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Pickled Shrimp

31 Dec

by Green Gourmet K

Happy New Years Eve!

Now add the recipe below to your New Years resolutions.  If you’re in the South, you must know how to make this. If you’re elsewhere, you can make this and people will admire your Southern cooking skills.

Have you had pickled shrimp before?   This Southern delicacy is so downright delectable – how about that for alliteration?  In the village where my parents live (yes, they live in a village), shrimp can be bought fresh most of the year.  Once you have fresh South Carolina shrimp for $4.99 a pound you will never, ever want to buy them from the grocery store again, unless desperate.  What the husband and I do is go by the seafood store (which is literally next to the docked shrimp boats) and pick up several pounds of shrimp and freeze it until we need it.  It’s cheaper, we know where our shrimp came from and we also like to support the shrimpers in the village.

Usually we just boil the shrimp with old bay and a splash of vinegar.  Then peel and eat them with cocktail sauce.  But having shrimp available for an appetizer is a great way to elevate your party food or treat you dinner guests to something special.  This is a very easy recipe that is best made the day before serving.  It lasts 2-3 days. [Update: A true “villager” tells me that this recipe will last a week or more in the fridge! It has always been gone within a day in my house.]

Pickled Shrimp


1 lb of medium sized shrimp (the smaller ones are better for this recipe)

1/4 of a large onion, sliced into thin strips

1/4 of a large green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips

capers – 1-2 tbsp

24 oz bottle of ketchup – try to get the kind with no high fructose corn syrup

1-2 tbsp of good mustard – suggest adding one tbsp then tasting your sauce

1 cup of white vinegar

drizzle of olive oil, 1-2 tbsp

salt and pepper, to taste


Boil your shrimp in old bay with a few bay leaves.  The minute they start to float and turn pink pull them out.  They will not be cooked all the way, the vinegar will do the rest.  Peel your shrimp and set aside.  Combine all the rest of your ingredients for your sauce and taste it before adding your semi-raw shrimp.  It should be tangy, spicy and sweet without too much of a ketchup taste.  Adjust your vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper to taste.  Once satisfied with your sauce mix in your shrimp.  Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours.  If you don’t want to let the vinegar cook your shrimp the rest of the way, just boil them as you would for boiled shrimp and then let them chill in the fridge with the rest of the ingredients for at least a couple hours.  Serve with crackers.

The next day it will look like this:

(That’s my brother’s thumb, he’s my hand model and food tester.)

This also makes a great gift.  Bottle your pickled shrimp into little jars and package it with some crackers for a great gift for a host/hostess.

To print this recipe: