Chef John's Shrimp Cocktail

Chef John's Shrimp Cocktail

Chef John

"Before I knew much about food or dining out, I knew that if they brought shrimp cocktails to the table as an appetizer, we were eating at a 'fancy' restaurant. I'm sure I enjoyed the shrimp, but what I really loved was dipping the crackers in the spicy, horseradish-spiked cocktail sauce."
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50 m servings 306 cals
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 4 servings


  • Calories:
  • 306 kcal
  • 15%
  • Fat:
  • 4.3 g
  • 7%
  • Carbs:
  • 18.9g
  • 6%
  • Protein:
  • 47.7 g
  • 95%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 345 mg
  • 115%
  • Sodium:
  • 1376 mg
  • 55%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

See full nutrition

Nutritional Information

1 Serving
Servings Per Recipe:
Amount Per Serving
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  • ** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
  • (-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. Stir water, onion, lemon, garlic, tarragon, seafood seasoning, peppercorns, and bay leaf together in a large pot; bring to a simmer and cook until flavors blend, about 15 minutes.
  2. Whisk ketchup, chili sauce, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and salt together in a bowl; refrigerate until chilled, at least 15 minutes.
  3. Bring poaching liquid to a rapid boil. Cook the shrimp in the boiling liquid until they are bright pink on the outside and the meat is no longer transparent in the center, about 5 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a bowl of ice water and immerse in ice water until cold; drain. Arrange cold shrimp on a platter and serve with chilled sauce.


Read all reviews 26
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This was a fantastic way to season up shrimp. I've never done this before and now I will always season like this. Perfect flavor and the recipe was right on.

Thank you so much! Only way I will prepare shrimp cocktail from now on! Only change I made was adding a little dried tarragon instead of fresh. I didn't have fresh. The shrimp were cooked per...

This is exactly like you would expect from a high end seafood restaurant. I know, I worked in one for many years and this is EXACTLY like we would serve our customers! The cocktail sauce is s...

This was fantastic! I have made shrimp cocktail a few times but it was missing "something". This recipe hit the nail on the head for us and was most like what you order in a restaurant. Only c...

So happy I found this recipe . It gave the shrimp much more flaver.

This is pure yumminess. I followed it exactly with the exception of one thing, my shrimp was peeled. We have this weekly now, makes a cool light summer meal.

Outstanding! The poaching liquid was very creative Chef John (reminded of a crab boil of sorts) and the cocktail sauce...better than restaurant style because it is homemade. For the poaching liq...

this was super delicious.. i loved the poaching liquid.. it was something very different than what i'm used to as i normally saute or grill my shrimp.. i used smaller shrimp so it only took 2 mi...

I love shrimp and this was the best recipe I have ever tried. I made the recipe as written except used dill instead and it turned out amazing. I will definitely make this again. The shrimp was ...

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