The Most Succulent Shrimp Cocktail


  • Prep Time25 mins
  • Total Time55 mins
  • Makes4 to 6 servings
*PLUS 30 min chilling time
The Most Succulent Shrimp Cocktail

Produced by Aimee Nishitoba; Photography by Carmen Cheung; Food Styling by Matthew Kimura; Prop Styling by Madeleine Johari; Illustrations by Emily Chu.

Court bouillon—an aromatic broth made from white wine, lemon juice and shrimp shells—is key to this recipe’s flavourful and tender shrimp.—Soo Kim


  • 2 lb frozen shell-on jumbo shrimp, (21 to 25/lb), defrosted

  • 5 tsp kosher salt, divided

  • 2 L cold water

  • 2 cups dry white wine

  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 lemon, halved

  • 6 sprigs of parsley

  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns, optional

  • crushed ice

  • lemon wedges


  • Peel off shells from shrimp and transfer shells to a large pot with any juice. Pat shrimp dry with a paper or kitchen towel, then toss with 1 tsp salt. Refrigerate for 30 min.

  • Meanwhile, to pot with reserved shells, add water, wine, celery, onion, lemon halves, parsley, peppercorns and 4 tsp salt. Simmer over medium for 30 min.

  • Strain, then return poaching liquid to the pot. Set over medium-high.

  • Fill a large bowl with ice and enough water to fill halfway; set aside.

  • Add brined shrimp to broth and cook, stirring, until just cooked through and bright pink, 3 min. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a plate.

  • Transfer shrimp into 3 resealable bags; remove as much air as possible and seal bags. Submerge shrimp in ice bath, using a bowl or plate to keep submerged. Refrigerate until chilled, 30 to 45 min.

  • To serve, place cocktail sauce in a bowl in the centre of a platter. Arrange crushed ice around platter and place chilled shrimp overtop with lemon wedges.

Kitchen tip

If you’re short on time, skip the bag-chilling step and immerse cooked shrimp in ice bath just long enough to chill. Remove and pat dry with a paper towel.

Caesar-Style Cocktail Sauce recipe

For a little extra flavour, serve your shrimp cocktail with our Caesar-Style Cocktail Sauce.