Remember last year when I co-hosted a wedding shower for Anjali and we had a Banh Mi Sandwich Buffet for lunch? I never shared the recipe for the one thing I actually cooked for the shower which was the YUMMY Lemongrass Pickled Shrimp that gave the sandwiches so much personality.
Inspired by a Southern Pickled Shrimp recipe my mother-in-law makes for classy cocktail parties. Plump, pink poached shrimp spend the night in a briny bath of lemongrass, lime juice and celery seeds until they are bursting with flavor. Serve alone with tooth picks or as the star of a Banh Mi Buffet.
Lemongrass Pickled Shrimp (adapted from the Southern Pickled Shrimp recipe in True Grits)
For the marinade:
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Sriracha chili sauce to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup grapeseed oil (or other light oil)
3/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3/4 cup water
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 teaspoons celery seeds
8″ stalk of lemon grass, cut into 2-inch sections and smashed
For the shrimp mixture:
2 lbs peeled, deveined shrimp (tails removed)
2 cups white onions, thinly sliced
Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl until well mixed. Lightly poach the shrimp in salted water until JUST pink. Do not over cook. (You can use frozen defrosted cooked shrimp instead, I won’t tell). Toss the shrimp with the sliced white onions and cover in the marinade. Let sit, covered, in the fridge at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
Before serving drain the shrimp from the marinade and remove the bay leaves and chunks of lemon grass. Season with salt and more lime juice just before serving if needed. Serve with toothpicks as an appetizer or set out on a Banh Mi Sandwich Bar.