Mexican Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

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Whenever I think of summer gatherings with friends and family, this Mexican Shrimp Cocktail always comes to mind. It’s a dish that perfectly captures the vibrant flavors and relaxed atmosphere of those moments. I remember the first time I tried Campechana during a trip to the Yucatan Peninsula. The freshness of the shrimp combined with the tangy, citrusy juice was unforgettable, and I immediately knew I had to recreate it at home.

One of my favorite things about this recipe is its versatility. You can easily tweak the ingredients to suit your taste. For example, if you like a bit more heat, you can leave the seeds in the jalapeno or add an extra one. On the other hand, if you’re not a fan of cilantro, you can omit it altogether – though its unique flavor is hard to replace! Another tip is to use the freshest shrimp you can find. Fresh gulf shrimp give the dish a sweet, tender bite that’s simply unmatched.

This Mexican Shrimp Cocktail is not only delicious but also a breeze to make. The shrimp are poached to perfection, and the cocktail juice, made with mandarin-flavored orange soda, tomato juice, and fresh lime juice, adds a refreshing zing. The addition of diced roma tomatoes, white onion, and avocado brings a delightful mix of textures and flavors that complement the shrimp beautifully.

Serving this dish in tall glasses not only makes for a stunning presentation but also allows you to show off the vibrant colors of the cocktail. Pair it with thick, crispy corn tortilla chips for a truly authentic experience. Whether you’re serving it as an appetizer at a summer barbecue or enjoying it as a light meal, this Mexican Shrimp Cocktail is sure to be a hit. So gather your friends and family, and savor the taste of summer with this delightful dish.

Making Mexican Shrimp Cocktail (Campechana)

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh gulf shrimp, shell-on, deveined if possible
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 4 oz. shrimp boil seasoning
  • 1/2 cup orange soda (mandarin-flavored, like Mexican Jarritos)
  • 3/4 cup tomato juice
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 3-5 limes)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup white onion, finely diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small jalapeno, diced
  • 1 large avocado (or 2 small), diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • Crisp, thick corn tortilla chips

Directions

  1. To poach the shrimp, fill a large stockpot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add the shrimp boil seasoning and kosher salt. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and add the shrimp. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the shrimp turn opaque and curl into a “C” shape.
  2. Take out the shrimp and spread them on a baking sheet to cool while you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. For the shrimp cocktail juice, whisk together the orange soda, tomato juice, ketchup, and fresh lime juice in a large bowl. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  4. Add the diced white onion, roma tomatoes, jalapeno, and avocado to the juice mixture. Stir in about 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, adjusting the amount to your preference. Skip cilantro if you dislike its flavor.
  5. Once the shrimp have cooled, peel and devein if necessary. Chop the shrimp into smaller pieces if desired. Mix the shrimp into the tomato sauce, combining well with the fresh vegetables. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt or lime juice if needed. You can refrigerate overnight for marinating or serve immediately.
  6. Serve chilled with thick corn tortilla chips. Enjoy it with a spoon or scoop it up with the tortilla chips. For an appealing presentation, serve in tall glasses to showcase the vibrant colors.

Making Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

FAQs:

Can I use pre-cooked shrimp for the Mexican Shrimp Cocktail?

Yes, you can use pre-cooked shrimp to save time. However, ensure they are fresh and properly chilled before adding them to the cocktail juice for the best flavor and texture.

What can I use as a substitute for mandarin-flavored orange soda?

If you can’t find mandarin-flavored orange soda, you can use any orange-flavored soda or a mix of orange juice with a splash of club soda for a similar effect. This adds a sweet citrusy flavor to the cocktail juice.

How long can I store the Mexican Shrimp Cocktail in the refrigerator?

The Mexican Shrimp Cocktail can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. However, the texture of the avocado might change, so it’s best enjoyed fresh. If storing, keep it tightly covered to maintain freshness.

Is it necessary to devein the shrimp?

While it’s not absolutely necessary, deveining the shrimp is recommended for a cleaner taste and better presentation. If the shrimp are not deveined, you may notice a slightly gritty texture.

Can I make the Mexican Shrimp Cocktail spicier?

To make the cocktail spicier, you can add more diced jalapenos or include some of the seeds. Additionally, a splash of hot sauce or a pinch of cayenne pepper can increase the heat level to your preference.

What type of tortilla chips should I use with this dish?

Thick, crispy corn tortilla chips are ideal for this dish as they hold up well to the chunky shrimp cocktail. You can find these at most Mexican grocery stores, or you can make your own by frying thick-cut corn tortillas until crispy.

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail (Campechana)

Enjoy the vibrant flavors of this easy-to-make Mexican Shrimp Cocktail, featuring fresh shrimp, tangy tomato juice, and zesty lime.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds shell-on fresh gulf shrimp deveined if possible
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 4 oz. shrimp boil

Shrimp Cocktail Juice:

  • 1/2 cup mandarin-flavored orange soda Mexican Jarritos
  • 3/4 cup tomato juice
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup fresh lime juice from 3-5 juicy limes
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup finely diced white onion
  • 2 small diced roma tomatoes
  • 1 small diced jalapeno
  • 1 large or 2 small avocado
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • Thick corn tortilla chips

Instructions
 

  • How To Poach The Shrimp: Fill a large stockpot halfway with water and bring it to a boil. Add the shrimp boil and kosher salt. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and add the shrimp. Poach for 4-5 minutes until the shrimp are opaque and curl into a "C" shape.
  • Remove the shrimp and spread them on a baking sheet to chill while preparing the other ingredients.
  • Mexican Shrimp Cocktail Tomato Sauce: In a large bowl, whisk together the orange soda, tomato juice, ketchup, and fresh lime juice to form the base of the shrimp cocktail juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  • Add the finely diced white onion, small diced roma tomatoes, diced jalapeno (seeded if preferred less spicy), and avocado to the juice. Chop fresh cilantro and add about 1/4 cup or adjust to your taste. If you don't like cilantro, you can skip it as there is no substitute for its unique flavor.
  • Once the shrimp are chilled, peel and devein them if necessary. You may chop the shrimp into smaller pieces if desired. Add the shrimp to the tomato sauce and fold in the fresh veggies. Taste again and adjust seasoning with more salt or lime juice if needed. You can marinate it in the refrigerator overnight or serve immediately.
  • Serve this dish chilled with tortilla chips. It can be enjoyed with a spoon or scooped up with tortilla chips. In the Yucatan, it's traditionally served with very crisp, thick corn tortilla chips available at Mexican grocery stores. For a beautiful presentation, serve in tall glasses to showcase the vibrant colors. Enjoy!
Keyword Shrimp

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