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  • Writer's pictureRosangela Atte

Shrimp Cocktail

Here's the complete recipe for my shrimp cocktail. You can buy cooked shrimp and just make the cocktail sauce, but poaching your own makes a huge difference in flavor and texture.

You can freeze the poaching liquid and use it in a seafood risotto or fish soup.

The shrimp I used are 16/20, meaning there are between 16 and 20 shrimp per lbs. Be mindful of cooking times, if the shrimp is larger, it will need to cook a little longer. You can poach the shrimp and make the sauce a day ahead, then just toss them together before serving.


🦐1.2 kg shrimp

🦐All the shells from shrimp

🦐3 L water

🦐2 tbsp salt

🦐1/2 lemon

🦐3 bay leaves

🦐A few parsley sprigs

🦐A few thyme sprigs

🦐12 peppercorns

🦐1 Shallot, sliced

🦐1 carrot, chopped

🦐1 celery stalk, chopped

🦐2 garlic cloves, smashed

🦐1/2 tomato puree

🦐1 cup white wine


🦐1.5 cups mayo

🦐1/2 cup ketchup

🦐4 tbsp horseradish

🦐4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

🦐2 tbsp Frank's hot sauce

🦐Juice of 1 lemon

🦐Pinch of salt


Add all ingredients, except for shrimp, to a large pot. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Strain stock, bring to a low simmer, and poach a dozen shrimp at a time for 45-60 seconds. Place each batch in a food-safe plastic bag and plunge in ice water. Once cooled, transfer to a bowl and refrigerate. Repeat these steps until all shrimp are cooked.

Mix together all ingredients for the sauce and refrigerate.

Toss shrimp in the sauce just before serving, and serve in a fancy cup on your favorite lettuce, garnish with lemon and parsley and enjoy! Buon Natale Amici!🎄

Watch how-to video here



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This pasta dish transports me to my beloved Napoli, every time I make it. I remember my nonno Pasquale coming home on Sundays, with bags full of fresh fish, that he bought 'al mercato'. He would plop

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