Shrimp Cocktail is probably one of my favorite summer dishes to indulge in. It’s simple, flavorful and light. Seriously, I can eat this shrimp cocktail all day without feeling guilty or bloated. It also keeps me cool, because the last thing I want to do on a triple digit day is turn on my oven. You only need to boil some water to cook your shrimp (if you choose to go this route), and other then that, it’s all about the veggies and juice. Don’t take my word for it, go on, add this seafood delight to your weeknight line up. ♥
Shrimp It Up
For a shrimp cocktail we need, well, tons of cooked shrimp. Large shrimp/prawns is my preference, leaving some whole and cutting others in half. There are three methods to get your hands on some cooked shrimp. Please use whichever is more convenient. I go back and forth between all three of these methods. It just depends on how I am feeling that week. There is no right way, just the right way for you. That was deep 🙂
Here are the choices:
- Cook in Acidity
You can simply cook the shrimp in tons of lime juice from fresh limes. Use this method if you have the time or if you can begin this process the night before. Place your cleaned (peeled and deveined) shrimp in a bowl and submerge it with fresh lime juice. That’s it. Let it sit until the shrimp changes color from opaque to pink. This takes hours. Again, I would only cook the shrimp in this method if you can begin prep the night before. Remove the shrimp from the lime juice (do not rinse) and begin the recipe process. This eliminates having to use lime juice later on in the recipe. Of course you still can if you feel the flavor is lacking acidity, but that is totally up to you.
2. Cook in a Quick Boil
Heat 2-4 quarts of water in a large pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the shrimp and cook until no longer opaque (see-through), and is bright pink. This should only take 30 seconds. Don’t over cook the shrimp or it will gain a chewy texture. Also, be sure not to overly pile too much shrimp at once. Cook in smaller batches to ensure even cooking. Remove from the water and into a colander. Allow to cool completely before continuing the recipe. Be sure to cook your shrimp a few hours before needed.
3. Purchase Cooked Shrimp
If you are in an absolute pickle or you wish to make your life easier (no shame in that) just purchase some cooked shrimp. There isn’t much to this one. Make sure it’s not frozen and begin mixing that Shrimp Cocktail.
Aside from the shrimp, Shrimp Cocktail is all veggies. You can play around with this bit, but I have my combination of veggies I use. My combination: red onion, cucumber (peeled) and who can forget my friend, avocado. How do you prep these you say? Bite size pieces (small diced). That’s all.
So all the veggies are prepped, our shrimp is cooked, now it’s just time to combine all the goodies together. Literally, that is all there is to it. You just mix in every single ingredients in a large bowl and say hello to a delicious shrimp cocktail . Clamato Tomato Cocktail is my go-to liquid, along with Hunt’s Ketchup.
That’s all folks. Now there are plenty of other ingredients or sea critters you can add to bump up the taste. Examples you say? Some add small diced tomatoes (extra tomato flavor) or shredded carrots. Want to be extra fancy? Throw in some squid or oysters.
If you feel you are missing that extra flavor or spiciness, add hot sauce to your individual portion. Tapatio is my favorite. Grab your saltine crackers and enjoy! ♥
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- 2 lbs Shrimp, 21-25 (peeled, devined, cut into bite size pieces)
- 1 lb 6 oz Cucumber (peeled, small diced)
- 4 oz Red Onion (small diced)
- 1 lb Avocado (small diced)
- 2 Limes (Lime Juice)
- 2 qts Clamato Juice (Tomato Cocktail - 1 (64 oz) container)
- 1.5 cups Ketchup (15 oz)
Cooking the Shrimp
- Heat enough water to submerge your shrimp in a large pot over medium-high heat. (I boiled 4 quarts). Bring to a boil.
- Add the shrimp and cook until no longer opaque (see through) and is now pink, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Cook the shrimp in batches if it look like they would overly mound on top of each other. Smaller batches ensures even cooking.
- Drain and completely cool before continuing.
- If they are larger shrimp (like mine), cut them into bite size pieces. If they are smaller shrimp, leave them as is.
- Set aside until needed.
- Combine the Cooked Shrimp, cucumber, red onion, avocado, lime juice, clamato juice and ketchup in a large bowl. Mix well to distribute all flavors.
- Chill the cocktail in the fridge.
- Portion and add hot sauce (Tapatio is our fav) to give it the extra spice kick. The hot sauce is totally optional. Enjoy with saltine crackers, yum!
- Prep time includes cooking the shrimp and prepping the vegetables. It does NOT include how long it takes for the shrimp to cool.
- To speed up shrimp cooling, place in freezer for 5-10 mins.
- Cook time is combining all ingredients in the large bowl - not much to it. 🙂
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