Pickled Shrimp

Poached shrimp, poblanos, and red onion marinated in a spiced lemon brine.

Pickled shrimp is a cross between a salad and a pickle and makes a fun alternative to shrimp cocktail. It has a bright lemon flavor with hints of spice and celery. It can be served by itself, with a spicy remoulade or with cocktail sauce, if you can’t do without it.

This shrimp makes a nice appetizer for parties, gatherings, or a cozy night in. It can also be dressed up with some fresh greens for a tasty salad. Or, if you are in the mood for a sandwich, stuff it in a soft roll with shaved lettuce and remoulade.

This recipe is simple to make. Poach the shrimp with some old bay and beer. Chill them and toss them with veggies and seasoned brine. I like to make the brine a day or so in advance to give the spices more time to release their flavor.

Because the shrimp are already cooked, brine them the day before you plan to serve them. The acid in the brine will continue cooking the shrimp, eventually making them tough and rubbery.

Pickled Shrimp

Course Appetizer, pickle, preserve, Salad, Snack
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 5


  • 12 ounces beer
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tbsp old bay seasoning
  • 1 pound shrimp 21-25 count peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 tsp celery seeds
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seed
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 red onion shaved
  • 1/2 poblano sliced thin
  • 1/2 lemon zest in large strips


  • Combine the water, old bay, and beer in a pot. Bring to a boil and add shrimp. Cook until just pink. Drain and cool until ready to use.
  • In a small pot combine lemon juice, vinegar, salt, sugar, garlic, celery seed, mustard seed, bay leaf, and hot sauce. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar and salt. Cool completely and mix with vegetable and olive oils.
  • Toss the shrimp with onions, poblanos, lemon zest, and brine. Refrigerate overnight and serve chilled. Makes 21-25 shrimp.

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