Mexican Prawn Cocktail

Mexican Prawn CocktailFrom this months BBC Good Food Magazine this recipe for Mexican Prawn Cocktail jumped straight out at me. It was submitted by Rick Stein, adapted from his new book ‘The Road to Mexico’, and the accompanying TV series starts tonight so it’s very appropriate. I’m such a huge fan of Rick Stein’s but I cannot mention him without ranting about how lucky he is with his life! He seems to be paid a fortune to tour around the world, eating all round him, and compiles loads of authentic local recipes for his books! I can’t wait until he’s sent to Korea!

It was suggested in the magazine that this would make a really nice starter on Christmas day with an injection of sunny Mexican flavours. I’m not one for starters on Christmas day or breakfast or anything else that might compromise my ability to put away the Everest of main courses. Plus, Christmas day, until very recent years, has always been a bit of an ordeal trying to get everything cooked with a single oven so taking on more work for an extra course would have resulted in strong language or violence. But Christmas day starters are often done by people and if those people wanted to give this a go, it’s really not difficult. It actually requires no cooking at all. I did toast my tortillas in the oven but totopos or tortilla chips can be bought instead.

Rick says that the creaminess for this Mexican Prawn Cocktail is provided by the diced avocado but actually the tomato juice and olive oil emulsify in the sauce making it a bit like a red, thin mayonnaise.

Mexican Prawn Cocktail


  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 little gem lettuce
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander
  • 375g medium cooked prawns
  • Totopos or tortilla chips to serve
  • For the Sauce:
  • 275 ml tomato juice
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • half a red onion
  • 2 tsp tabasco
  • 1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 heaped tbsp chipotles in adobo sauce
  • a pinch of salt
  • 8 twists of ground black pepper


    For the Sauce:
  1. Blitz all the sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor until very smooth. This can be kept in the fridge overnight.
  2. Quarter the tomatoes and remove the watery seeds and core. Dice the remaining flesh and set aside.
  3. Dice the avocados. If you're doing this ahead of time, squeeze half a lime over them to stop them from browning and set aside.
  4. Shred the lettuce and set aside.
  5. Finely chop most of the coriander and add it to a mixing bowl along with the tomatoes, avocados and prawns. Then pour over the sauce and mix together until everything is coated.
  6. To serve, divide the lettuce among 4 glasses and spoon over the prawn mixture making sure everyone gets a decent number of prawns.
  7. Garnish with tortilla crisps and a few extra leaves of fresh coriander.
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