Coctel de Camarones (Mexican Shrimp Cocktail)

Coctel de Camarones (Mexican Shrimp Cocktail) is a deliciously cold, refreshing and Whole30 compliant lunch or appetizer, that’s seasoned with various spices and hot sauces, and loaded with fresh vegetables and tender shrimp.

Coctel de Camarones (Mexican Shrimp Cocktail) is a deliciously cold and refreshing lunch or appetizer, seasoned with various spices and hot sauces and loaded with fresh vegetables and tender shrimp.

Coctel de Camarones (Mexican Shrimp Cocktail) #cocteldecamarones #whole30recipes #shrimpcocktail #whole30mexicanrecipes

Coctel de Camarones (Mexican Shrimp Cocktail)

If you ask my mom about shrimp cocktail she will declare her absolute love for the dish.  Now I’m not talking about shrimp encircling a bowl of red cocktail sauce, I am talking about coctel de camarones or Mexican shrimp cocktail.

Whenever we would visit our family in Mexico, all of us would put in our requests for what we wanted to eat, tacos de barbacoa, gorditas, paletas, and so many other “antojitos” (little cravings). Without fail, my mom’s request was always a stop at her favorite seafood place to buy a coctel.

Now that was a long time ago, because throughout the years my mom and dad have come up with their own variety of recipes for shrimp cocktail, each one more amazing than the last.

What is Coctel de Camarones?

Think of coctel de camarones as a cold tomato soup (almost like a gazpacho) loaded with vegetables and shrimp.

The recipe I am sharing with you today is based on my dad’s recipe for a spicy coctel that is unbelievably good. This coctel de camarones begins with a tomato or vegetable juice base that is seasoned with various spices and hot sauces. Then an assortment of fresh, diced vegetables are added, along with deliciously tender, cooked shrimp.

When you look at the ingredients, the list might seem a bit daunting. However, if you look closely you’ll notice most of the ingredients are items commonly found in your pantry and refrigerator.

I made a few modifications to my dad’s original recipe to cut down on some of the sugar and to make this Whole30 compliant. However, the result is just as flavorful and a great, refreshing choice for an appetizer or lunch during the hot summer months.

How to Make Coctel de Camarones (Mexican Shrimp Cocktail)

Defrosting the Shrimp

To begin, place one pound of frozen, shell-on medium or large shrimp in a large bowl. Fill it with of cold water or place it under cold, running water until defrosted. I recommend using deveined shrimp as this will make your life so much easier.

Preparing the Base

While the shrimp defrost, prepare the vegetable juice base. You can use V8, which is what my dad always uses. However, I found a couple of brands at different stores of organic tomato and vegetables juices. These have cleaner ingredients and work just as well. Find the link to those products below

 

Add 2 cups of either the tomato juice or vegetable juice (either one will work) to a big mixing bowl.  Next, add the following ingredients:

  • 1 diced tomato
  • 1 diced stalk of celery
  • 1/4 diced onion
  • 2 tablespoons of diced cilantro
  • 1 diced jalapeño (add half for less spice or you can leave it out altogether)
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (use 1/2 a teaspoon for less spice)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • Juice of one orange
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon of yellow mustard

Mix everything until well incorporated.

After that, add 2-4 drops of Tabasco sauce and your favorite Mexican hot sauce. I like to use Valentina and add about 1-2 tablespoons, but you can add more or less depending on your spice preference. The hot sauces add so much flavor so you definitely want to add at least a few drops of each.

Now, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place in the fridge to chill.

Cooking the Shrimp

Fill a medium pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a squeeze of lime juice. Then, fill a medium mixing bowl with cold water and lots of ice.

Add 6-8 shrimp to the boiling water. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, until the outside is pink and the flesh is opaque and a bit white. Using a slotted spoon, take the shrimp out of the boiling water and place in the ice bath to stop the cooking process.

Continue to cook the rest of the shrimp following the same steps. Be sure to only cook 6-8 shrimp at a time in order to keep the water boiling.

Once all the shrimp are cooked and in the ice bath, reserve one cup of the cooking liquid and place it in the refrigerator to cool.

In the meantime, peel your shrimp (and devein if yours isn’t already). For larger shrimp, I suggest cutting them in half as it will be easier to scoop up with a spoon when you’re eating the coctel.

Questions on how to peel or devein shrimp? Check out this post from The Kitchn.

Coctel de Camarones (Mexican Shrimp Cocktail) #cocteldecamarones #whole30recipes #shrimpcocktail #whole30mexicanrecipes

Finishing Touches

Mix in the shrimp and chilled cooking liquid to the tomato juice and vegetable mixture.  Taste and adjust salt as necessary. If the shrimp cocktail is still not cold, add half a cup of ice to help it cool down.

Coctel de camarones is traditionally served in cocktail glasses or wine glasses, but you can always serve it in glass cups or bowls. Garnish each serving with diced cucumber and diced avocado.

Shrimp Tips

  • Using shell-on, raw shrimp work best. They are more flavorful and the cooking broth adds a great taste.
  • However, if you are short on time, you can use pre-cooked shrimp. If frozen, defrost them by placing them in cold water. Then add them right into the cocktail mixture. Add a full cup of ice to make up for the missing cooking liquid which helps makes the cocktail less thick.

To Serve

  • Place the hot sauces on the table for anyone who likes extra spice.
  • Serve as is for a light lunch or appetizer, or with a side salad for a more filling meal.
  • If you are not on Whole30, serve with a side of saltine crackers.
  • Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

I hope you enjoy!

Please leave me a comment below if you make this or tag me on Instagram @everydaylatina.

Also, check out the following links for other great recipes for the summer:

Close up of Mexican shrimp cocktail #cocteldecamarones #whole30recipes #shrimpcocktail #whole30mexicanrecipes

 

Coctel de Camarones (Mexican Shrimp Cocktail) #cocteldecamarones #whole30recipes #shrimpcocktail #whole30mexicanrecipes
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5 from 3 votes

Coctel de Camarones (Mexican Shrimp Cocktail)

A deliciously cold and refreshing lunch or appetizer, seasoned with various spices and hot sauces and loaded with fresh vegetables and tender shrimp.
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8

Ingredients

Vegetable Juice Base

  • 2 cups tomato or vegetable juice (see notes)
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 1 diced celery stalk
  • 1/4 diced onion
  • 2 tbsp diced cilantro
  • 1 diced jalapeño (add half for less spice or leave out altogether)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (use 1/2 a teaspoon for less spice)
  • 1 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • juice of one orange
  • juice of one lime
  • 1/4 tsp yellow mustard
  • 2-4 drops Tabasco sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp Mexican hot sauce (I prefer Valentina)

Shrimp

  • 1 lb medium or large shrimp, skin on and deveined (see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lime juice

To Serve

  • 1 diced cucumber
  • 1 diced avocado

Instructions

Defrosting the Shrimp

  • Place frozen shrimp in a big bowl of cold water or under cold, running water until defrosted. Set aside.

Preparing the Vegetable Juice Base

  • Add 2 cups of either the tomato juice or vegetable juice to a big mixing bowl.
  • Next, add the rest of the juice base ingredients, except for the Tabasco sauce and hot sauce.
  • Mix until well incorporated.
  • Add 2-4 drops of Tabasco sauce and 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite Mexican hot sauce. You can add more or less of both hot sauces depending on your spice preference. Both sauces add so much flavor so you definitely want to add at least a few drops of each.
  •  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place in the fridge to chill.

Cooking the Shrimp and Serving

  • Fill a medium pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a squeeze of lime juice (about 1 tablespoon) to the water.
  • Fill a medium mixing bowl with cold water and lots of ice.
  • Add 6-8 shrimp to the boiling water. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, until the outside is pink and the flesh is opaque and a bit white. Using a slotted spoon, take the shrimp out of the boiling water and place in the ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  • Continue to cook the rest of the shrimp following the same steps. Only cook 6-8 shrimp at a time in order to keep the water boiling.
  • Once all the shrimp are cooked and in the ice bath, reserve one cup of the cooking liquid and place it in the refrigerator to cool.
  • Next, peel your shrimp (and devein if yours isn't already). For larger shrimp, cut them in half as it will be easier to scoop up with a spoon when you’re eating the cocktail.
  • Mix in the shrimp and chilled cooking liquid to the tomato juice and vegetable mixture.  Taste and adjust salt as necessary. If the shrimp cocktail is still not cold, add half a cup of ice to help it cool down.
  • Coctel de camarones is traditionally served in cocktail glasses or wine glasses, but you can also serve it in glass cups or bowls.
  • Garnish with dice cucumber and avocado.

Notes

Shrimp Tips

  • Using raw shrimp with shells work best. They are more flavorful and the cooking broth that is added to the cocktail also adds a great taste.
  • If you are short on time, you can use already cooked shrimp. If they are frozen, simply defrost them by placing them in cold water. Then add them right into the cocktail mixture. Add a full cup of ice to make up for the missing cooking liquid which helps make the cocktail less thick.

To Serve

  • Place hot sauces on the table for anyone who likes extra spice.
  • Serve as is for a light lunch or appetizer, or with a side salad for a more filling meal.
  • If you are not on Whole30, serve with a side of saltine crackers.
  • Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

{This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link.}

6 Comments to “Coctel de Camarones (Mexican Shrimp Cocktail)”

  1. Jaymey

    5 stars
    This is seriously scrumptious! I love to order this and now am thrilled to make it myself. This will definitely be on repeat for me this summer!

    Reply
    1. everydaylatina Author

      Hi Jaymey, isn’t it so much better when you can make it at home and have it whenever you want? I am so excited you liked it. Thank you!

      Reply
  2. 5 stars
    This recipe is delicious. The sauce is perfect. I usually have to add something or other to like the taste of my coctel but this one needed nothing. Perfection from the get go.I don’t even like coctel de camarón that much but this recipe is amazing. I truly enjoyed, will definitely make it again.

    Reply
    1. everydaylatina Author

      Oh wow Cynthia, what a great compliment! I am so glad you enjoyed it and made you a believer in coctel de camaron. Thank you!

      Reply

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