This delicious and refreshing Mexican shrimp cocktail is full of fresh vibrant flavor from ingredients like lime juice, jalapeno, and cilantro. It's a perfect appetizer on a hot day, or you can even serve it as a light lunch.
The first time I had a Mexican shrimp cocktail at a resort in Mexico I fell head over heels in love! I had always been a fan of the classic shrimp cocktail and being a fan of all things Mexican food I knew I was going to seriously enjoy it.
The flavor is fresh, cooling and light - just perfect for a hot day.
What I also really love about Mexican shrimp cocktail is the variety of textures in it. You get the tender bites of shrimp, creamy avocado, and crunchy chilled veggies all swimming around in briny, tangy tomato juice peppered with bits of cilantro. Absolutely delightful.
It's a fairly impressive dish that doesn't take much more work than chopping and mixing, and you can even make it ahead of time!
You can serve it in individual dishes (as I did) and eat with cutlery, or you can serve it similar to ceviche - in a bowl with tortilla chips or crackers and make it more of a shared plate.
You'll notice ketchup in the list of ingredients. It's a traditional ingredient in a Mexican shrimp cocktail, but if you'd prefer to forgo the sugar feel free to substitute the ketchup with Clamato or tomato juice.
You're going to love this!
- Fresh & healthy - this shrimp cocktail is so light and refreshing!
- Easy to make - aside from boiling the shrimp, all you have to do is chop and mix!
- Can be made in advance - this shrimp cocktail tastes better when it's had a little bit of time to marinate and chill. You can prep this a few hours in advance to when you want to serve it.
- Shrimp - You can use any size you like here!
- Tomato - I use Romas because they have more flesh, and finely dice them without the seeds.
- Celery - Also finely diced. This adds such a nice refreshing crunch to the shrimp cocktail.
- Cilantro - There really is no substitute for this, and the more the better!
- Jalapeno - You could also use a serrano pepper here.
- Cucumber - I prefer to use English cucumber here because there are fewer seeds. If you use field cucumber remove the seeds before dicing.
- Red onion - This could be substituted for white onion or even green onion in a pinch.
- Avocado - Be sure to use avocado that is just ripe. If it is overripe it will mash up when the cocktail is mixed up.
- Ketchup - This is the traditional ingredient, but you can substitute it with Clamato juice if you don't want the sweetness from the ketchup.
- Clam juice - This might seem like a strange ingredient, but trust me on this! It brings a nice briny flavor to the dish.
- Lime Juice - Fresh is best, but you could use bottled in a pinch
How to make it
Cook the shrimp. You could start with already cooked shrimp, but I prefer to cook my own. Add the shrimp to a pot, cover them with water, then season generously with sea salt. Turn the temperature to high and cook the shrimp while stirring until they have just turned pink. Drain the shrimp and cool.
Chop the shrimp. Cut the shrimp into bite sized pieces reserving 4-6 whole shrimp depending on how many servings you are making.
Mix everything together and chill. Add the chopped shrimp to a large bowl then add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl and stir gently to mix well. Place in an airtight container and chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.
Serve. Divide the shrimp cocktail up and place it into martini glasses or any other fun glass serving dish then top each dish with one of the whole shrimps. Serve immediately.
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Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
- 1 lb shrimp - peeled and deveined
- 1 cup diced red onion
- 1 cup diced English cucumber - about half a cucumber
- 1 cup finely diced celery - about 2 stalks
- 1 jalapeno - seeded and finely chopped
- 1 cup diced Roma tomatoes - about 2 tomatoes
- 3⁄4 cup ketchup - or Clamato juice
- 3⁄4 cup clam juice
- 2 limes - juice of
- 1 cup minced cilantro
- 2 avocado - diced
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Mexican hot sauce to taste - optional
- Add the shrimp to a small pot and cover with water then season with salt. Turn the heat to high and cook the shrimp while stirring until they have just turned pink. Drain from the water and cool.
- Cut the shrimp into bite sized pieces saving 4-6 whole pieces depending on how many cocktails you are making.
- Add the cut shrimp, tomato, onion, cucumber, celery, jalapeno, and cilantro to a large mixing bowl and mix well.
- Mix together the ketchup, clam juice and lime juice juice then and to the shrimp bowl and mix well.
- Season the shrimp cocktail with sea salt and fresh ground pepper and add a few drops of hot sauce if you are using it.
- Add the diced avocado and mix gently, then cover the bowl and chill for an hour or so.
* nutritional information is calculated by online tools and may not be 100% accurate.