The secret to the sweetness of Mexican shrimp cocktails, which can become addictive, is the unlikely addition of orange soda. I didn’t believe it until I tried making the sauce myself. Bufalo and Valentina sauces are Mexican pantry staples and, for those outside Mexico, can be purchased at most Latin supermarkets or ordered on Amazon. In Mexico, shrimp cocktails are served in tall parfait glasses, rather than the rounded glasses used elsewhere.
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells saved
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 cup ketchup
- ¼ cup orange soda
- 2 tablespoons each: Worcestershire, Bufalo and Valentina sauces
- Tabasco sauce to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish
- 3 tablespoons chopped tomato
- 2 tablespoons chopped onion, plus extra for garnish
- Sliced or chopped avocado for garnish
- Lime wedges for serving
Place the shrimp shells, garlic and salt to taste in a pot with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and cook them for 25 minutes. Strain the stock, return it to the pot and add the peeled shrimp. Cook for 6 minutes or until just pink. Do not overcook.
Remove the shrimp from the pot and plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and place in a bowl.
Mix the ketchup, orange soda, sauces, Tabasco, salt and pepper, ½ cup of the shrimp stock, chopped cilantro, chopped tomato and chopped onion. Spoon this mixture into the bowl with the shrimp and stir to combine well.
Mexican seafood salads: Cool food for warm weather
Dining at the lucha libre: An unlikely seafood feast