Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

AppetizerMexicanShrimp

Coctel de camarones, a classic Mexican shrimp cocktail with shrimp, tomatoes, hot sauce, celery, onion, cucumber and avocados.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Hello weekend! Sacramento can’t decide if it wants to be hot or cool right now. But the weather has been cooperating gloriously recently, with lots of sun, perfect for relaxing on the patio with tortilla chips or saltines and some coctel de camarones, or Mexican shrimp cocktail.

I love this version of shrimp cocktail, it’s sort of like a virgin Bloody Mary with cucumber, celery, red onions, avocados and lots of shrimp.

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Perfect for dipping, or eating with a spoon. Or picking out the shrimp pieces with a fork, then the avocado pieces, and then eating the rest with a spoon as if it were gazpacho. Enjoy!

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6

If it's tomato season, use freshly chopped tomatoes with their juices, instead of the canned tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, raw or cooked
  • Salt
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup peeled, diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped OR 1 1/2 cups of freshly chopped tomatoes with their juices
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice of a lime, about 2 Tbsp
  • Hot sauce (like Crystal or Tabasco) to taste (about 1 Tbsp to 1/4 cup of Crystal)
  • 1 avocado, cut into chunks

Method

1 Peel, devein, and cook raw shrimp (if using): If you have pre-cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp you can skip to the next step. If you are working with raw shrimp, peel and devein them.

If you have a little extra time and want your shrimp to be extra good, put the shells in 6 cups of cool salted water, bring to a boil, then strain the shell stock into a separate pot and cook the shrimp in that liquid.

If you want to skip that step, just bring a medium pot salted water to a boil (a Tbsp salt for 2 quarts of water), add the shrimp, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until just cooked through. Reserve a cup of the cooking water and chill it.

2 Cut half of the cooked shrimp into chunks: Cut half of the shrimp into large chunks, leaving the other half whole (for a more attractive presentation).

3 Toss with other ingredients, chill: Put the chopped shrimp in a bowl with the chopped onions, cucumber, celery, jalapeño, tomatoes, ketchup, cilantro, lime juice and hot sauce. Gently stir to combine, and chill.

4 Add some cooled shrimp cooking water: Once the cooking water has cooled at least to room temperature, add a little at a time to the shrimp cocktail, until the shrimp cocktail is the consistency you want (use clam stock or lightly salted water—a third of a teaspoon of salt dissolved into a cup of water—if you are starting with already cooked and peeled shrimp).

5 Stir in salt, hot sauce, avocado: To serve, add salt and more hot sauce to taste and gently mix in the chopped avocados. Dip the whole shrimp in the cocktail and arrange them on top.

Serve in parfait glasses or in small bowls with tortilla chips on the side.

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Links:

Asian Shrimp Cocktail, from No Recipes

Shrimpo de Gallo, from The Pioneer Woman

Grilled Shrimp Cocktail, from Smitten Kitchen

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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67 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Tonya

    Absolutely Loved it!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Joan

    Excellent, easy as pie & wouldn’t change a thing. Although I did add more cilantro as hubby & I say you can never get too much cilantro! :-) Thanks so much Elise!

    xxxxxyyyyy

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  3. Debra

    Making it again for the second time tonight. It is incredible! Wouldn’t change a single thing.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Nancy

    OMG! I have made this recipe for at least 3 times in the last year. Plus I will making it tomorrow for my 16 year old grandson whom has requested it. My family moved to the Sacramento area (Roseville) in 1954 from the Fresno area. I absolutely love Hispanic food and I introduced homemade tacos to my husband before we were married. That was over 55 years ago! We now live in Redding, CA. I just want to say to Hispanic families is that I love their food and I am happy that they are in my life.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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  5. JB

    Superb!!

    Didn’t have celery and couldn’t bring myself to add ketchup so used V-8 instead. It was to die for!

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
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