There is a bag of frozen jumbo shrimp in my freezer that has been nagging me for weeks to do something with it. I had just come back from the Philippines not too long ago and enjoyed the chilled shrimp at the Shangri-la dinner buffet in Manilla.
I knew they weren’t the freshly caught shrimp I grew up with from the Carolina Coast; but sadly I haven’t had the luxury of those in quite a few years. I could still get the impression that they were as I doused them with really hot cocktail sauce and enjoyed them anyway.
So when I got back to Beijing I noticed the frozen shrimp I had never paid any attention to before and yes…..bought a bag. But as usual when stuck in a fantasy of trying to re-create home, I went overboard and bought a really BIG bag of frozen jumbo shrimp. It was the magnitude of the whole thing (the bag that is) that kept throwing me. And the fact that all of my shrimp recipes assume you are using freshly caught Carolina raw shrimp. Actually, come to think about it, I have never bought or used frozen shrimp in my life! So there they sat week after week after week.
I did think about them — often even —— but alas I always settled on some boring chicken breasts or beef filets instead.
But now I am faced with the fact that I am either going to have to use the shrimp or say good bye to them altogether. I ran across a great recipe by Rebecca Lang, one of my favorite Southern cooks from my old haunt Atlanta, this morning for “Tangy Pickled Shrimp” (Southern Entertaining for a New Generation, Cumberland House, 2004). I had never made this before yet know it is a well loved appetizer back home. I encourage you to try her recipe as it is both beautiful and I am sure delicious. I didn’t have some of her ingredients so I had to create my own version which I will have to call “Pickled Shrimp in Beijing” because that is what it is.
This dish is just the thing for a party or get together. The chilled tangy and slightly sweet shrimp are perfect for those hot summer nights served with whatever’s on the BBQ grill. Mix them together the night before or at least 8 hours ahead so that the shrimp pick up the yummy flavors.
Stir to coat the shrimp just before serving; and using a slotted spoon, arrange the shrimp in a pretty serving bowl. Add just a touch of the marinade to keep them from dying out. Don’t worry about left overs; these won’t last long.
I hope you enjoy this as much as my family did.
- 2 lbs. cooked shrimp, peeled, deveined and with tails on or off
- 1 med. onion, thinly sliced
- 1 small green pepper, finely chopped
- ½ to ¾ cup celery, finely chopped (use tops and leaves if you have them)
- 1½ teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt
- Freshly ground Black pepper to taste
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 Tablespoon of sugar
- 1 clove garlic, minced ( I used the dried garlic granules (about ½ teaspoon)
- 6 Bay leaves
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 Tablespoons of pickled capers
- ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ½ cup cider vinegar
- ¼ cup White Balsamic vinegar
- Put shrimp, sliced onions, finely chopped green pepper and chopped celery in a glass bowl. Toss to combine.
- Measure the remaining ingredients (except for the Bay leaves) into a medium mixing bowl.
- Whisk together briskly. Add the Bay leaves and pour over the shrimp and onion mixture.
- Toss well to thoroughly coat the shrimp. You may want to place the mixture in a 9 X 13 glass pan to refrigerate. But this is not necessary. DO NOT USE A METAL PAN.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill over night or at least for 8 hours before serving.
- Just before serving, stir the shrimp making sure the marinade is over all the shrimp.
- With a slotted spoon transfer the shrimp to a pretty serving bowl.