Mexican Shrimp Cocktail, otherwise known as Cóctel de Camarónes, doesn't resemble an American shrimp cocktail at all. This version is almost like a "salad in a glass!" It's chock full of crunchy vegetables and shrimp in a spicy, tangy tomato sauce.
Mexican Shrimp Cocktail is almost like a "salad in a glass," chock full of crunchy vegetables and shrimp in a spicy, tangy tomato sauce. What's not to love?
But first.....Rick Bayless.....I love you and you're my go-to man for Mexican recipes. You made my mouth water when I watched you prepare this classic Mexican beachside treat in the gorgeous "Panna" app on my iPad.
But now, Cinco de Mayo is rolling around and I'm getting into the Mexican food mood. I made your app recipe which calls for combining one cup ketchup and one cup PLUS two tablespoons lime juice. I hate to tell you and the producers of the app this, but that's some serious lime juice and acid happening.
Now, I was nervous about using ketchup to begin with, but the combination of the ketchup and the excessive amount of lime juice is almost unpalatable in that recipe.
It's okay, Rick, everyone makes mistakes. Thankfully, I have your cookbook, Fiesta at Rick's, Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends to fall back on and the combination of ketchup, clam juice and lime juice in your cookbook recipe makes wayyy more sense.
And honestly, how many Mexican shrimp cocktail recipes does a person really need?
Just a good one and here it is! A combination of both recipes!
You could use purchased cooked shrimp, however, cooking your own will give you better flavor and texture. I'm also a stickler for using American wild-caught shrimp in all of my shrimp dishes. None of that funky farmed stuff for me!
Tips for peeling and deveining shrimp:
The easiest way I have found is:
- Cut through the top of the shell, starting at the wide end with kitchen shears.
- Cut all the shrimp in this manner at once so you don’t have to keep setting your scissors down
- Peel and remove the vein (intestine) under a trickle of cold water.
Do try to use fresh lime juice whenever possible! The flavor is far superior to anything sold "from concentrate."
I'm an onion-lover from way back, but it can be on the strong side for many people. Rick provides a great tip in the Panna app for removing some of the bite. After chopping the onion, place in a sieve and rinse it briefly under cold running water.
Thank you, hope you enjoy and please share this From A Chef’s Kitchen reader favorite!
For more great, easy shrimp appetizer recipes, be sure to try my:
- Shrimp Cakes with Roasted Red Bell Pepper Mayonnaise
- Creamy Shrimp Salsa Dip
- Shrimp in Avocado Butter
- Sriracha Shrimp Remoulade Cocktail
Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
- 1 medium white onion
- 6 large cloves garlic - coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons salt - plus more to taste
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound large shrimp - 16-20 count, peeled, deveined and tails removed except for 6 to go on top as garnish
- ¾ cup ketchup
- ¾ cup clam juice
- 2-3 tablespoons lime juice - or to taste
- Mexican hot sauce - to taste
- ½ small jicama - peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
- ½ large English cucumber - diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 medium avocado - peeled, pitted and chopped
- 1 cup chopped cilantro - loosely packed
- Lime wedges - for serving
- Cilantro sprigs - for serving
- Cut onion in half. Dice half and cut the other half into large chunks. Place diced onion in a sieve and run under cold running water; drain.
- Fill a saucepan with water. Add onion chunks, garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Add shrimp, turn off heat and let sit 1 minute or until shrimp are pink and cooked through. Drain and let shrimp cool. Discard onion and garlic.
- Combine ketchup, clam juice, lime juice and hot sauce.
- In another bowl, combine cooled shrimp, diced onion, jicama, cucumber, avocado and cilantro.
- Pour dressing over shrimp and vegetable combination, toss to coat.
- Serve in large, wide-rimmed glasses with a shrimp on top. Garnish with a lime wedge and cilantro springs.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
This recipe is fantastic. One person commented to replace clam juice with Clematis. What is Clematis?
Hi, Marji, Thanks so much for your question. I reviewed that comment and what they meant was Clamato, which you can find in the bottled juice area. Thanks again and soooo happy you enjoyed!
Clamato juice. It's a combination of tomato juice and clam juice. Canadians use it for a drink called a Caesar.
Did your sister in law ever chime in with her alterations
Hi, Gillian, Thanks so much for checking back! With the holidays and all it totally slipped my evermore feeble mind but here is her input:
Your recipe looks really delicious and most of it is spot on. Here are some variations we would use:
--Red onions to add a bit of color.
--Same with pepper: Jalapeños or Serrano based on how hot you want it.
--We use regular cucumber. It’s plentiful and cheap around here.
--Your ‘cocktail’ sauce sounds good. We make it with tomato juice and add some finely chopped tomatoes and add Cholula or Tabasco to taste.
--All the rest, garlic, salt, pepper, freshly squeezed lime juice (you are right it’s the BEST), and finely chopped cilantro to add.
Oh, and the diced avocado…can’t forget that!
Jim Stephens says
Which Panna app is it that this recipe on?? Food Network or the other???
Hi, Jim, Thanks much for your question. Keep in mind I posted this recipe in 2015. I did a little online research, and it appears the app I mentioned is no longer active but may have morphed into something the Food Network offers. Not totally sure but that's how it looks. Looks like I may need to update this post! Thanks again!
Lara Fulgham says
How does one serve this? I mean a fork? or spoon? napkins? I get that its in a glass.
Thanks in advance
Hi, Lara, Thanks so much for your question. I'd use a salad fork or appetizer fork. Hope that helps!
I want to make this for a group of ten (10)
What are the measurements of ingredients for this amount of people?
Hi, Ellie, Thanks so much for your question. I'm hoping to have the ability to resize recipes in my recipe card in the future. For now, may I suggest using an online recipe converter such as this one? https://www.webstaurantstore.com/recipe_resizer.html
Since this recipe feeds four, you'd want to at least double it but you wouldn't need to use 4 tablespoons of salt or 2 tablespoons of pepper; the original amount should suffice for cooking the shrimp. Instead of half of a whole small jicama, use 1 medium or large jicama. Instead of half of a large cucumber, a whole large cucumber, large avocados, etc. Adding more shrimp may get you to the ten servings. The diced vegetable part of the cocktail is pretty forgiving; a little more of something and less of something else shouldn't affect it that much.
Thanks so much and hope everyone enjoys!
I'd like to say this recipe is awesome...but it is not authentic💖 Switch ketchup for cocktail sauce..and clam juice for Clamato. Splash of Coca-cola, and juice of an orange🙏💖
Hi, Sandra, Thanks so much and glad you enjoyed! My sister-in-law is Mexican so I'd love to combine your input with hers so we all end up with a really killer recipe! Thanks again!
Great reply Carol! I can’t wait to try this original recipe and with Sandra’s substitutes!
Hi, Julia, Hope you enjoy! Thanks for reminding me I need to discuss with my sister-in-law!
Ellen Evars says
I'm very excited to make this yummy appetizer. My Margarita glass hold 8oz. is that the size in the photograph? I'm having 5 guest and I want to make sure there's enough.
Hi, Ellen, Thanks so much for your question. I think an 8-ounce glass should be perfect! Hope everyone enjoys!
Ellen Evars says
Thanks Carol for getting right back to me, One more question, Will one recipe fill 6. 8oz Margarita glasses or should I make a recipe and a half?
Hi, Ellen, I reviewed and clarified the recipe. I noticed I had not included the "count" of shrimp per pound. I generally use 16-20 count for most recipes, so to be generous with six people, I think you would want to do a recipe and a half. I also updated the number of servings to four to match the count per pound. Thanks so much and I hope everyone enjoys!
Do you suggest to cook the shrimp or already cooked shrimp. I am making for a party of 15 ppl. How many servings do you actually think I should make,
Hi, Lisa, Thanks so much for your question. I prefer to cook shrimp myself. I find the precooked shrimp to be a little overcooked. By cooking the shrimp yourself, you can flavor it in the process by adding onion, garlic, a little lime juice, salt, pepper, etc. It will depend on what you're serving but for 15 people, I would allow at 4 large shrimp per person. Thanks again and hope everyone enjoys!
We love this recipe! Have made it several times now and always love it. I now add coarsely chopped radishes, one stalk celery chopped fine, two Roma tomatoes diced, 3 or 4 green onions sliced fine to all the other ingredients and it is great. I found that it works better for us if we cut the shrimp in half or thirds if extra large. It is a very delicious filling meal. Leftovers are great covered in an airtight container.
Thanks so much, Hazel! So glad you all enjoy and it's become one of your keepers. I love the little changes you made to make it your own. Thanks again and please stay in touch!
Kudos to Rick Bayless on this recipe, Being from San Antonio, Tx & Rockport, Tx, on the Gulf Coast only a short drive , fresh seafood is readily available, I add fresh oysters, use green onions, finely chopped including most of the green stems, 1 jar of Traders Joes seafood cocktail sauce & same amount of quality ketchup. 1 fresh diced small Roma tomato without meat or seeds, 1/2 tsp. Tarragon. add small amount of oyster liqueur and shrimp stock from cooking shrimp with heads on and shells intack for added flavor. Secret ingredient(no longer a secret) is a tsp or more of Spanish Liqueur "43" and same amount of Giola Luisa orange cello liqueur from Italy. In south Texas this cocktail is called, "Campechana". What a heck of a shrimp/oyster cocktail!
Fish house Veracruz. Serves a Baka shrp cocktail. Made with bloodymary mix. Delicious
Gwen @simplyhealthyfamily says
i would be in heaven if I could have this for lunch!
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
The perfect cinco de mayo inspired appetizer! Loving all those aromatic flavours and spices going on in this shrimp cocktail especially.