemon juice, capers, celery seed, dill, mustard seed, peppercorns, and salt. Whisk until blended. Whisk in the canola oil. Toss in the onion slices and lemon slices, stirring to coat. Set aside.

pickled shrimp

pickled shrimp

pickled shrimp

When the water is at a raging boil, toss in the shrimp. Then give it one good stir to separate. Cook for just 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Strain off boiling water and give a quick cold rinse.pickled shrimp

Add the shrimp and stir to coat. (It is okay if the shrimp are still warm.) Place plastic wrap over the shrimp (not the bowl). Press down to remove the air pockets so that all shrimp are in complete contact with the pickling liquid.

pickled shrimp

pickled shrimp

pickled shrimp

Refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours, stirring occasionally. (up to 24 hours) Serve chilled. Dish will keep refrigerated for at least a week.

Plating suggestions: On a buffet, you can serve in a large bowl so folks can help themselves. If, for a passed hors-d’oeuvre, place a shrimp, onion and a lemon in a shot glass. For a plated first course, place a few shrimp with onion, lemon and pickling liquid in a small dish or ramekin.

pickled shrimp

pickled shrimp

*Note about the lemon: It is best to use a lemon with a thin skin. The white pith of the skin is bitter and unpleasant and is not great to eat. Using a thin-skinned lemon allows you to eat lemon slice along with the onion and the shrimp which is how this dish should be eaten.

Download the recipe here: Quick Pickled Shrimp

Enjoy!  And Happy New Year to everyone!!!





  1. Michael is drooling over the recipe. Sounds really good – maybe with a good albrino??

    • Absolutely the right choice.

  2. Wowza! I bet this one was a really big crowd pleaser! I’ve never thought to pickle shrimp before. Delish!

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