The shrimp cocktail recipe is a classic appetizer that’s perfect for any occasion. It’s a simple and elegant dish that can be made in just a few minutes, and it’s always a crowd-pleaser. In this article, we’ll show you how to make classic shrimp cocktails with homemade cocktail sauce, boiled shrimp, and lemon wedges.
For the Cocktail Sauce:
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons horseradish
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the shrimp:
- 1 lb. large shrimps, peeled and deveined
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- To make the cocktail sauce, mix the ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Chill the cocktail sauce in the refrigerator while you prepare the shrimp.
- To cook the shrimp, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place the shrimp into the cooking surface and let it cook for 2-3 minutes until it turns pink and is thoroughly cooked. Drain the shrimp and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Chill the shrimp in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or until ready to serve.
- To serve, arrange the chilled shrimp on a platter with lemon wedges. Serve the cocktail sauce on the side in a small bowl. You can also garnish the platter with fresh parsley or cilantro.
Now, let’s dive deeper into the steps and some tips to make the perfect classic shrimp cocktails.
Step 1: Making the Cocktail Sauce
The first step to making the perfect shrimp cocktail is making the cocktail sauce. Prepare the cocktail sauce. The necessary ingredients include ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. All of these ingredients are easily available at your local grocery store.
To make the cocktail sauce, simply whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl. Make sure to taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning as needed. If you prefer a spicier cocktail sauce, add more hot sauce or horseradish. If you prefer a milder sauce, use less horseradish and hot sauce. Once you’ve made the sauce, chill it in the refrigerator while you prepare the shrimp.
Step 2: Preparing the shrimp
The next step is preparing the shrimp. You will need one pound of large shrimp that has been peeled and deveined. Although you can buy pre-cooked shrimp if you’re short on time, freshly boiled shrimp always taste best.
To boil the shrimp, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place the shrimp into the cooking surface and let it cook for 2-3 minutes until it turns pink and is thoroughly cooked. Be careful not to overcook the shrimps, which can become tough and rubbery.
Once the shrimp are cooked, drain them and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process. Then, chill the shrimp in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. This will help the shrimp firm up and give them a nice texture.
Step 3: Serving the shrimps Cocktails
To serve the scampi cocktails, arrange the chilled shrimp on a platter with lemon wedges. Serve the cocktail sauce on the side in a small bowl. You can also garnish the platter with fresh parsley or cilantro.
Tips for the Perfect Shrimp’s Cocktails
- Use fresh shrimp: Fresh shrimps have the best flavor and texture. If possible, buy fresh scampi cocktails from a seafood market
- Use high-quality ingredients: Since this is a simple recipe with just a few ingredients. It’s important to use high-quality ingredients to make it shine. Look for fresh, large scampi cocktails, and use good quality ketchup, horseradish, and other ingredients for the cocktail sauce.
- Don’t overcook the scampi: Overcooked shrimp can be tough and rubbery. So make sure to only cook them until they are pink and just cooked through. Keep an eye on them while they cook to avoid overcooking.
- Chill the shrimp before serving: Chilling the shrimp in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving will help them firm up and give them a nice texture.
- Add lemon juice: Squeezing fresh lemon juice over the shrimp. Just before serving adds a nice burst of acidity and brightens the flavors.
- Experiment with different garnishes: Lemon wedges and fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro are traditional garnishes for shrimp cocktails. Feel free to experiment with other toppings like diced avocado or cucumber, microgreens, or even bacon bits.
- Customize the cocktail sauce: While the classic cocktail sauce is delicious as-is. Feel free to customize it to your taste by adding more or less horseradish or hot sauce. You can also experiment with other ingredients like Dijon mustard, honey, or balsamic vinegar.
With these tips, you’ll be able to make the perfect classic scampi cocktail every time. It’s a simple and elegant appetizer that’s always a crowd-pleaser, and with a few simple tweaks, you can make it your own.