Ensenada Shrimp Cocktail

How to make Garden-Fresh Seafood Cocktail

On a recent journey along the bustling coastlines, where the ocean meets vibrant local markets filled with the freshest catch, I discovered a dish that seemed to embody the essence of the seaside – the Garden-Fresh Seafood Cocktail. This dish stands out for its celebration of the sea’s bounty: a melange of succulent seafood, each piece kissed by the briny depths, then enlivened with a sprinkle of bold adobo seasoning. The seasoning blends seamlessly, accentuating the natural sweetness of the seafood while introducing a warm, smoky undertone. With each bite, you are transported to a setting where the crispness of the garden meets the saltiness of the sea, creating an unforgettable taste experience.

Captivated by this delightful harmony, I endeavored to recreate the Garden-Fresh Seafood Cocktail at home. After several tasteful attempts and mastering the perfect balance of flavors, I finally succeeded in capturing the dish’s essence. It is with great pleasure and excitement that I now share this recipe with you. Through this dish, may you too savor the fresh embrace of the ocean and the vibrant zing of adobo seasoning, bringing a piece of coastal paradise into your kitchen.

Garden-Fresh Seafood Cocktail Recipe

Ensenada Shrimp Cocktail

Garden-Fresh Seafood Cocktail

The Garden-Fresh Seafood Cocktail is inspired by the essence of coastal regions, combining the freshest sea bounty with bold adobo seasoning for a delightful blend of flavors. Discovered during a journey along vibrant coastlines, this dish celebrates the natural sweetness of seafood, harmonizing it with the smokiness and warmth of adobo seasoning to transport you to where the garden's crispness meets the sea's saltiness. After several tasteful attempts at home, the perfect balance of flavors was achieved. This recipe now aims to share a slice of coastal paradise, blending the fresh embrace of the ocean with the zesty lift of adobo seasoning, inviting a unique culinary experience into your kitchen.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 6 people
Calories 856 kcal


  • 1 mixing bowl
  • 1 cocktail cup


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons adobo seasoning
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 cup red onion
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 3/4 pound cooked shrimp
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 3 celery ribs
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1 container refrigerated crabmeat


  • Combine the first nine items in a mixing bowl.
  • Pour lemon juice, oil, and adobo spice over shrimp combination and gently toss to coat.
  • Freeze for at least an hour, gently stirring every 20 minutes.
  • In cocktail cups, serve the shrimp combination.
Keyword adobo seasoning, olive oil, Seafood

Cooking tips about Garden-Fresh Seafood Cocktail

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  • Selecting the Best Seafood: The star of the show is undoubtedly the seafood, so opt for the freshest catch you can find. A variety of shellfish like shrimp, scallops, and even squid or octopus can elevate the dish. If possible, purchase seafood from a trusted local fishmonger and ask for what’s most fresh.
  • Adobo Seasoning Balance: Adobo seasoning is known for its rich blend of garlic, onion, paprika, and other spices. It’s important to use it judiciously, starting with a conservative amount and adjusting to taste. The goal is to complement the seafood’s natural sweetness without overpowering it.
  • Marinating for Flavor: Allow the seafood to marinate briefly in a mixture of lime or lemon juice, olive oil, and a touch of adobo seasoning. This not only flavors the seafood but also adds a zesty kick that ties the cocktail together. However, avoid over-marinating, especially with acidic components, as it can start “cooking” the seafood and alter its texture.
  • Freshness in Every Bite: Incorporate a variety of fresh, crisp vegetables to bring color and texture contrast to the dish. Diced avocados, cucumbers, tomatoes, and a handful of fresh cilantro can add layers of flavor and make the dish more visually appealing.
  • Serving Temperature: Seafood cocktails are best enjoyed chilled. After mixing the ingredients, refrigerate the cocktail for at least an hour before serving. This not only cools the dish but also allows the flavors to meld beautifully.
  • Presentation Matters: Serve your Garden-Fresh Seafood Cocktail in a clear glass or a martini glass to showcase its vibrant colors and textures. Garnish with a slice of lime or a sprig of fresh herbs for an extra touch of elegance.
  • Accompaniments: While the cocktail can certainly stand on its own, consider serving it with small toasts, crackers, or tortilla chips for added texture and to complete the dining experience.
  • Personalize Your Cocktail: Feel free to adjust the level of spiciness according to your preference. Adding diced jalapeños or a dash of hot sauce can introduce a delightful heat that plays well with the other flavors.

Serving suggestions about Garden-Fresh Seafood Cocktail

Garden-Fresh Seafood Cocktail

  • Chilled Glassware: Serve the seafood cocktail in chilled martini glasses or clear glass bowls. The cold temperature of the glassware will keep the seafood fresh and enhance the flavor profile, making it more enjoyable.
  • Garnish Wisely: A thoughtful garnish can elevate the dish visually and taste-wise. Consider adding a sprig of fresh dill or cilantro on top and a wedge of lemon on the rim of the glass for an extra zing. These touches not only add color but also complement the flavors of the seafood cocktail.
  • Layer Flavors: For an added dimension of texture and taste, layer the bottom of the serving glass with a small amount of crisp, diced vegetables such as cucumber, avocado, or celery before adding the seafood mixture. This will introduce a refreshing crunch in every bite.
  • Use Vibrant Ingredients: Highlight the freshness of the dish by including vibrant ingredients such as cherry tomatoes, slices of lime, and bell peppers. Their colors will make the cocktail visually appealing, and their flavors will mesh well with the seasoned seafood.
  • Provide Dipping Options: Offer a variety of sauces on the side, such as cocktail sauce, aioli, or a spicy mayonnaise. Guests can choose how they want to complement their seafood, catering to individual preferences for a personalized eating experience.
  • Offer Crisp Accompaniments: Serve with a side of lightly toasted bread, crackers, or tortilla chips. The crispiness of these sides pairs perfectly with the tender seafood, offering a delightful contrast in textures.
  • Ensure Perfect Timing: Serve this dish either as an appetizer or a light main course. If serving as an appetizer, ensure it comes out promptly to whet the appetite without filling guests up before the main meal.
  • Decorate Thoughtfully: Consider the overall presentation of the dish, including the table setting. A sea-themed decor or simple, elegant tableware can enhance the seafood cocktail’s allure, creating an immersive dining experience.

Top 5 FAQs about Garden-Fresh Seafood Cocktail

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  • What are the main ingredients in a Garden-Fresh Seafood Cocktail? The Garden-Fresh Seafood Cocktail combines a variety of fresh seafood such as shrimp, scallops, squid, or octopus with bold adobo seasoning. These core ingredients are complemented by the fresh flavors of lime or lemon juice, olive oil, and an array of crisp vegetables like avocados, cucumbers, and tomatoes to create a harmonious blend of tastes.
  • How do I choose the best seafood for this dish? Opt for the freshest catch available, ideally from a trusted local fishmonger who can provide insights into what’s most fresh. A mix of shellfish offers different textures and flavors, enhancing the overall experience of the dish. Freshness is key to ensuring the seafood’s natural sweetness and tenderness.
  • What makes adobo seasoning suitable for a seafood cocktail? Adobo seasoning, with its rich blend of garlic, onion, paprika, and other spices, adds a warm, smoky undertone that complements the natural sweetness of the seafood without overpowering it. The seasoning should be used judiciously, adjusted according to taste to maintain the perfect balance of flavors.
  • Can I make the Garden-Fresh Seafood Cocktail ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the Seafood Cocktail ahead of time. In fact, marinating the seafood briefly and then refrigerating the mixed cocktail for at least an hour before serving not only chills the dish but also allows the flavors to meld together beautifully. Just remember to avoid over-marinating with acidic components to prevent altering the seafood’s texture.
  • How should I serve the Garden-Fresh Seafood Cocktail for the best presentation and taste? For an elegant presentation, serve the seafood cocktail in chilled martini glasses or clear glass bowls to showcase the vibrant colors and textures. Garnishing with a slice of lime or a sprig of fresh cilantro can add an extra touch of elegance. Remember, seafood cocktails are best enjoyed chilled to enhance the flavors and freshness of the ingredients.

In wrapping up the culinary exploration of the Garden-Fresh Seafood Cocktail, we reflect on a dish that embodies the very heart of coastal dining. This recipe, born from the discovery of local seafood markets and the joy of experimentation, represents a bridge between the simplicity of freshly caught seafood and the complexity of adobo seasoning. By mastering the balance of flavors, it not only brings out the sweetness of the ocean’s offerings but also invites a touch of garden freshness to each bite.


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