Pickled Shrimp

Pickled ShrimpIf you’ve grabbed one too many handfuls of nuts or jerky when the munchies strike and you’re craving something new to snack on, here’s an idea: ice-cold, pickled shrimp. Firm and fresh with a tangy kick of lemon and vinegar plus subtle spices, this Southern specialty tastes especially good when the weather is hot.

Pickled shrimp aren’t only an answer to snacking boredom. You’ll also get a decent amount of protein, selenium, calcium and iodine. Dip deeper into the vinegary marinade for crisp slices of sweet red pepper or spicy jalapeño and a dose of lycopene and vitamins C and B.

Beyond snacking, pour pickled shrimp over salad greens or shredded cabbage for a full meal.

Servings: 4 as an appetizer or snack

Time in the Kitchen: 25 minutes, plus up to 24 hours to marinate



  • 1 pound raw shrimp (26 to 30 count) peeled and deveined, tail left on or pulled off, your choice (450 g)
  • 2 teaspoons celery salt, divided (10 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper (5 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (5 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice (a pinch)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (60 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar (30 ml)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (120 ml)
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and sliced
  • 3 bay leaves


Set out a large bowl of ice water.

Bring 1 teaspoon (5 ml) celery salt and the black pepper, paprika and 6 cups (1.4 L) water to a boil.

Once the water is boiling reduce the heat to low, add the shrimp and cook just until the shrimp turn pink, about 2 minutes.

Step 1

Drain and transfer the shrimp to the bowl of ice water to chill down. Immediately drain again.

In a medium-sized bowl whisk together remaining 1 teaspoon celery salt (5 ml), allspice, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil.

Mix together the shrimp, lemon slices, red onion, red pepper and jalapenos. Pour the marinade on top and add the bay leaves. This works best in a shallow dish with a lid, so the shrimp can be turned or shaken a few times while marinating. Or, just throw everything together in a sealed plastic bag. If you feel like you need more liquid to cover the shrimp and veggies, add more oil. Only add more vinegar or lemon juice if you want the shrimp to have an extra-tangy flavor.

Step 2

For the most flavor, chill 24 hours before serving.

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22 thoughts on “Pickled Shrimp”

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  1. Pickled shrimp? Why not? After reading, it sounds pretty tastey. Thanks again!

  2. This looks good. The method I usually use to cook shrimp is to put them, peeled and deveined, in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with olive oil and season with whatever you prefer. Bake at 400 degrees for about 5 or 6 minutes, or until they’ve turned pink, and they’re ready to eat. Fast and easy.

    1. I love this idea. We grill them in summer and I don’t eat them the rest of the year because I just don’t like how they get soggy in water, no matter how careful I am. Thank you!

  3. Using them as a snack implies (to my mind) that they will last a while, but I would hesitate to eat shrimp more than 2 to 3 days later. Would these last to the end of the week if I made them up on the weekend?

    They look great BTW.

    1. you could always cook them, freeze the shrimp by themselves in batches, then just marinate a batch a day.

    1. Ceviche isn’t usually cooked first, just cured by the lime juice.

  4. Is anyone concerned about the amount of possible contaminants in shrimp, such as arsenic and mercury? It’s hard to find information on the subject, but it appears as though the levels for arsenic specifically are high, but it’s in the form of arsenobetaine which is more organic and less toxic.
    It may be better to decide based on anecdotal evidence. Has anyone gotten heavy metal poisoning from eating large amounts of seafood such as shrimp or seaweed?

    1. Nah I wouldn’t worry. I almost exclusively ate seafood late last summer and for most of the Fall. I don’t know if it was too much (cheap) seafood, trouble affording (possibly enough) food, infection (caused by or independent)…but I survived. LOL By December I felt horrid. haha

      January I had a good recovery with lots of bone broths and seaweed soups and no coffee for 3 weeks. Took lots of supplements. By February I moved and was loaded with tons of home cooked food. lol Continued the supplements until end of June at which point I decided I no longer need(ed) them.

      Soooo if there’s any mercury problem, don’t concern yourself too much b/c you can recover if you accidentally get sick. 😛

      ** I think I’m tough and I have a good immune system. If you have more severe underlying issues, please don’t take chances and/or be as foolish as I did. If you have previous damage from earlier insults in your intestinal tract but have a good immune system ie. me, then don’t sweat the small stuff. 😀

    2. I would worry with all the news reports comng out that get sweeped under the radar. Especially the gulf and BP cleanup chemicals& all the new viruses they are blaming the deaths on.

      It’s hard to trust fish/seafood, even if it’s wild caught ..Just yesterday I ran across a couple articles while checking the weather
      “Scientists have already made a couple startling finds. The sheer number of plastic specks in some samples hauled from Lake Erie, the shallowest and smallest by volume, were higher than in comparable samples taken in the oceans.”
      “Samples has produced a smoking gun: many particles are perfectly round pellets. The scientists suspect they are abrasive “micro beads” used in personal care products such as facial and body washes and toothpaste.”
      “They’re so minuscule that they flow through screens at waste treatment plants and wind up in the lakes, said Lorena Rios Mendoza, a chemist with the University of Wisconsin-Superior. ”
      “In ocean environments, fish and birds are known to feed on microplastics, apparently mistaking them for fish eggs.”


      There is a ton more if you want to dig further, Even fish/seafood from Canadian waters can come from an industrial region know for overfishing and pollution.

    3. I would scrutinize where the shrimp/seafood is caught. I will not touch any filter or bottom feeders like shrimp or scallops farmed off of South East Asia. Caveat emptor.

      1. Those liberators sure did leave some crap behind in the 60’s and 70’s, didn’t they. Thanks for nothing.

      2. Yes! I was about to post the same thing, but I see you’ve got this covered. A LOT of cheap shrimp from India is being offloaded in the US for instance, because guess what, it is banned in many other countries!

        It makes me really sad, because shrimp is such a wonderful tasty thing, I really miss it. I will no longer order it in restaurants and can’t seem to find any in stores that aren’t from contaminated toxic waste dumps in Asia.

  5. This looks tasty. But have to agree that you need to know where sea food has been sourced from. Sign of the times.

  6. I am tempted to keep the cooking water and make a bisque with a little coconut cream, shallots, sliced mushrooms etc. I NEED to have soup in the house at all times. (After I have enjoyed this lovely recipe, of course.) I’ll search around for similar recipes on your blog. Thanks.