Alabama Recipes

Pickled Shrimp

Pickled Shrimp

Photo by Christopher Hirsheimer

Tart and refreshing, this recipe from one of Birmingham's premier restaurants will feed (and impress) a crowd.

As Served By: Highlands Bar and Grill, Birmingham | Yield: 15 to 20 servings


  • 3 pounds boiled small to medium shrimp (see note below), peeled
  • 2 medium onions, quartered and very thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 14 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 4 dried hot chile peppers
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1⁄4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1⁄2 cup fresh lemon juice


Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss thoroughly. Pack everything into a large glass jar, cover, and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to come together. Serve as an hors d’oeuvre with toothpicks and napkins.

Note: To cook shrimp, make court bouillon. Fill a large pot with water and add 1 onion, quartered; 1 celery stalk, cut into pieces; 1 lemon, sliced; and 4 flat leaf parsley sprigs. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, and simmer broth for 15 to 20 minutes.

Add a tablespoon of salt to the broth and then add the shrimp to water. As soon as the water returns to a simmer, remove from heat. The shrimp will have just begun to curl and have turned a bright pink. Do not allow the water to boil, or the shrimp will be tough. Drain — but do not rinse the shrimp, or the flavor will go right down the drain. Reserve the broth, if desired. Allow the shrimp to cool.

Adapted from Frank Stitt’s Southern Table by Frank Stitt (Published by Artisan Books). Copyright © 2004.

This recipe was provided to Alabama Food by the professional chef or restaurant identified above. Alabama Food staff has not tested this recipe and cannot make any representation as to the results.