Avocado and Shrimp Cocktail

This was probably the first appetizer I’ve ever prepared, more than 25 years ago. It is completely out of fashion now, but it is still very tasty and avocado is popular now because of the omega 3 fatty acids it contains. Another good reason to share this is that I explain how to make your own cocktail sauce, even from scratch if you like. Feel free to grow your own avocados and catch your own shrimp as well if this isn’t foody enough for you 😉

As with all simple dishes, the important thing here is to use good ingredients. The avocado should be ripe. The shrimp should preferably be small ones that you peeled yourself. The tiny shrimp have more flavor than their bigger cousins. They are boiled in seawater immediately after being caught on board ship. The peeled ones are treated with preservatives because (at least in the Netherlands) they travel all the way to Morocco and back to be peeled manually. You should use a good cocktail sauce and use it with restraint — the shrimp should not swim in it.

Making your own cocktail sauce is easy: simply mix mayonnaise and ketchup. Add a bit of whiskey if you like. You could make your own ketchup and mayonnaise from scratch, but even without doing so it will probably be better than store-bought cocktail sauce.


There are two avocados in the shot, but that is too much for 100 grams of shrimp

For 2 servings

1 ripe avocado

100 grams (3.5 oz) small shrimp, peeled

about 2 Tbsp mayonnaise

about 1 Tbsp ketchup

1/2 lemon

parsley for garnish (optional)

cayenne pepper for garnish (optional)


Combine mayonnaise and ketchup in a small bowl.

Stir to mix until homogeneous. Taste and adjust to your liking. You may like to add more mayonnaise or ketchup, or a bit of lemon juice, or perhaps a bit of cayenne pepper.

Add some of your homemade cocktail sauce to the shrimp. Do not add everything at once.

Stir in the cocktail sauce and taste to see whether you need to add a bit more. The balance between shrimp and sauce is important.

Cut the avocado lengthwise around the seed.

You can now easily separate the two halves and then remove the seed.

Fill the hole in the avocado with the shrimp, piling more on top. Serve with a slice of lemon. Garnish if you like with parsley and/or a sprinkling of cayenne pepper.


A pound cake has gotten its name because the traditional recipe is one pound each of flour, eggs, butter, and sugar. Two years ago I shared my own version, with a few small tweaks to make it more moist.


15 thoughts on “Avocado and Shrimp Cocktail

  1. This is such a smart and flavorful recipe. It just goes to show that classic dishes with great ingredients never go out of style! What a wonderful memory of preparing your first appetizer! This would probably taste excellent with cooked, flaked salmon, as well. As for homemade mayonnaise – is there any other way? Best wishes, Shanna


  2. A classic indeed! My mom used to prepare this for Xmas dinners. Although I loved her version, very similar to yours, I always choose my Mexico inspired recipe. Let me know what you think! North sea shrimp (I think you also use these, as opposed to “small” shrimp), guacamole but leave out sjallot and blend this to a sauce. The advantage is that it saves a lot of time in preparing mayo and ketchup, and you can play with lime, chillies and koriander to create layers of flavour.


  3. It’s such a wonderful combination, isn’t it, and so organic and healthy to look at, not to mention the joy of dipping beneath the bobbly shrimp mayonnaise to the creamy smoothness of the avocado? Here in Australia many of us prefer a bit more bite to the cocktail sauce part – with a surprising ratio of tomato sauce to mayonnaise: for 4: 110g Tomato ketchup; 100g Mayonnaise; ¼ tsp Cayenne or chilli; 12 drops Worcestershire Sauce; 10g Lemon juice; Salt and black pepper.


  4. I have noticed a lot of young food bloggers present this lately as if it was the latest fashion! Well, what goes around comes around, as the saying goes!!! But I just don’t believe your prawns travel to Morocco to be peeled!! To a greenie like me that is tantamount to treason!!!!! I usually prefer the unpeeled ones, even in the small size. Love the way you have presented it! But make mine pretty close to that of the ‘Utrechter’ 🙂 !


  5. Yay! Haha, I love avocado and shrimps and I don’t care that it is a “1980’s thing”. I make a similar version but I marinate the shrimps in a little lime juice and add a pinch of chili (peperoncino) to the cocktail sauce. That works too.
    I prefer the North Sea shrimps, but here in Italy I normally only have the big Mediterranean ones, and they do need a dash of lime or lemon.
    Anyway, thanks for removing avocado and shrimps from the closet and bringing it out in the light. 😀


  6. Great post, Stefan. I love shrimp and avocado cocktail regardless of whether it is in vogue. It’s just a great appetizer and also makes a great light lunch, especially if you find the large Haas avocados.


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.