Back to the 60's Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

Friday 16 August 2019

Last month we received a beautiful box of fish from Seafresh Quality Foods.  Seafresh is an on line fish monger, which sells quality fish, seafood, poultry and meat.  
I was incredibly impressed with both their product and their delivery service!  There was absolutely nothing that I could fault with any of it. Feel free to read about my experience here.

Included in the box was a package of beautiful looking raw King Prawns.  Their prawns are individually quick frozen so that you can take out as many or as little as you want, which makes them very handy to use and ideal for whatever size family you have.  
They are also shelled and de-veined at the source, so you can just cook them without any messing about.  BONUS!  

One of my first jobs as a young woman was as the Pastry Chef in a big hotel back home.  It had a four star restaurant attached to it. 
The Old Orchard Inn was a prime destination for tourists and locals alike back in the day.  It was a great place to work and to cut my chef's teeth in.  I was responsible for the preparation of  all of the Appetisers and desserts. I loved it! It was my dream job, and I learnt a lot!

Shrimp Cocktail was one of the most popular appetisers, along with Escargot.  If I had a dollar for every one of those dishes I prepared, not to mention Black Forest Cakes, I would be able to retire as a very rich woman!

This classic appetiser was the epitome of fine dining back in the day!  This Shrimp Cocktail Recipe is really a very simple dish to make as well!

Over here big shrimps are called King Prawns.  But they are the same thing.  Lovely and large and beautifully pink when cooked.  They don't really quite a long cook time. 
They are done in literally a few minutes.  You just drop the thawed prawns into a large pot of salted water which has been infused with some lemon, and let them sit until they are pink and curled.  That's it.  Take out rinse off and chill.

Look at how beautifully they hook along the edges of the dishes  . . .  at the Manor they had dedicated Shrimp Cocktail Recipe glasses that had little bases you could fill with crushed ice to really keep them chilled.  
I am not a millionaire so I don't have anything like that.  Just sherbet dishes which do a rather dab job of presentation if I don't say so myself. 

The cocktail sauce for this dish is also very simple to make.  

Like in my hotel days, it is a blend of a few ingredients, that magically turn into something which is incredibly delicious when put together  . . .  tomato ketchup (use a good one), creamed horseradish (again use a good one), fresh lemon juice, Tabasco sauce, salt and pepper  . . .  

Simple.  Traditional. Special. Delicious. Quick and easy to put together.  What more could a person want when entertaining.  Just watch the eyes light up when you present this to your guests!

Yield: 6

Classic Shrimp Cocktail

This classic recipe takes you right back to the 1960's when Shrimp Cocktails was considered the epitome of good taste served as a first course at dinner parties. In all truth it never goes out of style.  This is always a hit!


For the Shrimps:
  • a large pot filled with cold water
  • 1 fresh lemon, cut into quarters
  • 1 TBS fine sea salt
  • 2 pounds King Prawns (large shrimps), thawed if frozen
For the Cocktail Sauce:
  • 245g tomato ketchup (1 cup)
  • 1 - 2 TBS prepared horseradish (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • fine sea salt and black pepper to taste
To serve:
  • shredded lettuce
  • lemon wedges


How to cook Classic Shrimp Cocktail

  1. Put the lemon into the pot of water.  Bring to the boil. Add the salt. Stir to dissolve. Add the prawns/shrimps.  Turn off the heat. Let sit  until the shrimp curl and turn pink.  Drain well and rinse in cold water.  Refrigerate until ready to eat.
  2. To make the cocktail sauce, stir all of the ingredients together to blend well. Taste to make sure you have enough salt and pepper added.
  3. To serve you will need six footed glass dishes, along with 6 smaller glass containers to sit in the middle of them to hold the cocktail sauce.  Fill the smaller glass containers with the sauce.  Place in the centres of the footed glass dishes.  Surround the edges with shredded lettuce to fill.  Divide up the prawns, and hook them around the edges of the dishes.  Place the footed dishes onto small serving plates along with a wedge or two of lemon and serve immediately.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Sorry, I couldn't resist. The 60's and Tom Jones go together like peas and carrots!   Let me tell you Todd was thrilled beyond measure with this. 

A few things about Seafresh:
  • Same Day dispatch on orders received before 1 PM.
  • All packages are carefully hand packed.
  • Free delivery on orders above £50, £8 on orders below that amount. 
  • Responsibly and sustainably sourced.
  • Air Blast Frozen at source within 4 hours of being caught.
  • Wide variety to choose from. 
Do check them out on their website to find out more.
Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Note - Although I was gifted with product free of charge for the purposes of review, I was not required to write a positive review in exchange, nor would my integrity allow me to recommend anything if I did not truly like it. Any and all my opinions are my own entirely.

This content (written and photography) is the sole property of The English Kitchen. Any reposting or misuse is not permitted. If you are reading this elsewhere, please know that it is stolen content and you may report it to me at: mariealicejoan at aol dot com Thanks so much for visiting. Do come again! 

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  1. Love a great SC!!Still and always will:)

    1. I am allergic to shellfish, but Todd really loves this! xoxo

  2. I remember 'Prawn Coctail' as am almost tasteless dish - shredded Iceberg lettuce, tomato ketchup mixed with Heinz Salad Cream over that, then prawns on the top served with a quarter of lemon on the side. The prawns were always so cold that you were unable to detect any flavour at all. Yours sounds so much better! (I still dislike really cold prawns...)

    1. These prawns are served cold, but they are also infused with flavour as is the cocktail sauce! Maybe one day you will give it a go Toffeeapple? xoxo

  3. I love Shrimp Cocktail, one of my fav shrimp dishes. Thanks Marie for sharing with us.

  4. We just had store-shrimp cocktail a couple of days ago. I bet their sauce wasn't nearly as good as yours!

    1. Once you have made your own Jeanie you will never settle for store bought! Cooking your own prawns also is infinitely better than ready cooked! xoxo


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