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Marinated Shrimp, Tomato, and Onion Sallet

Updated: Jul 10, 2021

Serve this dish with a slotted spoon so the vinegar marinade drains back into the bowl. This salad also tastes great dressed with a light mayonnaise as a substitute for the vinegar and oil in the recipe.–Sallie Ann Robinson

Gullah is a way of life. I try to explain to people that when you grow up on an island, a place that don’t have the grocery store, don’t have the special amenities, things that most people who live in the city can put their hands on instantly, you learn to labor. In the city, if they outta onion, they run to the store. On Daufuskie, our way of life was growing the onions.

Our way of life and the Gullah way was getting up every morning and preparing ourselves for the chores we had to do to make sure we had our breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The gardening, feeding the hogs, the cows, tending the field – whereas in the city where life is much faster, we run to the store. It amazed me that people were going to the store to buy shrimp. I’d say, “why you going to the store, the ocean is right out there! You can catch those very shrimp yourself!” I mean, how can you not have time for something so wonderful? And costly in the store? On the island, we ate it in abundance – fish, crab, oysters – the Gullah way was to go out there and catch it, prepare it and enjoy it. And you didn’t have an overhead or cost to go with it, except time.

Marinated Shrimp, Tomato, and Onion Sallet


  • Sea salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 3 whole (10 oz) tomatoes, cut into wedges

  • 1 small (4 oz) red onion, diced or thinly sliced

  • 1/4 small (1 oz) white or red onion, cut into thin strips

  • 1/4 medium green bell pepper, cut into thin strips

  • 1/4 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

  • 1/4 medium yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips

  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1 cup vinegar (distilled, white wine, and red wine work equally well)

  • 2/3 cup mild vegetable oil

  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)


Half fill a medium stockpot with water and bring to a boil over high heat.

Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and then stir in the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp turn pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain in a colander and let the shrimp cool.

In a large bowl, combine the cooled shrimp, tomatoes, onion, bell peppers, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, sugar, and garlic. Toss until well combined.

Add the vinegar, oil, and lemon juice and toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Cover and refrigerate for 35 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve with a slotted spoon to allow the juices to drain.



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