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Spicy Chilled Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Serves 8 people

This is one of my favorite dishes to have ready in my refrigerator for when I expect company as it makes a very nice snack, appetizer or even a meal.

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail, otherwise known as Cóctel de Camarónes, doesn’t resemble an American shrimp cocktail at all. I’ll bet you’ll find this variation way more tasty and exciting!

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail is almost like a “salad in a glass,” chock full of crunchy vegetables and shrimp in a spicy, tangy tomato sauce


1 medium white onion

6 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons salt, plus more to taste

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed except for 6 to place on top as part of the garnish

3/4 cup ketchup

3/4 cup clam juice

2 to 3 tablespoons lime juice (or to taste)

Mexican hot sauce, to taste

2 tablespoons fresh horseradish

1/2 small jicama, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)

1/2 large English cucumber, diced (about 1 cup)

2 medium avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped

1 cup chopped cilantro, loosely packed

lime wedges, for serving

cilantro springs, for serving.


Cut onion in half. Dice half and cut the other half into large chunks. Place diced onion in a sieve and run under cold running water; drain.

Fill a saucepan with water. Add onion chunks, garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Add shrimp, turn off heat and let sit 1 minute or until shrimp are pink and cooked through. Drain and let shrimp cool. Discard onion and garlic.

Combine ketchup, clam juice, lime juice and hot sauce and horseradish.

In another bowl, combine cooled shrimp, diced onion, jicama, cucumber, avocado and cilantro.

Pour dressing over shrimp and vegetable combination, toss to coat. Serve in large, wide-rimmed glasses with a shrimp (with tail) on top. Garnish with a lime wedge and cilantro springs.

MAKE AHEAD: Cook shrimp, cool and refrigerate. Dice cucumber, jicama and onion and combine in a bowl and refrigerate. Combine sauce ingredients and refrigerate. When ready to serve, dice avocado, combine with remaining ingredients, portion into serving glasses, garnish and serve.

Chef Martin Lopez

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