Georgia-Style Pickled Shrimp

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes



Appears in

The Glory of Southern Cooking

The Glory of Southern Cooking

By James Villas

Published 2007

  • About

Every region of the South has its own distinctive ways of pickling shrimp, oysters, mussels, and the like, but this Georgia method of pickling shrimp and serving them with a spicy cream sauce as an appetizer seems unique and recalls for me an incredible feast served by relatives of my mother in Monticello. “Oh honey, you do carry on,” said Cuddin’ Berta when I exclaimed about the dish. “You’re too young to remember, but you should have tasted the buttermilk sauce Sister Tancy used to put on her shrimp over in Macon.”


  • pounds fresh medium shrimp
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spices
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Tabasco sauce to taste
  • 6 leaves Bibb lettuce


Place the shrimp in a large pot with enough water to cover. Add the lemon, pickling spices, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, remove from the heat, cover, and let stand 2 minutes. Drain through a fine-mesh strainer, pick out and discard the lemon, and, when cool enough to handle, peel and devein the shrimp. Place the shrimp, pickling spices, and bay leaves in a large bowl. Add the vinegar, oil, dry mustard, and salt, and toss well. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours or overnight.

To make the sauce, combine the sour cream, horseradish, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and Tabasco and mix till well blended.

To serve, arrange equal amounts of shrimp on the lettuce leaves and top each portion with dollops of the sauce.