Jul 3, 2017

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail, Camarones Coctel

Looking for an amazing gluten free, 4th of July appetizer to impress your guest? Inspired by a small hole in the wall Mexican spot in Elmhurst Queens that doesn't even have a sign on the outside.  They make these amazing shrimp cocktails in 3 different sizes; small, medium and large.  They are loaded with shrimps, drowned in their homemade sauce (which they are very secretive about), olive oil, clam juice, white onions, cilantro, avocado and finally hot sauce! It was amazing!! and it was so loaded with shrimps that I didn't even need a side.  


The sauce is EVERYTHING in this dish.  Since the Mexican spot was not about to up their secret recipe I decided I was gonna give it a shot and make it myself.  I played with it the different ingredients that is used in any cocktail sauce until I got the flavor that I desired.  I think it's perfect! the only thing I might have done differently is use a little fresh horseradish and bought larger shrimps.

These little cups dress any table up and make you look like a superstar! The sauce is amazing! did I say that already?  Let me say it again, AMAZING!  It's like a cross between a shrimp cocktail and a gazpacho soup!  I have to say I have never been interested in making a gazpacho soup because cold soup has NEVER appealed to me until now.  I drank that sauce like I was drinking a Bloody Mary😜

I made this dish really quickly.  I wanted to bring it to a BBQ I was going to and didn't make the sauce the day before (which is probably the best way) but I made it work.  I grilled the shrimps on the grill because I just didn't feel like using the stove since it was so hot out, but you can just as easily boil the shrimps and make it more of a traditional cocktail.  I also, used fresh tomatoes and grilled those as well to give the sauce more depth.  Look at that cup! Fancy, smancy right??!! lol These could be made as large or small as you want. I made 8 cups with 6 shrimps,  the pictures have larger cups so I used more shrimp.  Also, I used about 1/2 cup sauce in each cup but the measurements I give you made 6.5 cups of sauce.  I plan on making the dish again on the 4th of July so I don't need to make more sauce.  Lastly,  I used Sir Kensington's ketchup because regular ketchup has high fructose corn syrup and I didn't want that in my recipe.

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail


  • 48 Large shrimps 
  • 2 pounds plum tomatoes 
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup ketchup (Sir Kensington)
  • 3/4 cup clam juice (Cento's)
  • 5 tbsp prepared horseradish
  • 2.5 lime,  yields (only .5 in sauce)
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • 1.5 cups culantro leaves (or cilantro) divided (only 1/2 cup in sauce)
  • 2 tbsp Valentina hot sauce (or whatever you use)
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 large white onion
  • 4 oz avocado


Cook the shrimp:  I grilled mine on a gas grill 3 min on one side, 2 min on the other (you can also boil for 5-7min) Remove from grill let cool then refrigerate in a container

Grill the tomatoes, on a veggie pan, about 4 min on one side 2 on the other, put in a blender

In a cast iron pan, spray with Pam and cook the garlic till browned, remove and put in blender

Add the ketchup, clam juice, horseradish, 1/2 lime yield, salt, 1/2 cup cilantro, and hot sauce into blender and blend well. Refrigerate overnight.  Or as I did, put the sauce in the freezer for about 3.5 hours.  Overnight is best      

Dice the white onion and the leftover cup of culantro/cilantro and set aside

Build your Cocktail cups:  Add 6 shrimps, 1/2 cup of the sauce, 1 tbsp white onions, 1 tbsp minced cilantro, .5 oz avocado, a squeeze of lime juice and a dash of hot sauce (optional)

You will have sauce leftover

Yields:  Servings: 8,  Serving size: 1 cup,  Smart points: 4, Calories: 141, Total Fat: 3.4g,  Saturated Fat: .5g,  Cholesterol: 63.8mg,  Sodium: 997mg,  Carbs: 17.3g,  Fiber: 3.3g,  Sugar: 5.9g,  Protein: 10.5g     

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