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Cold Shrimp Salad Recipe

Image for Cold Shrimp Salad Recipe Cold Shrimp Salad Recipe

From bland egg salad to goopy chicken salad, cold salads can get a bad rap at times. But this is an entirely different beast. Lightly poached shrimp mixed with lots of crunchy vegetables and spices and stirred with just enough mayonnaise to hold it together is a refreshing salad that can be served as a meal or an appetizer that can be served on this Zak Designs Bamboo Tray.

This salad is far from hard, but I do recommend getting really good shrimp and shelling them yourself. The subtle flavor of the shrimp comes through nicely in the salad so don’t get pre-cooked ones.

If you’ve never shelled shrimp before, it’s not hard. Start from the head end of the shrimp and peel off the entire shell (sometimes I’ll leave the tail on for shrimp cocktails, but you can remove the entire shell for this dish). Then take a small knife and run it down the back of the shrimp. There will most likely be a tiny black vein down the back of the shrimp which isn’t good eats. Just rinse it out with cold water.

When your shrimp are peeled and cleaned, poach them in lightly simmering water seasoned with a pinch of salt for 3-4 minutes until they are just cooked. Then rinse the shrimp with cold water to stop the cooking and roughly chop them up.

Rinse the shrimp with cold water to stop the cooking and roughly chop them up.

A wide range of vegetables could be used for this salad, but I kept it simple with a red pepper, some celery, and a shallot. You could add carrots, chiles, or any other crunchy vegetable.

Take your time dicing your vegetables so they are in small pieces. You don’t want any huge pieces of vegetable in the salad.

Then just stir the shrimp, veggies, mayo, lemon juice, and spices together. Taste the salad and adjust it to your liking. Maybe add a dash of hot sauce, a bit more Old Bay, or more lemon if you want some extra citrus flavor. Your call!

You can chill this salad for a day or two without a problem or serve it right away on lettuce leaves garnished with chives. If you don’t like the lettuce leaf idea, you could serve this almost as a dip with pita chips or spread some on some toast for a sandwich!

Cold Shrimp Salad Recipe Instructions

Cold Shrimp Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 6 as an appetizer


  • 1 pound shrimp, cleaned and poached
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1/2 lemon,juice only
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • Romaine lettuce, for serving
  • Chives, garnish

Cooking Directions

  1. Clean shrimp by shelling them and running a paring knife down the back of the shrimp and rinsing the vein out with cold water.
  2. In a medium pot, bring water to a slight simmer with a pinch of salt. Poach shrimp for 3-4 minutes until they are just cooked through. Then rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
  3. Mince vegetables finely and stir together in a bowl with lemon juice, mayonnaise, and seasonings.
  4. Roughly chop cooked shrimp and stir into the salad mix.
  5. Serve salad immediately in lettuce leaves garnished with chives or chill for later.
  6. Mixed salad will keep in the fridge for 2 days.


This post was contributed by Macheesmo

Nick cooks a lot and posts his recipes and food related items. Besides Macheesmo, Nick also writes for and The Kitchn. Nick released his first cookbook, Love Your Leftovers, on April 2014.

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