Mexican Shrimp Cocktail (Coctel de Camaron)


1 medium onion (white or yellow)
6 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp salt, plus more to taste
1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 lb large shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed except for 6 to place on top as part of the garnish
¾ cup ketchup
¾ cup clam juice
2 to 3 Tbsp lime juice (or to taste)
Mexican hot sauce, to taste
2 roma (plum) tomatoes
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
1 medium size cucumber, seeds removed, diced (about 1 cup)
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 medium avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 cup chopped cilantro, loosely packed
lime wedges, for serving
cilantro springs, for serving


  1. Cut onion in half.  Dice half and cut the other half into large chunks.  Place diced onion in a sieve and run under cold running water; drain.
  2. Fill a saucepan with water.  Add onion chunks, garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons salt and black pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Add shrimp, turn off heat and let sit 1 minute or until shrimp are pink and cooked through.  Drain and let shrimp cool.
  3. Discard onion and garlic.
  4. Combine ketchup, clam juice, lime juice and hot sauce.
  5. In another bowl, combine cooled shrimp, tomatoes, diced onion, jalapeño, cucumber, celery, avocado and cilantro.
  6. Pour dressing over shrimp and vegetable combination, toss to coat.  Serve in large, wide-rimmed glasses with a shrimp (with tail) on top. Garnish with a lime wedge and cilantro springs.