What a difference a day makes! – mexican shrimp cocktail recipe



What a difference a day makes!  Tuesday, when we arrived, Ensenada was serene and quiet.  Wednesday is cruise ship day.  We strolled down to the malecon and saw the Carnival cruise ship docked in port.  Plenty of families with young children in town for the day.  Many of the restaurants, which were closed the previous day, were now open and crowded.  Loud music blared from Papas and Beer and we saw our share of drunk spring breakers spill out onto the sidewalk.  We fled the crowds for the fish market, which was lined with modest seafood restaurants, the birthplace of the famous Baja fish taco.  We settled on Gordos, right on the water.  We asked the waiter if we could sit upstairs on the outside deck for a better view and he obliged. Poor guy, we didn’t realize that the Ensenada seafood dining tradition is to line the table with at least a dozen containers of salsa and several more with condiments.  The upstairs tables were not set and he ran up and down the stairs with bottle after bottle, jar after jar, dish after dish to ensure that we were not for want of salsa.ImageImage

John ordered a whole fried fish – excellent choice.


I had fish tacos and a shrimp cocktail.  The shrimp cocktail tasted as I remembered, except that the goblet was so huge the shrimp were swimming in the sauce.  There was plenty of shrimp -no complaints there, but I wish they had added some cucumber and avocado to make it more chunky.  Here’s my recipe for Mexican Shrimp Cocktail:

24 oz Clamato (tomato-clam cocktail)
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
juice of one lime
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
Tabasco sauce to taste
1/2 cup peeled sweet onion (Walla Walla, Texas sweet, etc), chopped1 pound arge shrimp, peeled, deveined

2 avocados, pitted, peeled and diced
2 cucumbers, seeded and diced
limes, quartered

Combine clamato, ketchup, orange and lime juices, cilantro, onion and tabasco. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour, up to 2 hours.
Heat a pot of water to boiling.  Place shrimp in a steamer basket and steam covered just until shrimp turn pink (only 2-3 minutes).  Immediately plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking.  Cover and refrigerate at least 1/2 hour, up to 2 hours.
Gently combine cooled shrimp, avocado and cucumber.  Add enough sauce to cover the shrimp mixture but don’t make it soupy.  Serve with limes.  Buen provecho!

After lunch we strolled through the market and I was in heaven!  The fish!  The fresh seafood!  The prices.  The prices are in pesos 12 pesos to 1 U.S. dollar.  Weights are in kilos 1 kilo = 2.2 pounds.  Do the math.


Sigh, if only I had access to a kitchen.  I’ll have to wait till we get to La Paz.  Tomorrow, through the San Tomas Valley and on to the Bay of San Quintin!


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