Savannah Pickled Shrimp

By: Hannah Lee Leidy
Photo by Andrew Sherman

Many Savannahians would rather serve something they’ve made a thousand times and know to be good, well-prepared, and in ample quantities, than knock themselves out over a showy display of cutting-edge dainties.

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8−12 servings

  • 4 tablespoons seafood boiling spice, divided
  • 2 large bay leaves (crumbled if dried, chopped if fresh) divided
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed, divided
  • 1 large rib celery (including the leafy top) thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • 2 pounds small to medium shrimp
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup Vidalia sweet onions
  • Strips of zest from 2 large lemons and thin slices from 1 of them
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-6 fresh lettuce leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  1. Add 3 quarts water to a large, stainless steel pot. Add half the boiling spice, 1 bay leaf, 3 garlic cloves, celery, and a small handful of salt.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. Increase heat and add shrimp, cover, and cook 2 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold running water, peel, and devein the shrimp.
  3. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring vinegar, onions, remaining bay leaf, spice, and garlic to a full boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat. Let mixture cool slightly then pour over shrimp. Add lemon zest and juice and toss well. Let cool completely, then cover and transfer to refrigerator.
  5. Let shrimp marinate for at least 4 hours before serving. They will keep in fridge up to 2 weeks.
  • from chef and author Damon Lee Fowler, Savannah, Georgia

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  • Charlene Shufelt
    September 1, 2022 at 5:13 pm

    I’ve read the ingredient list and directions multiple times, and except for the 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil listed among the ingredients I find no mention of where and how to use those 2-3 tablespoons in the directions. It’s refreshing that a copious amount of oil isn’t used as it is in most recipes, but where does one use the oil when making Chef Fowler’s recipe. Help please.


    1. Hannah Lee Leidy
      September 1, 2022 at 6:18 pm

      Hi Charlene,

      You’ll add the olive oil along with the lemon juice in step four. The shrimp will marinate in the oil-lemon juice mixture before getting served over the lettuce and garnished with parsley.

      Let us know how it turns out!