Simple Cold Boiled Shrimp

Cold boiled shrimp are one of my favorite meals – simple, tasty, and quick clean-up.  I love making my own cocktail sauce – after storing it overnight, it is always more flavorful.


  • 1 T celery salt
  • 1/2 T dry mustard
  • 1/2 T paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • pinch each allspice, ground cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails left on (save the shells for shrimp stock – they will keep in the freezer)
  • 1 lemon, sliced into 5 thick slices (I prefer using a meyer lemon, but any variety is fine)
  • 2 quarts water
  • Cocktail Sauce (recipe below)


(1) Bring the water, spices, bay leaf, garlic, and lemon to a rolling boil.  Drop the shrimp in, shut off the heat, and allow them to sit in the water for 3 minutes.

(2) Take the shrimp out of the water using a strainer or a colander and place them in ice and/or the freezer or refrigerator until completely cooled.

(3) Serve with cocktail sauce and fresh lemon slices. (I also love whipping up a quick mustard sauce with 1 container greek yogurt, 2.5 T mustard, 1/2 T horseradish, 1 clove garlic, chives, and a dash of cayenne as an alternative to cocktail sauce).


Cocktail Sauce:

(Make at least 3-4 hours before serving for best results)


  • 1/2 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (I like the Muir Glen organic fire roasted ones)
  • 2 T tomato paste (I use this Mutti tomato paste in a tube)
  • 2.5 T horseradish (I love horseradish, so you may want to use 1.5-2 T first and see what balance you like best)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 T sea salt
  • 1 T finely sliced chives
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest + large squeeze lemon juice
  • sprinkle of parsley and cayenne

Mix everything together with an immersion blender and chill 3-4 hours or overnight.



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