Mexican Ceviche-Style Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp ceviche

 Juanmonino / Getty Images

Prep: 35 mins
Cook: 1 mins
Total: 36 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
257 Calories
18g Fat
13g Carbs
13g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 257
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 24%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 99mg 33%
Sodium 2518mg 109%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Protein 13g
Calcium 80mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This Mexican-inspired, ceviche-style shrimp cocktail is based on a recipe by famed chef Rick Bayless, a master of Mexican cuisine. But this isn't a ceviche in the true sense of the word. Instead, the shrimp are lightly poached in lime-infused water and marinated in lime juice while they cool.

For this cocktail, try to find small raw shrimp (a 50 count bag is ideal) but if you can't find small raw shrimp, use a larger size and cut them into smaller pieces.

Ceviche is truly a Latin American dish. It's a favorite along the coasts of Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, and Peru. It typically includes chili peppers, unlike this adaptation, which uses onions, cumin, and cilantro for spice.


  • For the Shrimp:
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 1/ 2 teaspoons salt (kosher)
  • 1 lime
  • 3 to 4 ounces shrimp (small, peeled, and deveined)
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup Clamato (or other tomato-clam juice)
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (Mexican such as Valentina or Cholula, can add more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin (or to taste)
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • For the Ceviche:
  • 1 tablespoon onion (chopped, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes and drained)
  • 1 tablespoon cucumber (chopped)
  • 1/2 small tomato (seeded and diced, about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 avocado ( Hass, chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon cilantro (chopped)
  • Garnish: 2 whole cilantro sprigs
  • Garnish: 4 tortilla chips

Steps to Make It

Prepare the Shrimp

  1. Bring a small pot of water (about 1 quart) to a simmer with 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt and the juice of half of the lime.

  2. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or so (1 minute if you're using larger shrimp), just until the shrimp are turning pink/opaque. They should be almost but not quite cooked through—the shrimp will continue to cook as they cool.

  3. Drain and place in a bowl. Toss with remaining lime juice and refrigerate for 20 minutes or more.

Make the Sauce

  1. Place the Clamato, ketchup, and hot sauce in a small bowl and whisk until blended.

  2. Slowly pour in the olive oil, while continuing to whisk, until oil is incorporated.

  3. Mix in the cumin and a pinch of kosher salt. Taste for seasoning and adjust, adding more salt or hot sauce to taste.

Assemble the Ceviche

  1. Remove the shrimp from the refrigerator. If you're using larger shrimp, cut them into two or three pieces.

  2. Toss the cooled shrimp (including lime juice) with the onion, cucumber, tomato, avocado, and cilantro.

  3. Pour the sauce over, toss again, and taste for seasoning. You can do this ahead of time, but if so, don't add the avocado until right before serving.

  4. Garnish with a cilantro sprig and serve with one or two tortilla chips or saltine crackers.