Mexican Shrimp Cocktail (Coctél de Camarones)

Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Servings: 6 people
This shrimp cocktail is great as an appetizer or as a light meal.

As a kid, I remember the cóctel de camarones, or Mexican shrimp cocktail, that my dad would prepare. The reason my dad would always make it was because my mom was not crazy about shrimp unless it was breaded and fried.

I also remember that it was mostly for the adults! We would get a little taste and we were happy as could be. You could see how feeding cóctel de camarones to 8 kids plus 2 adults could get pretty expensive! My family's shrimp cocktail recipe was pretty close to this one, minus the Clamato juice.

This recipe requires minimal cooking and mostly passive time as you chill the shrimp. That's the real trick to any shrimp cocktail recipe. Chilling the shrimp gives it that cool, fresh-from-the-sea bite that you always want in your cocktail.


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  1. Prep step: Have a bowl of ice water on hand before you cook the shrimp, which will be fast.
  2. Poach the shrimp in boiling, salted water for just 2 minutes or until they turn pink. Drain and transfer the shrimp to the bowl of ice water, and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients in the order listed. Taste for salt, pepper and hot sauce. Drain the chilled shrimp and add to the sauce mixture. Cover and chill for 1 hour before serving.
  4. Serve with saltine crackers and garnish with more cilantro if you like.

Chef Notes

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