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Sous Vide Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

A favorite appetizer of mine is a shrimp cocktail. The defining features in a great shrimp cocktail are the quality of the shrimp, how well the shrimp are cooked, and the flavor of the cocktail sauce.

Sous vide shrimp cocktail in a glass

Instead of poaching the shrimp I used sous vide shrimp for the cocktail and they turned out perfectly. The benefit of using sous vide is that you can cook the shrimp to the exact doneness you prefer.

The process was very easy. I salted and peppered the raw shrimp then sealed then in a bag with some rendered guanciale fat for flavor. You could also use bacon or pancetta fat, or even just butter.

You then cook the sous vide shrimp cocktail at the temperature you prefer for 15 to 35 minutes. I decided on 132°F (55.6°);C but I know many people like their shrimp cooked at 122°F (50°C).

Once the sous vide shrimp cocktail is done cooking you take them out of the pouch and dry them off. You can then chill the shrimp for later serving, though I couldn't resist eating several of them hot.

For the cocktail sauce I just tossed together a quick sauce in the blender by combining tomatoes, garlic, chipotle peppers, honey, and lime juice, plus some tomato paste to thicken it. It was a flavorful, smokey, and spicy cocktail sauce that complemented the flavor of the shrimp without over powering it.

Modernist Tools, Ingredients, and Techniques Used

If you would like more information about the modernist techniques, ingredients, and equipment used in the Sous Vide Shrimp Cocktail you can check out the following.

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Sous Vide Shrimp Cocktail

  • Published: April 16, 2012
  • By Jason Logsdon
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Total Time: 30 to 60 Minutes
  • Cooks: 132°F (55.6°C) for 15 to 30 Minutes
  • Serves: 2 to 4

Ingredients for Sous Vide shrimp Cocktail

  • For the Sous Vide Shrimp

  • 1 pound raw shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon rendered fat or butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • For the Cocktail Sauce

  • 2 small tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, less or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • Salt and pepper
  • To Assemble

  • Few cilantro leaves

Cooking Instructions for Sous Vide Shrimp cocktail

For the Pre-Bath

Salt and pepper the shrimp then add to a sous vide pouch with the fat. Seal the pouch.

For the Sous Vide Shrimp

At least 30 to 60 minutes before serving

Preheat your sous vide water bath to 132°F (55.6°C).

Place the pouch in the water bath for 15 to 35 minutes.

For more information on the cooking times you can read my detailed article which addresses why is there a range in sous vide cooking times.

Remove the sous vide shrimp cocktail from the pouch and pat dry. Place in the refrigerator until chilled.

For the Cocktail Sauce

Combine all of the ingredients for the cocktail sauce in a blender or food processor. Process until it is mixed well and the consistency you prefer. Taste and adjust the flavors to your preferences. If you want it thicker you can also add more tomato paste.

To Assemble

Remove the sous vide shrimp cocktail from the refrigerator and plate in a bowl with the cocktail sauce. Garnish with the cilantro.

If you like this recipe you can get more than 85 other inspiring recipes to get you on your way to sous vide success. It's all in my best selling book Modernist Cooking Made Easy: Sous Vide - Get Your Copy Today!

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Sous Vide Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

PT30M 2 to 4 People Ingredients: 1 pound raw shrimp cleaned and deveined 1 tablespoon rendered fat or butter 2 small tomatoes 3 cloves garlic 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce less or more to taste 1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon lime juice 1/4 cup tomato paste 1/4 cup cilantro