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Use Pickle Juice To Add A Briny Kick To Your Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp cocktail and sauce
Shrimp cocktail and sauce - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Pickles taste great whether they're eaten on their own as a snack, packed into sandwiches, or chopped up as the surprise ingredient in your potato salad. The only trouble is, once you've eaten your way through a jar of pickles, you're often left with a bunch of brine. While most people pour this liquid down the sink, there's something much better you can do with it -- use it to flavor your shrimp cocktail.

Adding pickle juice to your shrimp cocktail gives it an acidic kick. The salty, sour taste works well paired with the slightly sweet flesh of this shellfish. It has a similar effect to how lemon juice can balance the richness of seafood and add brightness to it. To use this tip to improve your shrimp's flavor, all you have to do is add a small amount of the brine to your cocktail sauce. Alternatively, you can marinate the shrimp in the brine directly, infusing them with a briney, tangy flavor.

Read more: 13 Tips To Make Your Shrimp Taste So Much Better

What To Know About Adding Pickle Brine To Your Shrimp Cocktail

Briny pickle slices
Briny pickle slices - m.dipo/Shutterstock

The first thing to consider if you're using leftover pickle juice in your shrimp cocktail is what kind of pickles you're dealing with. Some varieties, such as bread and butter pickles, have sugar in the brine to give them a sweet taste. Others contain herbs, such as dill, to add flavor profiles to the brine. You can use any pickle juice you like but know that these ingredients will shine through in your shrimp cocktail. So, think about what flavors you're aiming for in your appetizer.


Another thing to know is how to add the juice to your recipe. Adding about 1 tablespoon of the liquid can help introduce tangy-tasting notes if you're mixing it into the cocktail sauce. You can adjust this ratio as you see fit, depending on how much of the briny flavor you want in your final dish. Alternatively, let the cooked shrimp soak directly in the pickle brine for half an hour or more. Once again, you can leave them for longer if you want the tangy taste of the brine to be more prominent.

Variations On Pickle Brine Shrimp Cocktail

Tray of mini shrimp cocktails
Tray of mini shrimp cocktails - Boogich/Getty Images

When discussing pickles, most of us think about pickled cucumbers, whether whole, as slices, spears, or in another shape. However, you can pickle just about any vegetable. Rather than sticking with standard pickles try playing around with the juice from other pickled veggies to get different subtle, flavorful undertones to your shrimp cocktail.

For instance, if you love spicy food, you could ramp up the bite in your cocktail by adding the brine from pickled jalapeños to the sauce or using it to marinate your shrimp. Use the juice from pickled red onions if you prefer intense acidity. Another fun choice could be to add tangy and slightly sweet pickled beet juice to the cocktail sauce or marinate the shrimp to give them a vibrant pink color. No matter what kinds of pickles you enjoy at home, the next time you empty a jar, hang on to the brine to give your shrimp cocktail bright new flavors.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.