Cóctel De Camarones - Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

4 servings
17 min

There is nothing more refreshing on a hot day than a Cóctel de Camarones (Mexican Shrimp Cocktail). I like the flavor combination of tomato and citrus, the addition of a kick of spice and the plump prawns mixed all together with lots of crisp veggies. In my opinion, it's better than the traditional plain American version of shrimp cocktail.

My version uses Clamato juice as the tomato base rather than too much ketchup. I find serving ketchup on the side cuts the sweetness. If you're not a fan of Clamato juice, then pureed tomato would work just as well. But, be sure to season to taste with lime juice, salt and pepper, and the diced hot pepper.

Serving Cóctel de Camarones with ketchup and Tapatio hot sauce on top of saltines is super authentic. Alternatively, you could dress this dish up with slices of avocado on tostadas for a classy appetizer.

Cóctel De Camarones - Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
Recipe details
  • 4  servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 2 Minutes Total time: 17 min
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  • 1 lb medium or large uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined with tails removed
  • 1 1/4 cups Clamato juice
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1 english cucumber, chopped
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, finely diced
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano, deseeded, ribs removed and diced (optional)
  • Juice of 3-4 key limes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 avocados, sliced
  • Saltine crackers, ketchup and Tapatio hot sauce for serving

In a large bowl prepare an ice water bath.
Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way full with salted water. Bring to a boil.
While waiting for the water to come to a boil, wash the fresh produce. Chop the white onion. Juice the limes. Top and tail the cucumber, then chop. Cut the top off of the pepper, remove the ribs and seeds, then dice. Dice the cilantro leaves and fine stems.
Once the water is boiling, poach the shrimp just until they turn pink, approximately 2 minutes. Remove immediately, drain and dunk in the ice water bath.
In another large bowl, combine the Clamato juice, lime juice, chopped onion, chopped cucumber, as much of the cilantro as you like (I usually use about 1/3 cup), and the diced pepper to taste, if using. Drain the chilled shrimp and add to the bowl. Mix everything together. Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
Cover and chill in the refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to a few hours before serving. Garnish with any remaining cilantro. Serve with sides of avocado slices, ketchup and Tapatio hot sauce. For a super authentic feel, enjoy with saltine crackers. Alternatively, eat on tostadas for a fancy appetizer or lunch.