A person squeezes a lemon onto a red shrimp

Deep in the Gulf of Mexico, there’s treasure. Not sunken galleons from centuries past, not vast fields of oil, but shrimp—shrimp so delicious, so prized, they’re called Royal Reds. And while these esteemed shellfish have long been enjoyed along the eastern side of the Gulf Coast, they’re finally making it onto Texas menus. This recipe comes from Eunice in Houston.


Serves 4


2 pounds Royal Red shrimp, head on
2 quarts water
1/4 cup liquid crab boil, such as Zatarain’s
1/4 cup salt
2 lemons, cut in half
cocktail sauce, for serving (recipe follows)
lemon wedges, for serving


Before cooking, gather a clean tray or plate, a slotted spoon, and a timer you can set for 90 seconds.
Starting at the base of the head, use a sharp pair of scissors to open the shell along the shrimp’s back. Use the scissors or a paring knife to remove the vein. Leave the head on—this is important to protect the delicate shrimp.
In a large pot, bring the water, crab boil, salt, and lemons to a rolling boil. Drop the deveined shrimp into the water, set your timer, and use the slotted spoon to remove them after 90 seconds. Place the shrimp in a single layer on the tray and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
When the shrimp are completely cool, remove the heads, and serve with cocktail sauce, remoulade, and a lemon wedge.

Cocktail Sauce

1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
6-8 drops Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
pinch of salt and cracked black pepper


Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir.


Read more: These Red Shrimp Are Gulf Coast Royalty

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