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Chef Mike Lata’s Pickled Shrimp


1 small bulb fennel, halved and cut crosswise
1 small carrot, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch coins 3 pounds large (21/25 count) shrimp, shells on
3⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1⁄2 teaspoon cumin seed
1⁄2 teaspoon caraway seed
pinch crushed red pepper
1 red onion, cut into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
3 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup sherry vinegar
1 cup crisp, dry white wine (such as Albariño)
1 tablespoon freshly picked thyme leaves
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1⁄4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1⁄4 cup tender celery leaves


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice water and set aside. When the water reaches a boil, add fennel and cook for 1-2 minutes, until crisp-tender. Using a slotted spoon, remove fennel from boiling water and transfer to the ice bath to stop the cooking. Bring the water back to a boil and repeat this process with the carrot. Remove vegetables from ice bath and set aside. Add more ice to the bowl if it has all melted.

Finally, bring the water to a gentle simmer; add shrimp and poach until shells have turned pink and shrimp are just cooked through, about 2-4 minutes. Immediately transfer shrimp to the ice bath. When cool enough to handle, peel and devein shrimp. Arrange prepared shrimp in the bottom of a large, shallow baking dish and set aside.

Place a large, heavy-bottomed skillet or saucepan over medium heat and add half of the extra-virgin olive oil. Add fennel seed, coriander, cumin, caraway, and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until spices are toasted and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add red onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the pan and sauté briefly, 2-3 minutes. Stir in sherry vinegar, white wine, thyme, salt, and remaining extra- virgin olive oil. Bring mixture to a boil, then fold in reserved carrot and fennel, stirring to coat. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.

Pour the marinade over the shrimp. Cover baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Before serving, allow shrimp to come to room temperature. Stir in fresh parsley and garnish with celery leaves.

Served with grilled bread and a dollop of aioli.