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Mariner's Menu

Shrimp Cocktail


  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, leave tails intact
  • water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons peppercorn medley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon
  • ice
  • cocktail sauce, for serving

Fill a large pot ¾ full of water. Add salt, peppercorns and bay leaves. Slice lemon in half and squeeze the juice into pot. Add lemon halves to pot.  Bring water to a boil. Add shrimp, cook for about 1 to 2 minutes or until shrimp reach 145° F for a minimum of 15 seconds. Be careful not to overcook.

Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon to a bowl and cover with ice. Set bowl over a colander so water can drain as the ice melts. Cover and transfer to refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with cocktail sauce.

Contributed by Vanda Lewis


Three species of penaeid shrimp (white, pink, and brown) make up most of the shrimp harvested in the southeast.  Most folks can’t taste a difference among the three species!

Erika Young, Coastal and Marine Education Specialist