Pickled Shrimp Will Serve Main Character Energy On Your Charcuterie Board

Pickled shrimp with lime
Pickled shrimp with lime - Juanmonino/Getty Images

Whether with friends on movie night or preparing a spread all for yourself, a charcuterie board brings together a full spectrum of flavors and textures. From umami-dense cured meats to tart jams and salty nuts, charcuterie boards are a tapestry of taste. Although, if you're a frequent charcuterie chef, you may occasionally find that your go-to lineup of fixings has become monotonous. With one uncommon, unusual, yet unequivocally delicious addition to your charcuterie board, you'll never be bored again. Enter pickled shrimp. Although not a common pickled food, if you like ceviche, you'll probably like pickled shrimp.

Pickled shrimp brings a vibrant, tangy, and palate-cleansing taste that complements the savory spirit of cured meats and the creamy richness of cheeses. The springy yet tender texture of pickled shrimp invites a unique mouthfeel that challenges the typical tactile experience of a charcuterie board. Between its noteworthy flavor and texture and the general novelty of pickled shrimp, everyone will be talking about this zingy addition. Careful though, this unique seafood dish will be so well-liked that it might develop a severe case of main character syndrome.

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

Pickled Shrimp Tips

Preson preparing shrimp
Preson preparing shrimp - Stefan Tomic/Getty Images

If you haven't caught on yet, shrimp isn't your ordinary pickled food, which means it will be difficult to source at major supermarkets. Though you may have luck picking up a jar of pickled shrimp at a specialty grocery outlet or a farmers' market, your best bet is making this funky charcuterie snack at home. But don't fret, it's easy to do.

Preparing pickled shrimp is easy but not fast, so set aside at least six hours to develop that zesty, refreshing flavor. If you've pickled veggies or fruits in the past, you'll be comfortable pickling shrimp. For starters, you'll need a sealable, air-tight container to let the shrimp marinate. At the bare minimum, a basic pickle brine calls for vinegar, salt, and water. But if you want to give this seafood dish a noticeable depth of flavor, consider adding garlic cloves, white onion, fresh jalapeño, dill, parsley, mustard seed, and black pepper to your brine. Simply combine your ingredients, place them in the fridge, and let them rest for six hours before enjoying.

Unlike ceviche, pickling doesn't cook the shrimp, so purchase pre-cooked shrimp or clean, cook, and chill raw shrimp before pickling them. Thanks to the acidity of the vinegar, which inhibits bacterial growth, pickled shrimp will last up for up to six weeks in the refrigerator.

Best Charcuterie Pairings

Charcuterie board
Charcuterie board - Goskova Tatiana/Shutterstock

Pickled shrimp is an excellent snack on its own, but it was destined for a spot on a well-designed charcuterie board. But because it's so uncommon, you might need some ideas for pairing pickled shrimp with some classic charcuterie fare. Soft and creamy cheeses like brie or camembert offer a mild, buttery flavor that mellows out the acidity of the shrimp and gives a textural contrast as well. As for meats, the rich, salty, yet delicate taste of prosciutto contrasts nicely with the tangy boldness of the pickled shrimp.

Crisp, crusty baguette slices can hold up well to the weight of the shrimp and other toppings while providing a neutral base that allows the flavors of the pickled fish to shine. A plain, salted cracker is an excellent alternative. Don't forget the sweet stuff -- juicy grapes can bolster the tanginess of the shrimp while figs can mellow it out with their smooth, mapley essence.

Though it's certainly among some of the ingredients you may not have ever thought to add to a charcuterie board, pickled shrimp will exceed your expectations. And if you eat enough, maybe you too can harness some main character energy.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.