Mexican shrimp cocktail, or "coctel de camarones", is a refreshing appetizer that consists of shrimp, avocado and cilantro swimming in a spicy (or mild) tomato broth. Quick, easy, healthy and delicious!
South island breeze, the sound of the ocean, and a light lunch of Mexican Shrimp Cocktail...ahhh. This zesty Mexican appetizer is a staple menu item in Southern parts of the US because it's so light and refreshing in the heat of the summer!
Why you'll love this recipe!
- Quick and Easy - shrimp takes 5 minutes to cook or use frozen cooked shrimp
- Light and flavorful - make the tomato base as mild or spicy as you like
- Versatile - serve this as an appetizer or side dish to your favorite Mexican food!
Here's what you'll need:
The ingredients are simple! For best results, use fresh boiled shrimp in this mexican appetizer. The tomato base is usually seasoned with salt, pepper and perhaps a dash of pepper sauce or Tabasco.
Other ingredients are: chopped white onion, avocado, jalapeno and cilantro with a dash of lime and Cajun or Creole seasoning.
How to make Coctel de Camarones (Mexican Shrimp Cocktail)
- Chill serving bowls in fridge for best results
- Boil shrimp in seasoned water; remove and chill for 15 minutes (you can skip this step and use frozen cooked shrimp)
- Pour tomato juice into large bowl; add shrimp, onion, avocado, lime juice, cilantro and a chopped fresh jalapeno (optional)
- Divide shrimp and avocado evenly among serving glasses
- Pour tomato juice into glasses
- Season with salt, pepper or pepper sauce
How much shrimp per serving?
The amount is a personal preference and it also depends on the size of the serving bowl or glass. I usually allow about 1/2 cup of juice, 4-6 shrimp and about two tablespoons of chopped avocado per glass.
Does it contain alcohol?
Even though this recipe is referred to as a "cocktail," it typically does not contain alcohol. I suppose you could add a splash of vodka to the recipe, making a Bloody Mary type cocktail, but traditionally this mexican appetizer has no booze in it.
What is the tomato base?
You can use whatever tomato mixture you prefer. Some like 100% juice, while others prefer a vegetable juice-blend. Other ideas include using a Bloody Mary mixer of your preference, or even combining a little Clamato juice.
Can I use frozen shrimp?
Use frozen raw or cooked shrimp. If you use frozen raw, boil them and season with a semi-spicy seasoning mix, such as a Creole or Cajun.
If you use frozen cooked shrimp, rinse and season with a little Creole seasoning.
Do the avocados need to be ripe?
Select an avocado that is not quite ripe. Since you'll dice the avocado, a "less than ripe" avocado works great because it holds up well in the acidic juice.
What kind of serving bowl or glass should I use?
Often, in Mexican restaurants, you'll find this filling Mexican cocktail served in big beer goblets or beer mugs. If you don't have either of these, you can use a parfait dish or a large drinking glass. The serving vessel can be anything really, just make sure it's chilled!
Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
- 3 cups tomato juice See Recipe Notes
- ½ cup Clamato juice See Recipe Notes
- 1 lb. shrimp cooked; See Recipe Notes
- 2 large avocados chopped
- 3 whole limes , lime juice garnish
- 4 tablespoons white onion finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons Creole or Cajun seasioning
- 1 large jalapeno finely chopped (optional)
- 1 bunch cilantro (you'll use about ¼ of the bunch)
- Chill serving glasses
- Chop cilantro, onion and jalapeno (optional)
- Cook, peel and devein shrimp; cover and refrigerate for 5 minutes (See recipe notes)
- Meanwhile, prepare tomato base mixture; pour tomato juice into large mixing bowl
- Peel and slice avocado; add to tomato juice; add fresh lime juice
- Season tomato mixture to your liking: add salt, pepper, Tabasco or pepper sauce now
- Place shrimp in mixture; refrigerate for 15 minutes
- Divide shrimp and avocado evenly into serving glasses; pour tomato mixture into each glass
- Garnish with a squeeze of lime and more cilantro if you like; serve
- Tomato juice can be straight tomato juice, or a combination of juices, like vegetable juice and Clamato, or a spicy Bloody Mary mixer. Mix your tomato juice to your preference--you can always add:
- salt, pepper, Tabasco, or another type of pepper sauce
- The amount of tomato juice per serving is a personal preference. I prefer more shrimp and goodies than juice, so this recipe allows for about 1/2 cup tomato juice per serving
- Fresh is best, but frozen is second best.
- If you use raw frozen shrimp, you'll need to cook them first
- If you use cooked frozen shrimp, rinse in colander and lightly season with Creole seasoning, then add them to the tomato/avocado mixture
- Bring a large pot of water to boil
- Add in 2 tablespoons of Creole seasoning
- Add shrimp to water; cook 5-8 minutes until shrimp are pink/orange
- Place shrimp on ice; refrigerate until shrimp are cool
- Peel shells and tails; place shrimp in tomato mixture; resume recipe