Growing up in the beach town of Corpus Christi, I spent many long hours shrimping, crabbing, and fishing with my dad. I remember my mom frequently asking him, "How on earth am I going to cook all of this?" One way she coped was regular "you-peel-'em" nights, when she would put a couple of enormous bowls of hot, steamed shrimp on the table with many small dishes of Tabasco-infused cocktail sauce. My dad, sisters, and I would happily stay at that table until every bowl was empty.
In Mexico, they have their own way of coping with abundant shrimp. No matter where you go, you will find a variation of this traditional appetizer, which is one of my dad's favorites dishes. He loves Tabasco so much that he usually doubles the amount here! Sweet shrimp and velvety avocado temper the heat of the tangy cocktail sauce. Even you don't like it as spicy as my dad does, it should definitely have a little kick. Mexican shrimp cocktail is typically served out of individual small dishes — I like cocktail glasses — and eaten with a spoon.
- 1 cup ketchup
- Juice of 2 small lemons (about ¼ cup)
- 1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pound extra small shrimp (61-70 per pound), peeled, deveined, cooked, and cooled
- 4 avocados, pitted, peeled, and cubed
- Lemon wedges, for serving
In a small bowl, place the ketchup, lemon juice, Tabasco sauce, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Stir until well blended. In a medium bowl, place the shrimp and avocado. Pour the sauce over and gently toss with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until the shrimp and avocado are thoroughly coated.
Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Divide among 4-6 glasses and serve.