Never worry about over or undercooking your shrimp again! Sous vide shrimp cocktail offers a foolproof twist on a classic appetizer.
I’ve always been a huge fan of shrimp, but I find them a bit of a hassle to sauté. More often than not, the only way I like to cook shrimp is in the oven or boiled, because that’s the best way to guarantee that everything cooks evenly. However, neither of those methods are foolproof since shrimp can be various sizes and water/oven temperature can still play a factor.
This is where the sous vide method once again comes to the rescue. By setting the immersion circulator to an exact temperature, there’s no chance of the shrimp being over or undercooked. You get a perfect texture regardless of size, so you can relax and focus on other kitchen tasks. As usual, there’s minimal prep and almost no cleanup.
Shrimp cocktail is a great place to start since it’s one of the most simple preparations, but once you get the hang of it, you can start infusing all sorts of flavors into the bag while the shrimp are cooking! The possibilities are endless.
How to Make Sous Vide Shrimp Cocktail
The key to perfect sous vide shrimp is simply to make sure they stay lined up in a single layer in the bag. I wasn’t paying close enough attention the first time I sealed the bag, and there was enough air inside that they all immediately fell to the bottom. I was suddenly wishing I had a vacuum sealer at that moment! Second time worked just fine.
If you’re shrimp is fresh, it hasn’t touched the tip of the bag, and you’re not squeamish, you can always suck the excess air out of the bag manually. I’m probably not supposed to say that, but it does get the job done. Just be careful, remember the disclaimer you see at seafood restaurants about consuming undercooked foods!
Once the shrimp are in a single layer and as much air has been removed as possible, you’ll have guaranteed perfect shrimp after they’ve been cooked for 30 minutes using an immersion circulator.
Sous Vide Shrimp Cocktail
Sous Vide Shrimp
- 1 pound extra large shrimp peeled and deveined
- Store-bought or homemade cocktail sauce
- Optional: lemon wedges for serving
Homemade Cocktail Sauce
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice, or to taste (approximately 1 lemon)
- 4 teaspoons prepared horseradish, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Optional: hot sauce, such as Tabasco, to taste
Prepare The Shrimp
- Fill a large container with water. Using a sous vide immersion circulator, bring the water temperature to 137°F (58°C).
- Place shrimp in a single layer in a 1-gallon resealable freezer bag, pressing out as much air as possible and sealing the bag. After sealing the bag, you can massage the shrimp back into a single layer again if necessary (this is essential for even cooking). Clip weights or attach weighted sous vide magnets to the bottom of the bag to help weigh it down. If using magnets, you can also attach some near the top.
- Slowly lower the bag into the water bath until fully submerged, using kitchen tongs if needed to assist pressing it down. Once the bag is almost completely submerged, open one small corner to release any remaining air, then reseal the bag and clip it to the corner. (Note: If your container has a lid, you might not need the clip; simply fold the top of the bag over the edge and cover with the lid). If your container doesn’t have a lid, top with foil or plastic wrap to prevent water evaporation.
- Cook for 30 minutes, then use kitchen tongs to carefully remove the bag. Drain any liquid from the bag and cool the shrimp to room temperature before serving. Refrigerate if not serving immediately. If refrigerated, bring the shrimp to room temperature for 20 minutes before serving. Serve with cocktail sauce and lemon wedges.
Prepare The Cocktail Sauce
- If making homemade cocktail sauce, prepare while the shrimp are cooking or cooling.
- In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, lemon juice, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce, if using. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Leftover sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.