How about a delicious cold Key West Pink Shrimp Salad? I make this recipe with freshly caught wild shrimp raised in the warm waters right here in the Florida Keys. Try this healthy low-carb shrimp recipe for a delicious and refreshing summer salad.
What Type of Shrimp Should I Buy?
Cold shrimp salad starts with great shrimp. If you're in Florida, step into any fish market and it's yours. Our Key West Pink shrimp has a sweet and mild flavor.
The most important thing about buying shrimp is that they are wild-caught and not from a farm.
They should be from the United States.
How to Buy Frozen Shrimp
Unless you're catching them yourself, all shrimp are frozen after they're harvested.
You can buy frozen shrimp in bags, either cooked or raw.
Make sure you buy exactly what you need. For shrimp salad, you can get cooked shrimp and skip the cooking process.
When you pick up the bag in the freezer, the shrimp should be moving individually.
If the bag is a frozen block of ice, it has defrosted and then refrozen. It might have suffered a loss in quality from the freezer. Choose a different bag.
What Size Should the Shrimp Be?
Medium shrimp, about 25 per pound, or large shrimp, 16-20 pieces, would be a good size for shrimp salad.
Jumbo shrimp, about 10 per pound, can be saved for shrimp salad or you can use them for a very impressive Shrimp Cocktail.
What You Need to Make Shrimp Salad Full of Flavor
First, you need shrimp. Figure one-third pound per person for a generous salad or sandwich. You can easily double or triple this recipe.
- Shrimp. Fresh or frozen.
- Lemon. I always wash my lemons. Then, I cut the lemon in half and squeeze out a teaspoon of juice for my dressing. Then I throw the lemon in the pot of cooking water for extra flavor.
- Dijon Mustard. You can sub a little dried mustard powder.
- Old Bay Seasoning, original flavor. Old Bay lends a nice flavor to shrimp salad. If you don't have any, you can add a big pinch of sweet paprika.
- Mayonnaise. Use your favorite mayo. You can substitute sour cream or full-fat Greek yogurt.
- Celery. Fresh, crispy celery, top and bottom ends trimmed and chopped finely.
- Dill. Fresh dill is best, but a pinch of dried dill or dill weed, can be substituted.
- Red Onion. You need about a quarter of a big red onion minced. The rest of the onion can be sliced onto your salad or sandwich.
- Salt and Pepper. A teaspoon of salt goes in the cooking water. Additional salt and pepper can be used after the salad chills if desired.
How to Make Shrimp Salad
Defrost the shrimp under cold running water. Or place the frozen shrimp in the refrigerator for a few hours until they are defrosted.
Peel the shells off including the tails.
Next, you have to devein the shrimp. There is a dark grey vein on the back of each shrimp. You can remove it by making a slit in the back of each shrimp (with a sharp paring knife) and pulling it out.
You can devein the shrimp before or after cooking them. I prefer to do it before they're cooked.
Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil over high heat; add salt.Lower heat to a simmer and add shrimp. Cook shrimp 2 minutes.
Remove the shrimp from the pot and plunge them into a bowl of ice water for 10 or 15 minutes. After the ice bath, dry shrimp on paper towels to get all the moisture out so the dressing coats the shrimp.
What Dressing Goes on Shrimp Salad?
This is a creamy dressing that enhances the mild tasting shrimp.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together lemon juice, mustard, Old Bay Seasoning, and mayonnaise.
With a rubber spatula, fold shrimp, celery, onions, and dill into the dressing. Add more mayonnaise if you like. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Refrigerate for at least a half hour and up to 2 days.
How to Serve Shrimp Salad
You can serve shrimp salad on a bed of lettuce with tomatoes, cucumbers, green bell peppers, and onions. One pound of shrimp will make 2 healthy dinner salads.
Additional toppings would include olives, scallions, and hard-boiled eggs.
What Goes with Shrimp Salad?
Serve on top of a big fresh salad or stuff your shrimp salad in a pita with lettuce and you have quite a meal.
I came up with this recipe for Almond Flour Breadsticks to go with my NY Diner Tuna Salad and this shrimp salad. I stopped eating bread a few years back and the breadsticks are a great replacement.
Shrimp salad makes a great topper for a Caesar Salad too!
How Long Does Shrimp Salad Last?
Cold shrimp salad can be made before your meal and held in the fridge until you need it. The salad will remain fresh for two days in a covered container in the back of the refrigerator where it's coldest.
Made with wild caught Key West Pink Shrimp, fresh shrimp salad with mayo is a cold salad perfect for summer meals.
Florida Keys Pink Shrimp salad is made with fresh shrimp, McCormick Old Bay original seasoning, mayo, celery, onions, dill, and seasonings.
Serve chilled shrimp salad with lettuce and tomato, in a sandwich, or in a bowl with a fork and a few crackers on the side.
Any way you eat it, this easy shrimp salad recipe tastes great!
If You Love Florida Keys Seafood, Try These:
- Keys Peel and Eat Shrimp
- Florida Keys Shrimp Cocktail
- Pan-Fried Yellowtail
- Blackened Shrimp with Butter Sauce
- Seared Mahi Mahi with Basil Butter
- Blackened Swordfish
- Roasted Yellowtail with Old Bay Seasoning
Key West Pinks is the nickname for Pink Shrimp caught in the Keys. They are harvested along the coast of southern Florida.
According the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Key West pink shrimp are the most harvested species of shrimp from Florida. They burrow in the sand during the day and come out to feed at night. The shrimp boats go out at night to harvest them with big nets.
Fresh wild shrimp are harvested right off the coast of Florida. They live in their natural environment and have a naturally sweet flavor.
Yes! You can jump on a Key West charter. Check out this charter from Fish Key West. I've heard this is the ultimate fishing trip!
There are 180 calories per serving in shrimp salad.
Florida Keys Pink Shrimp Salad
FOR THE SHRIMP
- 1 pound wild-caught shrimp (medium or large) peeled and deveined
- 1 lemon halved
- 1 teaspoon salt
FOR THE SALAD
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning (original flavor)
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 ribs celery finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill
- 3 tablespoons minced red onion
- salt and pepper to taste
TO COOK THE SHRIMP
- Defrost the shrimp under cold running water. Or place the frozen shrimp in the refrigerator for a few hours until they are defrosted.
- Peel off the shells, including the tails.
- Remove the dark grey "vein" on the back of each shrimp by making a slit in the back of each shrimp with a sharp paring knife and pulling it out. Run under cold running water and repeat.
- Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil over high heat; add salt.
- Slice a lemon in half and squeeze the lemon into the water. Drop the lemon into the pot.
- Lower heat to a simmer and add shrimp. Cook shrimp 2 minutes.
- Remove shrimp from the water with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of ice water to cool completely, about 15 minutes. Dry shrimp on a paper towel after they are removed from the water.
TO PREPARE THE SHRIMP SALAD
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together lemon juice, Dijon mustard, Old Bay Seasoning, and 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise.
- Fold shrimp, celery, and onions into the dressing. Add more mayonnaise for a creamier consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Refrigerate for a half hour or so to allow flavors to blend.
- Serve on a bed of lettuce with fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and sliced onion.
- After cooking the shrimp or after you've defrosted them, dry them on a paper towel so the dressing sticks to the flesh.
- Shrimp Salad can be made one day ahead of serving. It is best when eaten within 24 hours of preparation.
- When buying frozen shrimp, look for wild shrimp from the USA. It can be pre-cooked.
- Size medium or large shrimp work best for this type of salad.
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