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Pickled Shrimp w/ Spicy Slaw

Updated: May 28, 2021

Pickled Shrimp paired with a Spicy Slaw, Cajun Remoulade and Pickled Onions
Pickled Shrimp paired with a Spicy Slaw, Cajun Remoulade and Pickled Onions

I created this dish specifically to serve at the Charelston Food and Wine Festival. I needed something that was going to showcase local South Carolina ingredients, look beautiful and delicious, and of course, be easy to serve on site. They were anticipating 1,000 guests. Of course, I didn’t serve that many but it was a fast pace environment for sure. So I came up with this recipe, my Pickled Shrimp and Spicy Slaw. Now of course the star of the dish was the shrimp, so I had to make sure that I sourced the best and the freshest. So naturally I looked to my friend Dylan from Wicked Inlet Seafood. He pulled them right out of our waters. They were so fresh, I could barely believe it.

This recipe is really easy to prepare and will certainly wow your guests at your next event. The fresh, bright flavors of the shrimp, paired with the heat and crunch of the cabbage was only the beginning. I topped it with pickled onions, and my almost famous remoulade sauce. People were loving it. I know I saw many people more than once. It was such a great event for me, probably my favorite. I cannot wait for you to prepare it at home. Just a fair warning though, my cajun roulade sauce is a secret, so I did put together an easy to prepare, and still delicious rendition of my recipe.

Serves 15-20 people as an appetizer


Red onion, sliced, 1 cup

Celery, rough chopped, 1 cup

Lemon, sliced, 1 each

Kosher salt, 1 tablespoon

Fresh local shrimp, tail on, large, peeled & deveined, 3 pounds

Cole slaw, see recipe

Cajun remoulade, see recipe

Pickling Ingredients:

Red onions, sliced, 3 cups

Celery seeds, 1 teaspoon

Olive oil, 1/2 cup

Garlic, 6 cloves

Bay leaves, 4-5 leaves

Coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon

Mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon

Jalapenos, sliced thin, seeds intact, 1 each (optional)

Black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon

Kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon

White wine vinegar, 1/4 cup

Lemons, sliced thin, 4 each

Fresh lemon juice, 1/2 cup

  1. In a large sauce pot, fill with at least 2 quarts of water, then add the onion, celery, sliced lemon and kosher salt. Bring to a simmer over a medium high heat.

  2. Once the water is simmering, carefully drop the shrimp in. Allow to cook for for 30 seconds to one minute, remove from heat and strain.

  3. Using a pair of tongs, pick all the shrimp out of the strainer and put in a larger container, preferably glass, that is easily sealable with a lid or plastic wrap.

  4. Add all the ingredients for the pickling and stir everything until all the ingredients are mixed and distributed well. Allow to rest in the refrigerator overnight, stirring a few times before serving.

  5. Prepare cole slaw an hour or two before serving. See recipe below.

  6. Prepare cajun remoulade after preparing cole slaw.

Spicy Cole Slaw

Cabbage Slaw Mix, 3 pounds

Or Green Cabbage, shredded, 2 pounds 8 ounces

Red Cabbage, 8 ounces

Jalapeno, seeds removed, finely chopped, 1 each

Pablano pepper, seeds removed, finely chopped, 1 each

Scallions, whites thinly sliced, 1 bunch

Dukes mayo, 1 1/2 cups

Apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup

Sugar, 2 tablespoons

Mustard seeds, cracked if possible, 1 teaspoon

Kosher salt, as needed

Black pepper, as needed

  1. If you are using a slaw mix, empty the bags into a large bowl. If you are using using cabbage heads, finely shred the heads and add into a large bowl. Then add the chopped peppers and scallions and mix together.

  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the mayo, apple cider vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, salt and pepper. If you have a mortar and pestle at home, crack the mustard seeds prior to adding them into the bowl.

  3. Pour the mayo mixture into the bowl with the cabbage and stir until all of the cabbage is saturated with the mixture. Cover and store in the refrigerator for an hour or two before serving.

Cajun Remoulade

Spicy brown mustard, 2 teaspoon

Red onion, finely chopped, 4 Tablespoons

Celery, finely chopped, 4 Tablespoons

Ketchup, 1/2 cup

Dukes Mayo, 2 cups

Olive oil, 1 teaspoon

Black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon

Kosher salt, 1/2 - 1 teaspoon

Cajun seasoning, 1 teaspoon

  1. Add all the ingredients into a small bowl and stir until fully incorporated.

  2. Serve from a serving bowl with a spoon, or add to a squeeze bottle with a large opening to serve.

Assemble: Serve family style or on small tasting size plates. To serve individually, add a helping of slaw to the center of the plate, then top with 2-3 shrimp depending on how many servings you need, top with cajun remoulade then using tongs, pick out a few of the onions from the pickling juice and serve over top. To serve family style, spread out all the components on the counter with serving tongs and utensils making sure to guide guests into your vision with a “demo plate.” Keeping in mind that you may yield less servings with family style as each guest may load up their plates.

Learn more about the Chef Ambassador Program, South Carolina ingredients and where to find them or to find restaurants that are Fresh on the Menu and Certified South Carolina.


Another great Shrimp recipe, is for one of my favorite tacos to prepare, Cilantro Lime Shrimp Tacos.

Check out our online store and pick up a copy of my cookbook, a few spices and a sauce or two. Not to mention, our collection of graphic tees designed for women.

If you want to come experience what I do everyday, stop by Johnny D's Waffles the next time you are in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

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