Shrimp Cocktail 101

The key to this dish is the method used for cooking the shrimp. Just watch the clock and have your ice water bath ready to go when the shrimp are done.

Serves: 4Hands-on: 5 minutesTotal: 15 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 4


  • 1 lb. large shrimp, shell-on
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice, divided
  • 1⁄2 small white onion, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp. plus 1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1⁄2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. prepared horseradish
  • 1⁄8 tsp. Tabasco sauce
  • 1⁄2 ground black pepper


  • Fill a saucepan with 3 quarts of cold water. Add the shrimp, 1 1⁄2 tablespoons lemon juice, onion, bay leaf, and 2 tablespoons salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as the water boils, turn off the heat and let the shrimp sit in the water for exactly 4 minutes, uncovered. Remove the shrimp and cool quickly in ice water for about 5 minutes or until very cold. Drain.
  • To clean the shrimp, peel off the shell and legs and run a shallow incision along the top of the shrimp to remove the vein.
  • Mix together the remaining lemon juice, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, Tabasco, remaining salt, and pepper.
  • Serve shrimp with cocktail sauce.