Shrimp Cocktail.

A tried and true favourite that was ubiquitous in the 1960s. Pretty much every restaurant in Auckland – there must have been as many as a dozen of them when we got married in 1965 – did a shrimp cocktail. The reason was that they appealed to the New Zealand palate, there was nothing ‘foreign’ about them, and they lend themselves very well to bulk preparation. This was very important in the mass catering of the huge smorgasbord ‘dine and dance’ restaurants so popular at the time.


1 small can diced pineapple.

1 small can mandarin segments.

250g cooked and peeled shrimps.

2 spring onions, finely chopped.

1 cup seafood sauce.*

Finely shredded lettuce.

1 tblsp chopped capers.

1 tblsp finely chopped mint.

Lemon wedges.


Drain the pineapple and mandarins and place the fruit in a bowl with the shrimps, spring onion and the seafood sauce. Mix together gently so that everything is evenly distributed, cover and leave in the fridge to chill.

Place a layer of shredded lettuce in each of 4-6 shallow serving dishes [champagne bowls are very elegant, if you have them] and top with the shrimp mixture. Garnish with the capers and mint, and one lemon segment apiece and serve immediately.

Serves: 4-6.

Variations. Substitute a can of tuna for the shrimps for a Tuna Cocktail, or canned smoked oysters for a Smoked Oyster Cocktail.

*. See below under Sauces, dressings and dips.

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