South Of The Border: Coctel De Camaron

South Of The Border: Coctel De Camaron

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Coctel De Camaron is the Mexican and South American version of the famed shrimp cocktail. The dish is made with either  shrimp alone, or shrimp with imitation crab, or tilapia. Without the Shrimp the preparation is called cerviche. We here prefer the imitation crab chunks along with a 50% mix of shrimp.

To get this right there are several common household items that impart the robust flavors and are easy to attain at any market.  You will need, 1 cup of  ketchup, 2 limes,  2 cups + clamato juice,  either Valentino or Tapatio or Tobasco hot sauce, 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, 2 bunches of cilantro, 1 purple onion, 4 tomatoes, 1 bunch of green onion, 2 cucumbers, 2 ripe avocados, 2 pounds of raw shrimp,  2 pounds of imitation crab, salt and black pepper and saltine crackers or oyster crackers.

This receipie will serve 8 people comfortably. It is a meal in itself.

Take the raw shrimp (peeled, deveined and tail off) and  place them in a bowl and cover them with lemon juice. This effectively cooks the shrimp. If using tilipia you can cook it the same way. (With shrimp, you may boil in water and then chill with ice before using them instead of a lemon cook. With tilipia you cannot).

Mince green onion, purple onion, cilantro, and jalapeno. Take care to remove seeds from the jalapeno and add the jalapeno last to taste so as not to run up your Scovill Barometer. Take 2 avocados and cut them up in  1/2 inch minimum size pieces. Chop the cucumbers and tomatoes the same size (about 1/4 inch) I fold in all the ingredients including the shrimp and crab.

Generally you’re going to want to use large 16-20 shrimp but you can use a smaller size such as 24-30 if you prefer. Break them up before stirring them in. Add clamato juice so as to achieve a  semi soupy consistency. Dish it up in a giant cup (pint size or larger) and garnish with saltine or oyster crackers on the side.

When we make this recipe we prefer to cook the shrimp with lemon juice. If you choose to do it this way instead of boiling and chilling the shrimp, The shrimp must be immersed in the juice. I let them sit about 12 minutes, stirring from time to time with a fork. They will be pink when you take them out from the juice. I also mix imitation crab in with my cocktail. Imitation crab is made from Alaskan pollack. and will absorb the flavors  from the cocktail juice better than real crab or scallops.