Coctel De Camarones (Colombian-style Shrimp Ceviche Cocktail)

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Note: For best results, use small, raw, shell-on shrimp and peel yourself (shelled shrimp tend to be a little mangled). Avoid par-cooked shrimp, as they will not absorb flavor properly. Traditional Colombian-style coctel is made with straight up mayo, ketchup, and hot sauce. I like adding some extra-virgin olive oil for extra flavor.

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

Coctel De Camarones (Colombian-style Shrimp Ceviche Cocktail)

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer
Active time:25 minutes
Total time:25 minutes
This recipe appears in: Pantry Essentials: All About Ketchup Latin American Cuisine: How To Make Colombian Style Shrimp Ceviche Cocktail


  • 1 pound peeled small shrimp (see note above)
  • 3 tablespoons juice from about 4 limes
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (see note above)
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/4 cup finely minced onion
  • Hot sauce (such as Tabasco) to taste
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Saltine crackers for serving


  1. 1

    Place shrimp in a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons lime juice and 1 teaspoon salt and toss to combine. Place in refrigerator and let marinate for 15 minutes.

  2. 2

    Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a medium bowl, combine remaining lime juice, mayonnaise, olive oil, ketchup, and onion and stir until homogenous. Add hot sauce to taste and stir to combine. Add parsley and season to taste with salt and black pepper.

  3. 3

    Drain shrimp and add to pot of boiling water. Cook until just barely cooked through, about 45 seconds. Drain shrimp in sink and place under cold running water until well chilled, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large plate lined with paper towels and carefully dry shrimp. Add shrimp to bowl with sauce and toss to combine. Serve immediately with crackers and extra limes for squeezing.

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