Introduction: Classic Shrimp Cocktail

Picture of Classic Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp is graded by number of pieces or "count", per pound. When you see the size "10/15 count”, meaning there are between 10 and 15 pieces of shell-on shrimp in a pound. Even shelled shrimp were originally graded for size in this "shell-on" form, before cleaning. Don't be fooled by advertisements that say "Jumbo" or "Large"; ask for the "count" per pound for the true size of the shrimp.

Step 1: Ingredients:

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1. 5 lbs. Wild Shrimp Gulf of Mexico, 16-20 CT

1 -2 Celery stalks, including leaves, cut into thirds

1.5 oz. McCormick® Mixed Pickling Spice (I use 3/4 of container, no... shrimp won't taste 'pickley', I promise you!)

2 bay leaves

2 tsp. salt

Step 2: Directions:

Picture of Directions:

* Fill a large pot with 4 quarts water; celery, pickling spice bay leaf, and salt. Cover; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes.

Step 3:

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* Return to a boil and add shrimp. Cook, stirring occasionally, until bright pink and opaque, 2 to4 minutes for medium shrimp, 5 minutes for large ones.

When cooking shrimp, remember the letters "C"; stands for "Cooked" and "O"; stands for "Overcooked". When boiled or steamed, shrimp are cooked when they curl to form the letter C. Shrimp will be firm, turn pink, and slightly opaque when cooked properly.

Shrimp are overcooked when they curl to form the letter O. Don't Overcook shrimp. Shrimp will be rubbery, chewy, and eraser-like, when overcooked.

Step 4:

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* Drain shrimp in a colander, discarding the celery and spices, and place ice over shrimp to quickly shock and stop cooking.

Step 5: Other Shrimp Cooking Options:

Picture of  Other Shrimp Cooking Options:

* Boiling or Steaming:
Refer to the package's scale label for times that vary according to the size of shrimp.

* Broil:
For extra jumbo shrimp for 6 minutes, jumbo for 5 minutes, extra large for 4 minutes, and large for 3 minutes. Baste with oil or marinade. Turn once halfway during cooking process.

* Grill:
Marinate or season, if desired. Grill or broil shrimp by skewering peeled shrimp in a "horseshoe" fashion. That is, thread the shrimp onto the skewer at its head and at its tail so it curves around in a U‑shape. Place 4 inches above a preheated gas grill or charcoal grill at 375 degrees

Step 6: Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

Picture of Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients, mixing well. Chill until ready to serve.


12 oz. Heinz Chili sauce

Prepared Horseradish, as desired, I add 7 heaping teaspoons

Tabasco Sauce, as desired, I add 3 dashes

1 lemon, cut in half, using juice


cyann04 (author)2015-08-07

hope you'll give this recipe a try. If you do, be sure to leave myself a comment or two in the section at the bottom of this page and let me know ... Greatly Appreciated, Cyann : - )

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