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Best Spanish Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

We know that other fantastic Spanish recipes usually take the spotlight, such as gambas pil pil or the Spanish octopus recipe.

However, in this article, we will present a seafood recipe that had its glory days and is going through its Renaissance era: the famous Spanish shrimp cocktail.

Keep scrolling down this article to read how to make cocktail shrimp, the right way of serving it, and changes that you can make to the ingredients of the recipe.

Spanish shrimp cocktail in a glass, served on a white plate with crackers. Best Spanish Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

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Background of the Dish

closeup with Spanish shrimp cocktail made with red sauce, shrimps and avocado.

There was a time when the Spanish shrimp cocktail was a symbol of luxury, in fact only the most famous and rich people eat it in prestigious cocktails.

Then more people were able to access this saucer, but it was still prepared on special occasions such as weddings, Christmas, or important parties.

Over the years this dish lost its luxury status, but this is fantastic since now anyone can enjoy it. 

It is still expensive in the bars or restaurants of Andalucia, so it is better if you prepare it homemade with the recipe in this article.

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Things You’ll Need for Spanish Shrimp Cocktail

To make this Spanish shrimp cocktail you need shrimp, ketchup, tomato, and other vegetables.

The best glasses to serve the best shrimp cocktail are martini glasses, but you can use any you have at home. 

If you prepare this recipe for a party then we encourage you to use the classic martini glasses.

peeled shrimps in a white bowl on a wooden table.

Ingredients

  • 750 gr shrimp (clean and deveined)
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 bell pepper
  • Fresh cilantro
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (230g) ketchup
  • 3/4 cup (175ml) lemon juice
  • 1 avocado
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

How to Make Spanish Shrimp Cocktail – Step by Step Guide

frying shrimps in a pan for the Spanish shrimp cocktail
  1. To start making this shrimp cocktail recipe you have to chop the tomatoes, onion, bell pepper (better if it is red but it can be any color), and cilantro finely into small pieces.
  1. After that, mix the ketchup sauce, salt, and lemon juice. Then add the vegetables, stir well, cover and set it aside in the fridge.
  1. Now you have to prepare the shrimp. For this, grab a pan, put a few tablespoons of oil, and heat over medium heat. Once the oil gets hot, cook the shrimp for 3 minutes on each side or until cooked.
  1. Then, cut the avocado into slices and start to assemble the Spanish shrimp cocktail.
  1. For the final step, grab cocktail glasses and pour the sauce. Then, put the shrimp in the glasses, distributing them evenly. Put the avocado slices on top, and the cocktail shrimp recipe is ready.

Substitution of Ingredients

Spanish shrimp cocktail in a glass.

Being the best shrimp cocktail recipe, there are several changes or substitutions that you can make in the ingredients, you could even change the shrimp for another seafood.

We do not recommend doing a full seafood cocktail because some foods like mussels do not go so well with the sauce used in this recipe (because of the ketchup).

If you can make a prawn cocktail by following all the steps in this recipe for shrimp cocktail.

The homemade shrimp cocktail sauce is easy to make, but you can change and remove any vegetables from the lists if you don’t like them.

If you think the ketchup has a strong flavor, you can add a few tablespoons of mayonnaise to make it milder, or use thousand island sauce (like the American version of this Spanish shrimp cocktail).

Tips on Serving Spanish Shrimp Cocktail

Spanish shrimp cocktail in a glass, with avocado slices and crackers.

This is a shrimp cocktail appetizer, so you should serve it before lunch, dinner, or as a snack if you are the host of a party.

To serve this Spanish shrimp cocktail, the ideal is to have a Martini vessel (you will need 6 for the ingredients listed here) then put the cocktail sauce for shrimp, the shrimp, and the avocado slices.

Then, with this Shrimp cocktail sauce recipe, you can add toasted bread with olive and garlic oil, or salt crackers for a dip with the shrimp and the sauce.

How to Store Spanish Shrimp Cocktail

How to Store Spanish Shrimp Cocktail. A photo with different products in a fridge

When you finish doing this Spanish Shrimp Cocktail you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before serving.

Keep in mind that the recipe is simple and quick to do, so it is best to eat it right away to do it, since the shrimp can lose its freshness or harden, and some vegetables in the sauce can take a bitter taste.

Other shrimp appetizer recipes can be frozen or stored for a longer amount of time like the gazpacho with shrimp or the Spanish shrimp soup, so you can try to make those if you want a meal that can be frozen.

Recipe Card: Spanish Shrimp Cocktail

Yield: 6

Spanish Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

Spanish shrimp cocktail in a glass, served on a white plate with crackers.

We know that other fantastic Spanish recipes usually take the spotlight, such as gambas al pil pil or the Spanish octopus recipe.

However, in this article, we will present a recipe that had its glory days and is going through its Renaissance era: the famous Spanish Shrimp Cocktail.

Here's the recipe to learn how to prepare cocktail shrimp, how to serve it, and what adjustments you can make to the ingredients.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 750 gr shrimp (clean and deveined)
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 bell pepper
  • Fresh cilantro
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (230g) ketchup
  • 3/4 cup (175ml) lemon juice
  • 1 avocado
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Chop the tomatoes, onion, bell pepper (better if it is red but it can be any color) and cilantro finely into small pieces.
  2. Mix the ketchup sauce, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Add the vegetables, stir well, cover, and put in the fridge.
  3. Prepare the shrimp. For this, grab a pan, put a few tablespoons of oil, and heat over medium heat. When hot, cook the shrimp for 3 minutes on each side or until cooked.
  4. Cut the avocado into slices and start to assemble.
  5. Grab cocktail glasses and pour the sauce. Then, put the shrimp in the glasses, distributing them evenly. Put the avocado slices on top, and your shrimp cocktail is ready.

Notes

Ketchup is ideal for shrimp cocktail sauce as it has a sweeter flavor than tomato sauce, plus that's what the original recipe uses.

You will find that in different shrimp cocktail recipes, they add 1/2 cup of mayonnaise to give it a flavor similar to thousand island dressing, so you can do that too.

The best shrimp cocktail glasses are martini glasses, although you can use any glass or goblet you have on hand.

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 351Total Fat 17.6gSaturated Fat 3.8gCholesterol 244mgSodium 767mgCarbohydrates 20.8gFiber 4.4gSugar 14.4gProtein 29g

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