In this flavorful appetizer based on a recipe in Canal House Cooking, volume number two, celery is simmered until tender and then paired with shrimp and lightly pickled.
- 1 cup rice vinegar
- 1 cup mirin
- 1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 3 tbsp. sugar
- 1⁄4 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
- 1 (2″) piece ginger, thinly sliced
- 20 black peppercorns
- 10 juniper berries
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 4 whole celery hearts, leaves reserved for garnish
- 1 cup white wine
- 1⁄2 lb. medium unpeeled shrimp
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Combine vinegar, mirin, lemon juice, salt, sugar, chile flakes, ginger, 12 peppercorns, juniper berries, 2 bay leaves, cinnamon, and 1 cup water in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat; cook, stirring often, until salt and sugar have dissolved, 3–5 minutes. Transfer brine to a large bowl; chill brine.
- Put celery into a 4-qt. saucepan; cover with 8 cups water. Add remaining peppercorns and bay leaves, along with wine; season with salt. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until celery is tender, 18–20 minutes. Using tongs, transfer celery to chilled brine. Add shrimp to the poaching liquid; cook until just pink, 1–2 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a bowl; let cool. Peel and devein shrimp; add to brine. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate, turning occasionally, for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight. To serve, slice celery diagonally; divide celery and shrimp between plates. Season with salt, drizzle with oil, and serve with lemon wedges.