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Recipe: Mexican Shrimp "Ceviche" Cocktail


Recipe: Mexican Shrimp
Dave Scantland
This Mexican-inspired shrimp cocktail, based on a recipe by Rick Bayliss, is not a true ceviche -- instead, the shrimp are lightly poached in lime-infused water and marinated in lime juice while they cool. For this cocktail, try to find small shrimp (50 count is ideal), but if you can't find small raw shrimp, use a larger size and cut into smaller pieces.

Yield: 2 servings


  • 3-4 ounces small peeled, deveined shrimp
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes and drained
  • 1 tablespoon chopped English cucumber
  • 1/2 small tomato, seeded and diced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro, plus additional whole sprigs for garnish
  • 1/4 Hass avocado, chopped
  • Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup Clamato or other tomato-clam juice
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) Mexican hot sauce such as Valentina or Cholula
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin (or to taste)
  • Pinch kosher salt


1. Bring a small pot of water (about 1 quart) to a simmer with 1-1/ 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and the juice of half of the lime. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or so (1 minute if you're using larger shrimp), just until shrimp are turning opaque. They should be almost but not quite cooked through -- the shrimp will continue to cook as they cool. Drain and place in a bowl. Toss with remaining lime juice and refrigerate for 20 minutes or more.

2. Meanwhile, make the sauce: place the Clamato, ketchup and hot sauce in a small bowl and whisk until blended. Slowly pour in the oil, while continuing to whisk, until oil is incorporated. Mix in the cumin and a pinch of kosher salt. Taste for seasoning and adjust, adding more salt or hot sauce to taste.

3. Remove the shrimp from the refrigerator. If using larger shrimp, cut them into two or three pieces.

4. Toss the cooled shrimp (including lime juice) with the vegetables and cilantro. Pour the sauce over, toss again, and taste for seasoning. You can do this ahead of time, but if so, don't add the avocado until right before serving.

5. Garnish with a cilantro sprig and serve with one or two tortilla chips or saltine crackers.

6. For a main-dish version of this dish, see this Mexican Shrimp and Vegetables recipe.

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