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IDEA ALLEY: Mexican Shrimp Cocktail perfect for summertime

by Kelly Brant | May 24, 2023 at 1:54 a.m.
(Illustration by Kelly Brant)

Recipes that appear in Idea Alley have not been tested by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

This shrimp cocktail-meets-gazpacho recipe is credited to Carolyn Gassaway. It is not a recent submission — I found it in a file of recipes I saved back in 2017. My apologies to Gassaway for hoarding it for so long!

With the weather warming up, it sounds like a good one to have on hand.

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed (cut in half or thirds to ensure shrimp in every bite)
  • 1/3 red onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup lime juice (bottled Key lime juice works well)
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped OR jarred diced jalapeno, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups chilled Clamato, original flavor
  • 1 cup chilled ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon cilantro
  • Hot pepper sauce, to taste
  • Sliced avocado, optional
  • 1 cucumber, finely chopped

Cook and chill shrimp.

In a small bowl, combine the diced red onion and lime juice; let stand for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the cooked shrimp, roma tomatoes, celery, jalapeno, salt and black pepper in a bowl until thoroughly combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the Clamato juice, ketchup, cilantro and hot sauce. Add to shrimp mixture.

Cover and chill thoroughly, at least 1 hour.

Just before serving add the avocado (if using) and cucumber. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.

Leftovers can be frozen, without cucumber and avocado.


George Peters recently sent the following note with an unusual, but intriguing-sounding snack:

"I am a guy of 88 years. Each day at midafternoon I eat my own invented masterpiece of food.

Take a simple saltine cracker, put a generous amount of peanut butter, then top that off with as much yogurt. I eat it all in one bite."


Reader participation through sharing recipes, asking for recipes or simply posing culinary questions is essential for Idea Alley to continue.

Tell us all about what you're cooking this summer. The new recipes, the old ones, the easy ones and the complicated ones. Do you have a go-to dish when the weather heats up? A dish for which everyone begs for the recipe when you take it to a potluck? We'd love it if you'd share.

Is there an old Arkansas dish you'd like researched?


■ Potato soup like that served at Chip's Barbecue for Cheryl Johnson. Alley Kats have been requesting this recipe since at least the mid 1990s without any luck. Back when the restaurant was still in business (Chip's closed in 2016), "No way" was the answer when Irene Wassell asked the restaurant for the recipe.

The soup has been described as "so light, not thick and heavy" with "thinly sliced discs" of potato "cooked in broth."

If this sounds like your recipe (or one you have in your collection), please, be an Idea Alley hero and send it along!

Email recipe contributions, requests and culinary questions to:

[email protected]

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