Sunday, January 8, 2012

Prawn Cocktail Trio


I love condiments and dipping sauces, and I love dipping juicy, plump prawns into a delicious sauce therefore Prawn Cocktail, for me, is an absolute favourite. So when I was trying to come up with a starter for our New Years Eve Party I decided to do Prawn (or Shrimp) Cocktail – except since it was New Year's Eve, I decided to go all out and do a Prawn Cocktail Trio!

You see for me (and everyone in the UK), Prawn Cocktail is served with a creamy Marie Rose Sauce which is a combination of Mayonnaise and Tomato Ketchup and is rich and absolutely delicious. But then I discovered the American style of Prawn Cocktail which misses out the Mayonnaise and instead uses some Chilli Sauce and Horseradish – how can you not love that!?! And then, I recently was given a Mexican Cookbook which featured a Mexican style Coctel and I had to try that! So the trio was created and I have to say, it was the best way to enjoy Prawn Cocktail!

The quantities are small since it was for a starter – each cocktail was pretty much bite size, which worked really well with the meal, however you can easily double the recipe for a more substantial sized portion. These made enough for 10 people with some of the sauces left over. I also cut the prawns up rather than serving whole prawns as you usually would, but again that was just due to the fact these were bite sized. If you prefer keep the prawns whole.


US Prawn Cocktail


{This is the same recipe as previously posted as my Prawns with Spicy Dipping Sauce, the quantities have just been halved for this dish.}


75ml tomato ketchup
60ml chilli sauce
1 heaped tbsp prepared horseradish
Good squeeze of lemon juice
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp Tabasco

35-40 peeled, cooked & de-veined prawns
Fresh parsley to serve (optional)

10 Appetizer style spoons (Chinese soup spoons)

Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and taste to check it is to your liking. Adjust as necessary then set aside. 

Reserve 10 prawns then cut the remaining ones prawns into 2 or 3 pieces (optional – see above)and put in a bowl. Spoon over enough of the sauce to coat the prawns without being too much! Keep any left over sauce in the fridge.

When ready to serve simply put some of the prawns onto each spoon then top with 1 of the reserved whole prawns.

UK Style Prawn Cocktail 


8 tbsp good mayonnaise
3 tbsp tomato ketchup
Splash of brandy
½ lemon
pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt & Pepper

25-30 peeled, cooked and de-veined prawns (roughly 2-3 per person)
Lettuce leaves to serve – endive works well but you can use anything you like

Mix all of the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Taste to check the seasoning and whether it needs any extra lemon and adjust as needed.

Cut the prawns into 2 or 3 pieces (optional – see above)and put in a bowl. Spoon over enough of the sauce to thickly coat the prawns without being too much! Keep any left over sauce in the fridge.

When ready to serve put an individual lettuce leaf on each plate then top with a good spoonful of the prawn mixture. Finish with a light sprinkling of extra cayenne pepper and if you like a wedge of lemon.


Mexican Prawn Coctel


I adapted this recipe from the book, Mexican Food Made Simple by Thomasina Miers. The sauce is similar to a Bloody Mary or Caesar but with a bit more oomph! It is therefore perfect served in individual shot glasses to end the trio.

125ml tomato juice
1 tbsp ketchup
juice of ½ orange, freshly squeezed
juice of 1 lime
2 tsp grenadine
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Tabasco
salt and pepper
1 tbsp Tequila

1 avocado
¼ English cucumber
2 spring onions, finely chopped
4 cherry tomatoes, quartered
½ jalapeno chilli, finely chopped (or if you like it hot use ½ habanero or Scotch Bonnet)
2 tbsp coriander, finely chopped, plus extra leaves for garnish

30 peeled, cooked and de-veined prawns

Start by making the sauce by combining everything together in a jug. Taste to check the balance of flavours and adjust if necessary to suit your tastes. Keep in the fridge until needed.

Cut the avocado in half and remove the stone, then finely chop the avocado flesh and pop into a bowl. Cut the piece of cucumber in half lengthwise and using a teaspoon remove the seeds and discard. Cut each piece of cucumber into 4 pieces lengthwise then finely chop. Add to the bowl with the avocado then add the finely chopped spring onions, tomatoes, chilli and coriander. Give everything a mix then cut the prawns into 2 or 3 pieces and add to the avocado and cucumber mix. Pour over enough sauce then spoon the mixture into 10 shot glasses. If needed top up with a little extra of the sauce. Serve garnished with an extra coriander leaf and if you like a wedge of lime. Delicious!

8 comments:

  1. how brilliant to have these three sauces down in one place for us all to use, thank you!... I wish I had been at your party!

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  2. Oh my, all three look delicious! I have to say I am probably more on the British side, in Germany, we have prawn cocktail with a mayo-based tomato-y cream cocktail sauce :)

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  3. Saving these. They'll make the perfect appetizers/starters at a party! I bet they are pretty good too.

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  4. Oh everything looks so good but my heart belongs to US and UK style!

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  5. Okay this will tell you how good these are. I don't like seafood and somehow I am drooling over these. Lol! The presentation is superb!

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  6. This looks like it is straight from some fancy restaurant. Shrimps are my favorite. Beautiful photos!

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  7. Thank you all so much for such lovely comments!

    Dom - not sure if it was brilliant of just me being greedy and wanting a little of everything! Never mind - it worked brilliantly!!

    Emily - Thank you so much. No fancy restaurant just my kitchen, but they certainly went down a treat and honestly are so so easy to make and put together (and fun!).

    Thanks again everyone x

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