Pickled Shrimp

You can double or triple this recipe as needed as long as you have extra jars!

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Pickling time: 1 to 3 days
  • Yield: 1 quart (or about 6 servings)


  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced into very thin rounds
  • Salt, to taste
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 pound (12-20 count) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails intact
  • 1/2 bulb fresh fennel
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, or more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Few sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 2 tablespoons capers and their juices
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seed

Special equipment:

  • 1-quart canning jar or crock, or any combination of smaller jars equaling 1 quart


1 Cook the shrimp: In a large saucepan, combine the celery, half the red onion, half the lemon slices, a large pinch of salt, and the water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add then shrimp, and then immediately remove the pan from heat and cover again. Set aside for 5 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink.

2 Prepare the fennel: Trim the fronds from the fennel (save a handful). Cut the bulb in half again through the root. Set the pieces cut sides down and slice the fennel as thinly as possible.

3 Pack the shrimp into a jar: In a 1-quart canning jar or crock, layer the cooked shrimp, remaining lemon slices, remaining red onion, sliced fennel and a few fennel fronds, thyme sprigs, garlic, capers, and mustard seed. (Discard the cooking liquid.)


4 Pour in the vinegar and oil. Combine the vinegar and oil in a measuring cup; it's fine if they separate. Pour the vinegar and oil into the jar to cover the shrimp. If the liquid doesn’t quite cover the shrimp, add more olive oil.

5 Cure the shrimp: Cover the jar tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 day or for up to 3 days.

6 To serve the shrimp: Carefully spoon the mixture into a big bowl and serve with toothpicks or in individual stemmed glasses as an appetizer or first course.