Mexican Shrimp Cocktail (Cóctel de Camarón) for Two
Why This Recipe Works
This popular Mexican dish consists of cooked shrimp tossed with chopped vegetables in a bright tomato sauce. For shrimp that were tender, not rubbery, we cooked them using residual heat. Bringing the cooking water to a full boil before adding the shrimp ensured that there was enough heat in the saucepan to cook them through. Cutting the shrimp into bite-size pieces made them easier to eat. For a sauce that wasn't too sweet, we used a combination of savory V8 and ketchup plus lime juice and hot sauce. V8's slightly viscous consistency, along with the ketchup, gave the sauce body to nicely coat the shrimp. Cucumber and red onion added crunch, avocado added creaminess, and cilantro added freshness.
IngredientsPrint Shopping List
|10||ounces large shrimp (26 to 30 per pound), peeled, deveined, and tails removed|
|⅛||teaspoon table salt, plus salt for cooking shrimp|
|½||cup V8 juice, chilled|
|1 ½||tablespoons lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving|
|1||teaspoon hot sauce, plus extra for serving|
|¼||English cucumber, cut into ½-inch pieces|
|½||cup finely chopped red onion|
|½||avocado, cut into ½-inch pieces|
|2||tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro|
From The Shop
We prefer untreated shrimp, but if your shrimp are treated with salt or additives such as sodium tripolyphosphate, do not add the salt in step 1. The balanced flavor of Valencia, Cholula, or Tapatío hot sauce works best here. If using a spicier, vinegary hot sauce such as Tabasco, start with half the amount called for and adjust to your taste after mixing. Saltines are a traditional accompaniment, but tortilla chips or thick-cut potato chips are also good. Serve this dish as an appetizer or light meal.
Total time: 45 minutes
1. Bring 1½ cups water to boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Stir in shrimp and 1½ teaspoons salt. Cover and let stand off heat until shrimp are opaque, about 5 minutes, shaking saucepan halfway through. Fill large bowl halfway with ice and water. Transfer shrimp to ice bath and let cool for 3 to 5 minutes. Once cool, cut each shrimp crosswise into 3 pieces
2. Combine V8 juice, ketchup, lime juice, hot sauce, and salt in medium bowl. Add cucumber, onion, and shrimp and stir until evenly coated. Stir in avocado and cilantro. Portion cocktail into individual bowls or glasses and serve immediately, passing saltines, lime wedges, and extra hot sauce separately.