Marinated Shrimp

If you love recipes, look no further than the Junior League. JL cookbooks from Birmingham and Mobile chapters are passed down like family heirlooms and sought after like precious jewels.

And when it comes to Alabama Gulf Seafood, they know their stuff. Here’s one of our favorite shrimp recipes from the Junior League of Birmingham’s “Table of Content” cookbook, courtesy of cookbook chair Kara Barlow. (Just make sure you prepare it a couple days in advance.)


Grab a large stockpot and boil enough water to generously cover all of the shrimp. White Shrimp or Brown Shrimp will do nicely, but Pink Shrimp are the largest that you’ll find on the Gulf Coast, so that’s what we recommend. (And remember, when you peel and devein your shrimp make sure you leave the tails on. This makes them easier to pick up once they’re ready, and you won’t need to waste any toothpicks if you’re serving them to guests.)


Once the water is ready, boil the shrimp for no more than three minutes or until the shrimp turn pink, then drain the water.


While the shrimp are boiling, find a mixing bowl and toss in the oil, cider vinegar, ketchup, tarragon vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, sugar, salt and dry mustard. When your shrimp are ready, take the sliced onions and layer them with the shrimp in a large, shallow dish before pouring the oil mixture over them.


Tom Petty once said “the waiting is the hardest part,” and that’s certainly the case with this recipe. For the shrimp to properly marinate, you’ll need to leave them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days while stirring occasionally.


Once the shrimp are good and soaked, take out the dish and discard the bay leaves before serving. And if you’re in the mood for a bit of spice, we recommend sprinkling crushed red pepper or a dash of Tabasco sauce on top. But with a sweet, bold taste, these shrimp have plenty of flavor no matter how you serve them.


The Junior League is known for their party-planning prowess, and this recipe is a prime example. So if you decide to serve a round of Marinated Shrimp for hors d’oeuvres at your next gathering, make sure you’ve got plenty of table settings to accommodate a longer guest list.