Authentic Shrimp Cocktail

by Nata
Authentic shrimp cocktail

Looking for a restaurant-like quintessential appetizer at home? Shrimp Cocktail is the answer as it is a simple and delicious appetizer. No one will pass up this best shrimp cocktail entree. 

I think everyone loves shrimp or prawn cocktails! It became famous in the 70s-80s in both Europe and the United States. Even Gordon Ramsay mentioned that this shrimp cocktail was very popular in the ’70s and was usually served before another famous and very trendy in those years – Diane Steak – Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Sauce. I promise that soon I will share this recipe here, for you. 

Shrimp are always welcomed in my house. There are never too many shrimp recipes or dishes I am fed up with. Shrimp can be cooked in so many variations and no one in my family resists not trying shrimp while I am cooking them. No matter how they are prepared, either fried in some butter, garlic, and wine, baked, or coated with panko, shrimp will taste heavenly. Simple, but irresistible.

Authentic shrimp cocktailThis easy and elegantly Shrimp Cocktail recipe is full of aromatic shrimp, spicy and tangy tomato sauce. Served cold, with a sweet/spicy sauce, this appetizer is ready in minutes and gone in seconds. This dish is one of those foods that are flavorful, satisfying, and super easy to make. 

Shrimp cocktail served in a nice martini glass with one of the best sauces is just perfect for any occasion. This homemade appetizer gets even better as you can measure the adds-in and cook as much shrimp or prawns you want. This restaurant-like dish will impress your guests served next to a nice glass of champagne or white wine. 

A flavorful poached shrimp cocktail will always look gorgeous on the party table and will taste divine.   

In supermarkets, there is a big choice of pre-made shrimp cocktails (sold refrigerated or frozen) also called “shrimp ring”. Once you will see how easy is to prepare this ultimate shrimp cocktail at home, you will never grab it from supermarkets shelves.  

Authentic shrimp cocktailWhat are the best shrimp for Shrimp Cocktail?

The perfect size for the Shrimp Cocktail recipe is 16–20 count per pound. If you didn’t find shrimps of this size then grab 18-25 or 11-15 ct. The shrimp size is usually printed on the package that they are packaged in. 

How to cook shrimp for Shrimp Cocktail?

Shrimps for this Shrimp Cocktail recipe can be prepared in 2 methods: boiling or baking.

First of all, of course, we have to peel and devein shrimps. For a good crowd, 2 lb of shrimp will be enough. Also do not forget to remove the black vein from the back. If you bought already cleaned shrimps it will be better for you, and you will save some of your time. An important thing you must pay attention to is not to buy pre-cooked shrimps (they have already lost their taste and flavour) and the taste really differs.

Authentic shrimp cocktailIt’s important not to overcook shrimp as they will harder but we want some perfectly cooked gorgeous shrimp.

Boiling shrimp is a pretty easy method. You can cook them either in vegetable broth or in salty water with lemon, and parsley. Boil shrimps not more than 3 minutes. Then remove them from the pot and let them sit in a colander to drain well. Or transfer them into the bowl with ice and let them chill completely. 

The second method that I like better also does not require much time and effort are the baking shrimp. First, pat dry already cleaned shrimp with paper towels. Then, take a bowl and add 3 tbsp olive oil, 6 minced garlic cloves, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp of pepper mix and the shrimp to absorb all the flavors. Optional for more aroma you can add some paprika. 

Meanwhile, preheat the oven at  450˚F. Arrange the shrimp in a single layer and bake for 8-10 minutes or until all shrimp turn pink. After the elapsed time remove the pan from the oven and transfer shrimp on a plate to cool.

Authentic shrimp cocktailIf you took a smaller size of shrimp (18-25 ct) then reduce baking time to 6-8 minutes. In case you have a bigger one (11-15 ct) then bake shrimps for 10-12 minutes.

How to make Shrimp Cocktail Sauce?

There are many variations and selections of the best shrimp cocktail sauce. Any cocktails sauce you will make will pair perfectly with the aromatic shrimp. It already depends on your preferences and tastes – either you want it spicy, sweeter, or a fresh sauce. 

This tangy sauce for dipping lies in its balance of ingredients: sweet ketchup, spicy Worcestershire sauce, and fresh lemon flavor. Many classic recipes of sauce for shrimp cocktail contains horseradish. But as I am not a big fan of it I omitted it in my sauce. 

Authentic shrimp cocktailSo, in a large bowl, combine ½ cup of sweet ketchup with ½ cup of chili tomato sauce (the one you love),  2 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce. I usually add ½ tsp of Tabasco but you can start with a few drops and regulate depending how spicy you like it to be. I also added some smoked paprika and a pinch of salt. Mix well all the ingredients and refrigerate until you want to serve it. 

This shrimp cocktail sauce has a perfectly balanced aroma and taste. For note: you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

How to make the best Shrimp Cocktail?

This tasty dish is always the first to disappear at parties and is a total crowd-pleaser. Shrimp Cocktail is a perfect make-ahead recipe and sauce taste even better as it melds the aromas.

Once you have cooked the main ingredients it is time to serve them. Shrimp Cocktail is usually served in the martini glass, especially if we are doing individual appetizers. But remember there isn’t a certain rule. If you do not have the martini glasses – be creative. You can use wine glasses or small bawls. Put about 1/2 cup of Shrimp Cocktail sauce into the glass and then hang shrimp around it. Drizzle some drops of lime juice and serve with pleasure.

Authentic shrimp cocktailOnce you will try this recipe you will never buy a pre-made commercial shrimp cocktail again.

Recipe tips: 

  • Shrimp or prawn is a good selection making an elegant and tasty appetizer. Also, scallops or stone-crab claws can revamp the classical recipe. 
  • You can either boil or bake the shrimp. It depends on your taste.
  • Avocado can be a great add-in, as well as parsley or cilantro.
  • Add some lime juice and 1 hot chili pepper for an authentic Mexican taste. 
  • If you love cocktail sauce spicier then add more chili sauce and if you prefer a mild sauce then add less. 

Authentic shrimp cocktail

Authentic shrimp cocktail

Authentic Shrimp Cocktail

Nata
Looking for a restaurant-like quintessential appetizer at home? Shrimp Cocktail is the answer as it is a simple and delicious appetizer. No one will pass up this best shrimp cocktail entree.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 10

Equipment

  • baking pan

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lb shrimp 16-20 ct
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper mix

For the Shrimp Cocktail Sauce:

  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup chili sauce
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp Tabasco sauce
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • pinch of salt

Instructions
 

For the Shrimp Cocktail Sauce:

  • In a large bowl, combine ½ cup of sweet ketchup with ½ cup of chili tomato sauce (the one you love),  2 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce and ½ tsp of Tabasco sauce. Mix well all ingredients and refrigerate until serve.

Shrimp Cocktail:

  • Pat dry already cleaned 2 lb of shrimp with paper towels. Then, take a bowl and add 3 tbsp olive oil, 6 minced garlic cloves, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp of pepper mix and the shrimp to absorb all the flavors.
  • Preheat the oven at  450˚F. Arrange the shrimp in a single layer and bake for 8-10 minutes or until all shrimp turn pink. After the elapsed time remove the pan from the oven and transfer shrimp on the plate to cool.
  • Put about 1/2 cup of Shrimp Cocktail sauce into the martini glass and then hang shrimp around it. Drizzle some drops of lime juice and serve with pleasure.
Keyword shrimp cocktail
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