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Shrimp Cocktail

Author: Shinee
My tips and tricks on poaching the shrimp for classic shrimp cocktail made completely from scratch. Almost as easy as buying a ready tray, but much more flavorful, juicy and delicious!
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  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorn
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Chipotle Tabasco
  • 1 lbs about 16 count deveined shell-on jumbo shrimp, thawed if frozen

For cocktail sauce:

  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Chipotle Tabasco
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • In a large saucepan, combine thyme, bay leaves, salt and peppercorns in 3 cups of water.
  • Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the pot of water with aromatics.
  • Throw in the lemon halves into the water as well.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then turn off the heat and let it sit for 8-10 minutes to infuse the water with aromatics.
  • Remove the lemon halves, stir in the Tabasco and add the shrimps into the infused water.
  • Turn the heat to medium and simmer the mixture for 5-8 minutes. Do NOT boil the water, or the shrimps will overcook and get rubbery.
  • Take out one shrimp and cut in half to test if it’s fully cooked. If the shrimp is cooked through, remove from hot water into an ice bath to cool completely. Ice bath stops the cooking right away.
  • Once the shrimps are chilled, remove the shells and arrange on a platter, preferably over crushed ice.
  • To make the cocktail sauce, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate until serving.


*To thaw frozen shrimp, simply place them in a cold water until thawed.