Food & Drink

Southern-Style Shrimp Roll

Makes 4 rolls

One of chef Jacques Larson’s popular menu offerings at the Obstinate Daughter

Photo: Andrew Cebulka

Every few months, it seems, another Charleston, South Carolina, chef opens a buzzed-about new spot downtown. Jacques Larson isn’t all that eager to push his way in. A veteran of several downtown establishments, he now cooks on the fringes of town at the rustic Johns Island restaurant Wild Olive and at the brand-new Obstinate Daughter, wedged between the grand old beach houses on quiet Sullivan’s Island. Just blocks from the Atlantic, the Obstinate Daughter takes some cues from the Italian menu at its sister restaurant, but even more from its surroundings. “First and foremost, it’s a Southern restaurant,” Larson says. “We’re borrowing from Italian cuisine, but the menu is rooted in local produce.”

That means pastas and wood-fired pizzas topped with Lowcountry mushrooms, clams, and greens; South Carolina oysters paired with ramekins of scuppernong mignonette; and North Carolina squid stuffed with house-made chorizo. And the chalkboard displays more than just the day’s specials. Larson and his cooks also use it to sell fresh-off-the-boat ingredients that might only feed a couple of tables. “What goes on the board doesn’t have to be a daily item,” he says. “It can be an hourly item. If somebody drops off twelve pounds of stone crab claw, I can put that up for four hours. And then it’s over, and the next item goes up.”

You can sample the the menu anywhere in the country with a tray of Larson’s superlative shrimp rolls. A tip: Try them with fresh-cut french fries and a pitcher of cold sweet tea.


  • Lowcountry Shrimp Rolls

    • 1 1/2 lbs. poached shrimp (recipe below)

    • 1/2 cup garlic aioli (recipe below)

    • 1 tbsp. mint leaves, chopped

    • 2 tbsp. celery leaves, chopped

    • 2 tbsp. chives, chopped, plus more to garnish

    • 4 split-top rolls or hot dog buns

  • Poached Shrimp

    • 2 tbsp. Old Bay

    • 3 bay leaves

    • 1 tbsp. whole black peppercorns

    • 3 tbsp. kosher salt

    • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes

    • 2 cups white wine

    • 2 whole lemons

    • 1 1/2 lbs. shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • Garlic Aioli

    • 1 egg yolk

    • 1/2 tsp. garlic, chopped

    • 1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice

    • 1 tsp. kosher salt

    • 1 tsp. black pepper

    • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil


  1. For the shrimp roll:

    Combine shrimp, aioli, mint leaves, celery leaves, and chives together in a bowl, and stir until the shrimp is coated. Toast the rolls and divide the shrimp salad between them. Garnish with chopped chives and serve.

  2. For the poached shrimp:

    Combine Old Bay, bay leaves, peppercorns, salt, red pepper flakes, wine, and 6 cups water in a thick-bottomed pot.

  3. Cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice into the pot.

  4. Place the mixture on the stove over medium-high heat and bring it to a simmer. Then drop the shrimp into the poaching liquid and simmer for several minutes or until just cooked through. Using a skimmer, remove the shrimp, and place them in the refrigerator to cool. Discard the poaching liquid.

  5. For the garlic aioli:

    Combine first 5 ingredients in a food processor; whip on high until just foamy. Slowly drizzle in oil until the mixture looks like mayonnaise, and then add ¼ cup of water to thin it slightly. Check seasoning and add more salt if needed.

Recipes from chef Jacques Larson of the Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina