Grilled Shrimp Cocktail

Recipes, Starters

Grilled Shrimp Cocktail

Give the classic shrimp cocktail a summery twist! Cook the shrimp on the grill and serve with a zesty sauce — it’s a great starter for a cookout on the patio.


Grilled Shrimp Cocktail


For the cocktail sauce:

1 cup (8 oz./250 g.) ketchup

1 Tbs. grated fresh or jarred horseradish

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. sugar

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice


For the shrimp brine:

6 cups (48 fl. oz./1.5 l.) water

1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) kosher salt

2 Tbs. sugar

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander


48 large shrimp in the shell, about 2 lb. (1 kg.) total

2 Tbs. canola oil


To make the cocktail sauce, in a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, horseradish, Worcestershire, sugar and lemon juice. Set aside at room temperature.


To make the brine, in a large bowl, combine the water, salt, sugar, cumin and coriander and stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Use immediately.


About 2 hours before you are ready to begin grilling, using kitchen scissors, snip open the shell along the length of the back of each shrimp. Then, using the tip of a small knife, cut a shallow groove along the length of the vein and lift it out. Add the shrimp to the brine, cover and refrigerate for 1 1/2 hours.


If you want to skewer the shrimp, which makes turning them easier, soak 20 wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.


Prepare a hot fire in a grill. Brush and oil the grill grate.


Remove the shrimp from the brine and discard the brine. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and place in a bowl. Drizzle with the oil and toss to coat evenly. If skewering, hold 2 skewers parallel and about 1 inch apart, and skewer the shrimp onto both skewers, once near the tail end and once near the head. You should be able to get 5 or 6 shrimp on a pair of 10-inch skewers.


Place the shrimp on the grill directly over the heat and cook for 3 minutes. Turn the shrimp over and cook until the shrimp turn creamy white, about 3 minutes more. This could happen after only 2 minutes on the second side, so pay attention.


Transfer the shrimp to a platter. If you have used skewers, slide the shrimp off onto the platter. Let everybody peel their own shrimp. Serve with the cocktail sauce. Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer.


Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Grill Master, by Fred Thompson.

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