Shrimp Melange

A main course recipe based on the tried and true Shrimp Cocktail entrée that was a restaurant staple 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. This is essentially the same as the cocktail, but I call it mélange [the French word for mixture] to differentiate it from the entrée.



1 small can diced pineapple, drained.

1 small can mandarin segments, drained.

¼ cup chopped pickled cucumber [bread and butter cucumber].

1 spring onion, finely chopped.

2 tblsp finely chopped mint [reserve some for garnish].

½ cup salad dressing.

2 tblsp tomato paste.

1 tblsp Worcestershire sauce.

250g cooked and peeled shrimps.

Lemon wedges.



Drain the pineapple and mandarins and place the fruit in a bowl with the shrimps, pickles, spring onion and mint. Beat the salad dressing, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce together until completely homogenous and add to the fruit mixture. Mix together gently so that everything is evenly distributed, cover and leave in the fridge to chill. Garnish with the reserved mint and serve immediately.


Serve with: Shredded lettuce and capsicum salad, and boiled new potatoes.


Serves: 2.

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