Mexican Shrimp Cocktail (Coctel de Camaron)

Perusing an older issue of Cooks Illustrated we encountered this recipe, which brought back familiar memories of days in Santa Barbara, where I and my colleges would go out to lunch at some great taquerias. Often, I would get a “Coctel” which would always come in a large goblet. I loved to get ones with “pulpo” or octopus in it, but that is hard to come by, so shrimp (camaron) is a good alternative. Laura made this last night but would not eat it because it had too many raw onions. I said next time leave out the onion, but to me it was fantastic. So I suggest you moderate the amount of raw onion to your taste. We like Frank’s Red Hot as a hot sauce, but use whatever you like and again adjust to your taste.


12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus salt for cooking shrimp
1 cup Clamato
1/2 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
2 tablespoons hot sauce, we like Frank’s Red Hot
1/2 English cucumber, unpeeled, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
1 avocado, halved, pitted and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
Saltine crackers


1. Bring 3 cups water to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Stir in shrimp and 1 tablespoon 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 Clamato 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.

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