Jonny Valiant
Hands-On Time
20 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 20 Mins
Serves 8

Say hello to your new signature cocktail sauce recipe. When serving the classic combination—shrimp and cocktail sauce—as finger food, forget the bottled stuff. This from-scratch version amounts to little more work than chopping shallot, ginger, and garlic, and heating those ingredients, along with a few more (tomato paste, mustard seeds, and so on) in a saucepan. You’ll transfer the dip to a bowl and let it chill for a while pre-party, before serving the spicy, flavorful sauce alongside cooked, cold shrimp. Guests tend to expect store-bought sauce, so this easy, rich dip will blow them away. (Maybe double the recipe?)

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot, mustard seeds, ginger, garlic, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is soft, 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 2

Add the tomato paste and cumin to the saucepan and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the sugar and ½ cup water and stir to combine. Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour. Fold in the cilantro and serve with the shrimp.

Chef's Notes


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