This Easy Poached Shrimp Salad Sandwich is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. It’s bright and sweet with a mild seafood flavor that reminds me of lobster rolls, minus the intimidation factor of its armor-shelled cousin.
I always opt for the freshest seafood available — and since I live literally a mile from the beach, it’s not an issue. For those of you further inland, frozen shrimp will work well too — bonus that some of those frozen shrimp are already peeled and deveined. If you have fresh shrimp, you’ll have to peel them yourself. Deveining is optional — some people do it, others find it a hassle.
You could steam or boil your shrimp, but you’re not really adding flavor with those methods. Instead, try a quick poach in a court bouillon. That may sound complicated, but it’s actually very simple. Make a spice sachet with bay leaves, peppercorns, allspice, a cinnamon stick and juniper berries tied together in a piece of cheesecloth. Add the sachet to a small pot and fill it a few inches with water. Add a few slices of lemon and bring it to a boil.
When the water reaches a boil, turn off the heat, add the shrimp so that they’re submerged and cover with a lid for 5 minutes.
This is a gentle poach that cooks the shrimp, while infusing them with a subtle flavor. Don’t believe me? Taste one and see.
While the shrimp are poaching, mix up a blend of mayonnaise, celery, onion a bit of lemon juice, dill and hot sauce to taste!
Rinse and drain the shrimp. Make sure they’re chilled before adding them to the dressing. If you have really small (popcorn) shrimp, you may not need to chop them. Mine were U-25-30 (meaning 25-30 shrimp per pound) and they were a little large for the salad, so I gave them a quick dice.
Stir the shrimp into the dressing and taste for seasoning. Adjust accordingly.
We like this shrimp salad on soft brioche buns or potato rolls (IMO, Martin’s potato rolls or King’s Hawaiian are the best). Slices of ripe tomato and a handful of baby arugula round out this sandwich, but to make it feel more like summer vacation, you’ll definitely want chips, dill pickles and of course — a cold beer!
Easy Poached Shrimp Salad Sandwich
This easy salad tastes like summer! Pile it high on a brioche bun or potato roll and serve with an icy cerveza! Easy Poached Shrimp Salad Sandwich is always a hit!
For Poaching Shrimp:
- 1 pound medium shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 bay leaves
- 10 whole peppercorns
- 2 whole cloves
- 4 whole juniper berries (optional)
- 2 thin slices lemon
- 1 stalk celery finely minced
- 1/4 cup white or red onion finely minced
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons fresh dill chopped
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- hot sauce to taste
- 4 brioche buns or potato rolls
- 8 slices ripe tomato
- 1 cup baby arugula
Cut a piece of cheesecloth in a medium sized square and put the bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves & juniper berries in the center. Fold the sides up to form a packet and tie the packet securely with a piece of kitchen string.
Add 2-3 inches of water to a medium saucepan. Add the spice sachet and the lemon slices. Bring the water to a rolling boil and turn off the heat. Add the shrimp to the water, making sure that they're submerged. Place the lid on the pan and set aside for about 5 minutes.
While shrimp are poaching, make the salad dressing. In a medium bowl, combine the celery, onion, mayonnaise, dill, lemon juice, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
Drain the shrimp, discarding the lemon and spice sachet. Rinse shrimp with cold running water and refrigerate until chilled - about 15-20 minutes. When chilled, transfer the shrimp to a cutting board. Dab with paper towels if they seem wet. Roughly chop the shrimp into 1/4" - 1/2" chunks.
Add shrimp to the mayonnaise mixture and toss to coat.
Slice rolls in half. Place 2 tomato slices on each of the bottom buns. Divide the shrimp salad among the sandwiches and crown each with arugula and the top of the roll. Serve with your favorite chips and cold beer.
To Peel Shrimp: Hold the shrimp with one hand and grab the legs of the shrimp. Pull the legs to one side and the shell should come off with them. Remove the tail of the shrimp for this recipe by firmly holding the shrimp and gently pinching the last knuckle of shrimp to pop it from the tail.
To Devein Shrimp: Run a very sharp paring knife vertically down the top of the shrimp -- cutting into the flesh no more than 1/4". Open the slit to reveal the dark vein and pull it out. Discard.
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