Sometimes inspiration comes from serendipity in a restaurant—like a suggestion from a server or a special on the menu. This shrimp salad recipe is a result of just such a situation. This shrimp salad is good served over greens or stuffed into tomatoes, but it shines its brightest on toasted buns with shredded lettuce. This recipe makes enough for two large sandwiches; if you don't use it all, it keeps well in the refrigerator for a day or two.
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 12 ounces small or medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning, divided (see note)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice, divided (or more to taste)
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 to 2 ribs celery, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 to 2 scallions, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
- 2 sandwich rolls, hoagie rolls or large hamburger buns, split and toasted
- 3/4 cup shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce
Add the kosher salt to a quart or so of water in a medium pot.
Bring just to a simmer and add the shrimp. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes (depending on the size of the shrimp); they should be pink and barely translucent.
Drain and rinse briefly under cool water. Drain thoroughly.
Place the shrimp in a small bowl and add 1/2 teaspoon of the Old Bay and 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice.
Toss to coat and place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or so to cool completely.
Whisk the remaining Old Bay, remaining lemon juice, mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce together in a medium-size bowl.
When the shrimp are cool, add them along with the celery and scallions to the dressing and toss gently to coat. Adjust seasoning, adding more lemon juice and salt if necessary.
Serve on toasted rolls or buns with shredded lettuce. To make assembly and to eat less messy, scoop out part of the inside of the rolls before toasting.
Old Bay seasoning is a combination of celery salt, black and red pepper and other spices; similar mixtures include Chesapeake Bay seasoning. If you don't have one of the commercial mixtures on hand, use 1 teaspoon celery salt, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon paprika and 1/8 teaspoon granulated onion or onion powder. (Don't be fooled for recipes online that claim to be copycats of Old Bay; they almost always start out with a huge amount of ground bay leaf, which is not what the "bay" in Old Bay is about.)
For an elegant luncheon or first course, spoon the shrimp salad into a hollowed-out tomato or artichoke.