Seafood Cocktail

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This cocktail can be prepared with any seafood: raw clams or scallops, abalone, cone cooked shrimps. And how much fresher and crunchier a cocktail it is than the usual version of rubbery shrimps drowned in a commercially made tomato sauce. It is perhaps best eaten immediately after it is prepared, but if you do want to prepare it ahead, don’t let it stand for more than 2 hours or the ingredients will lose their fresh flavor and crispness. Naturally, it should not be so cold that the flavor is lost and the oil congealed.

NotesI prefer to serve this with hot, freshly made tortillas, or with dried tortillas, toasted until crisp on a comal or in the oven.




Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionCocktail Party

Recipe Courseappetizer, hors d'oeuvre

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Five Ingredients or LessYes


Taste and Texturefruity, herby, light, sharp


  • 3 dozen large raw clams or scallops or medium-size cooked shrimps
  • ½ cup (125 ml) fresh lime juice
  • About 12 ounces (340 g) tomatoes, finely chopped (about 2 cups/500 ml)
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped (about ¼ cup/65 ml)
  • 1 large avocado, cubed
  • 3 to 4 serrano chiles or any fresh, hot green chiles, finely chopped with seeds
  • 2 heaped tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. If you are using clams, open them or have them opened for you, saving both the clams and their juice. If you are using scallops, let them marinate in the lime juice for an hour or so. Combine the clams (and their liquid) or other seafood with the rest of the ingredients, adjust the seasoning, and serve slightly chilled (see note above).


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