shrimp cocktail platter from above
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Perfect shrimp cocktail with homemade cocktail sauce.

Perfect shrimp cocktail makes a truly elegant and delicious appetizer for any party
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cocktail sauce, prawn cocktail, shrimp cocktail
Servings: 8
Calories: 176kcal
Author: romain | glebekitchen

Ingredients

Shrimp cocktail

  • 2 lbs shell-on 16/20 count frozen shrimp
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 5 coriander seeds
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 tsp salt

Classic cocktail sauce

  • 1 cup good quality ketchup
  • 1 tbsp prepared horseradish - don't use the stuff you've had in the fridge for a year
  • 1 tsp pure chili powder - e.g. New Mexican or ancho
  • 1/3 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice - maybe a bit more to taste

Instructions

Make the shrimp cocktail

  • Run the shrimp under cold water to thaw. Peel the shrimp, reserving shells. Place the peeled shrimp back into the refrigerator. Place the shells in a saucepan with 4 cups water, bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes. 
  • Remove shells from the shrimp stock. Add the white wine, peppercorns, coriander seeds, bay and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. This is a court bouillon.
  • Turn off the heat and add 1 lb of shrimp to the saucepan. Cover and let sit for 8 minutes (set a timer). While the shrimp sits, set up a large bowl of ice water. 
  • After 8 minutes remove shrimp from the court bouillon and plunge into the ice water. When cold remove shrimp, drain and refrigerate.
  • Bring the stock to boil. Turn of the heat and add the second pound of shrimp. Set the timer for 8 minutes and refresh your bowl of ice water. 
  • After 8 minutes remove shrimp from the court bouillon and plunge into the ice water. When cold remove shrimp, drain and refrigerate. See where this is going?
  • Repeat as many times as you want, although you won't need shells for any more than 2 lbs. If you are only doing one pound, reduce the amount of water to 3 cups for the initial stock step.
  • Serve with classic cocktail sauce.

Classic cocktail sauce

  • Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and stir to mix. 
  • Let stand 15-30 minutes to let the flavours come together.

Notes

Cook smaller shrimp for less time. For 21-30 count go with 7 minutes. For 31-40 six minutes will do it. Anything smaller, don't bother...

Nutrition

Serving: 8servings | Calories: 176kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 285mg | Sodium: 1555mg | Potassium: 225mg | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 255IU | Vitamin C: 7.2mg | Calcium: 176mg | Iron: 2.8mg