I have never been a big fan of boiled shrimp. Perhaps, I have attended poorly executed Low-country boils. Maybe, I have tired of everyone using Old Bay Seasoning to spice their shrimp. Regardless, as a good Southerner, I need to embrace this delicacy, but it has to be on my terms.
Before I address the taste of boiled shrimp, I want to remedy the mess that too often ensues. I believe that we have all seen this happen…a beautiful table ruined by extra serving dishes used for the purpose of disposing the peels and tails. For me, this is unnecessary and easy to fix: simply use raw, peeled shrimp.
The aspect of seasoning can be just as easy. I use salt to flavor the boiling water and leave it to an overnight marinade to tenderize the shrimp. Layering and chilling the cooked shrimp with onions, garlic and a citrus vinaigrette is an integral key to fully develop the dish. This way the sweet undertones of the shrimp become perfectly balanced by the acidic juices of the oranges and lemons. Finally, after chilling for at least 8 hours, the dish is finished with capers and Italian parsley. The result: boiled, marinated shrimp that is good enough for this Southern rebel!
- 1½ lbs Raw Shrimp (large, typically 16-20 count per lb.), peeled
- 1 Sweet Onion (preferably Vidalia), thinly sliced
- ¾ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- ½ cup Vegetable Oil
- ⅓ cup Sugar
- 1 Garlic Clove, minced
- Zest of 1 Large Orange
- 2 T Orange Juice (freshly squeezed)
- 2 T Lemon Juice (freshly squeezed)
- 1 t Salt
- 1 t Mustard Seeds
- ½ t Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 2 T Capers, drained (to finish)
- 2 T Italian Parsley, finely chopped (to finish)
- In a large soup pot, bring 6 cups water to boil along with 1 T salt.
- While the water is coming to a boil, prepare an ice bath by combining equal parts ice and cold water in a large mixing bowl; set aside.
- Add the shrimp to the boiling water and cook 3 minutes. Drain the shrimp and immediately transfer them to the prepared ice bath. Cool the shrimp in the ice bath 5 minutes, then drain the shrimp and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, layer the shrimp and onions, alternating layers.
- Whisk together all ingredients listed from the vegetable oil through the freshly ground black pepper until emulsified; pour over the shrimp and onions.
- Cover the dish and let marinate in the refrigerator over night, or at least 8 hours.
- Before serving, drain the marinated shrimp and onions and finish with the capers and fresh Italian parsley.