HomeRECIPESLIGHT RECIPESPrawn cocktail, the perfect appetizer for your party

Prawn cocktail, the perfect appetizer for your party

Few dishes manage to capture the spirit of an era. One of them is the shrimp cocktail, one of the emblems of the 80s. Simple and refined dish at the same time, which often appeared at parties or to celebrate something important. What made and continues to make the prawn cocktail so appreciated?

First of all, the ease of recipe, which is prepared in no time. Then the pink sauce based on mayonnaise and ketchup, a tasty dressing that envelops the crustaceans in a smooth cream. Finally, the fresh touch of the salad. The prawn cocktail is therefore the perfect starter for the upcoming parties.

Prawn Cocktail, The Fabulous 80’s

Some remember them with horror, others with nostalgia. Certainly, the 80s, from the gastronomic point of view, reserved tasty recipes, easy to prepare and, above all, very tasty. Everything had to be bigger and juicier.

And to think that the use of the word cocktail to refer to a dish and not an alcoholic beverage dates back to the era of Prohibition. When precisely cocktail glasses were used to serve food and not alcohol. that’s why it’s fun serve this appetizer in a glass of Daisy flower or champagne.

Prawn cocktail recipe

Prawn cocktail

Preparation 20 minutes

Cooking 5 minutes

total time 26 minutes

4 servings people

Calories per person: 534

Total calories: 2139


  • 600g of prawns
  • 200g mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Worcester sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 20g cognac
  • 1 bunch of lettuce


  1. Clean the prawns well, removing the shell and the black thread on the back. Boil them for 5 minutes in salted water. Drain them and reserve them in a cool place.
  2. Prepare the sauce by mixing the mayonnaise, Worcester sauce, ketchup and mustard. Add the cognac little by little until you get a creamy consistency.
  3. Line the bowls with lettuce and add a tablespoon of sauce. Arrange the prawns and cover them with the rest of the sauce. Refrigerate until serving time. Lastly, remember to add a pinch of freshly ground pepper.

Prawn cocktail, the tricks to avoid mistakes

Actually, such a dish does not need any special care, but these tips can give you some useful clues.

  • Select very fresh and medium-sized prawns. If you can’t find fresh prawns, you can use frozen ones, treating them as indicated on the package. Note: compared to fresh shrimp, frozen shrimp have more sodium (375 mg vs. 146), less potassium (75 vs. 266) and phosphorus (159 vs. 349).
  • Of course you can also use prawns instead of prawns. The cost of the recipe will increase a little, but the result will be noticeable. You must cook them exactly the same as the prawns, so boil them in plenty of salted water for a few minutes. Or steamed.
  • The lettuce should be very well drained. Wash it and pass it through a vegetable centrifuge to remove all the water that could spoil the dressing.
  • The quality of the salad also matters. The lettuce is perfect, but the iceberg variety is also deliciouswith its large leaves and, above all, very crunchy.

Prawn cocktail in diets and menus

A serving of shrimp cocktail provides about 534 calories. It is not little considering that it is an appetizer. However, keep in mind that you can significantly reduce the caloric content of the dish by preparing mayonnaise and ketchup at home with our light recipes.

An idea to consume shrimp cocktail on a diet is to eat it as a second course within a very light meal. Include fresh and cooked vegetables and the proper portion of carbohydrates in your eating plan.

Nutritional properties

The prawn cocktail is a dish marked by a high presence of fat, mainly related to the mayonnaise (in our version we have omitted the cream, but the traditional recipe would include it). Let’s see the nutritional table of the main ingredients.

Prawns are a good source of protein, minerals and vitamin B12. They have a very high sodium content, which makes them unsuitable for hypertensives.

Below is the list of nutrients in 100 grams of product.

Mineral salts

  • Calcium: 110mg
  • Sodium: 146mg
  • Potassium: 266mg
  • Phosphorus: 349mg
  • Magnesium: 39mg
  • Selenium: 30 μg.

water soluble vitamins

  • B1: 0.3mg
  • C: 2mg
  • B3: 3.20mg
  • B6: 0.53mg.

fat soluble vitamins

Mayonnaise is rich in fat from the egg yolk, but also in vitamins B1, A, iron and phosphorus. It will always be better to prepare it at home, from fresh eggs, not so much to limit the use of fat, but because of the quality of the ingredients.

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