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Pickled Shrimp


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Pickled Shrimp

This recipe is at least 50 years old. I remember eating it at my Aunt Audrey’s house where we went every Christmas Eve. She was old enough to be my father’s mother so there is no telling how old it is. My sister got this recipe from her before she died and it has been handed down in my family ever since. It is truly terrific and I find it fascinating that this was around so long before recipes like this were trendy. Think of it as a very early escabeche. I have no idea where she got the capers back then but she did use them. I remember wondering what the heck those things were.

  • 2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • 12 or so whole cloves
  • 6 or so bay leaves
  • 1-1/4 c salad oil (Canola or other light vegetable oil, NOT olive oil)
  • 3/4 c white or cider vinegar
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 2-1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 2-1/2 tsp capers and juice

Boil cleaned shrimp. Do not over cook. Arrange shrimp and onion rings in layers in a glass bowl or jar.

Sprinkle with cloves and tuck in bay leaves as you go.

Cover with marinade made with the last 6 ingredients.

Let stand in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Can be kept for 3 days in a jar with a good lid.

Pretty served in clear glass.


I tend to increase the cloves, bay leaves and capers. I think it makes it better.

I have marinated blanched asparagus in the left over marinade after eating all of the shrimp. Fabulous. You could do other vegetables as well and serve on top of greens as a terrific salad, including the onions.

Fresh shrimp are always best but you could get pre-prepared shrimp from the grocery and it would probably still be good. At least that might inspire you to make this.

Alternate cooking method for the shrimp:

Instead of boiling the shrimp, brine them for 30 minutes in ¼ cup Kosher salt to 1 quart of water. Drain and rinse. Steam the shrimp until just done. Reduce the salt in the recipe by about half.

Keywords: Appetizer, Easy, Shrimp, Snack, Hors d'oeuvre

( RG838 )

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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