Cóctel de Gambas (Prawn Cocktail)

Gluten Free · Dairy Free

2 Jan · Written by Raquel Jones


The tale of the prawn cocktail's origin is as varied as the flavours it brings to the table. Legend has it that in the bustling city of San Francisco, a triumphant miner decided to celebrate his successful day of prospecting. He sauntered into a local bar and ordered a glass of whisky, alongside a plate of fresh oysters.

As the story goes, the miner, brimming with creativity and a hunger for something extraordinary, decided to embark on a culinary experiment. He tipped the succulent oysters into his empty glass and, with a dash of vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, tomato sauce, and a generous scoop of horseradish, he transformed his humble oysters into a tantalizing concoction. With each flavorful bite, he savored the fruits of his impromptu creation.

The bar's owner, intrigued by this innovative masterpiece, couldn't resist inquiring, "What do you call that?"

Without missing a beat, the miner replied, "An oyster cocktail."

Little did he know that this simple act of culinary alchemy would spark a trend that would soon sweep through California like wildfire.

Before long, every bar in the Golden State was crafting its own rendition of the seafood cocktail, each adding its unique twist to this newfound sensation. It was a dish born from spontaneity and creativity, a testament to the power of experimentation in the world of gastronomy.

Today, the prawn cocktail stands as a cherished classic, enjoyed by many on special occasions, including New Year's Eve. Whether it graces the table as an elegant starter for a dinner party or serves as a refreshing, light lunch on a scorching summer's day, one thing remains certain—its deliciousness is beyond dispute.

Bon Profit! Raquel x

Prawn Cocktail w. rose sauce - Bonus Mahonesa (Egg Mayonnaise) recipe

Serves: 4 people

INGREDIENTS for Cocktail

  • 16 large cooked prawns, peeled and deveined [Hint: you can leave 4 or 8 with tails intact and place decoratively on individual servings]
  • 100g finely shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 200g melon (honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon), balled OR 100g mango, cut into small wedges - feel free to use all fruits
  • 1/4 avocado, sliced lengthways

INGREDIENTS for Salsa Rosa (Rose Sauce)

  • 80g high quality mayonnaise (if you're feeling adventurous, try making my home-made mayonnaise recipe below)
  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce
  • Juice from half an orange
  • 2 tsp brandy
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 bunch chives, finely chopped


  1. Combine the salsa rosa ingredients in a small bowl. Season to taste. Set aside 2 tbsp of salsa rosa.
  2. Set aside four/eight prawns and roughly chop the remaining prawns into 1 cm pieces, discarding the tails.
  3. Fold the chopped prawns through the salsa rosa.


Arrange the shredded lettuce in the base of four glasses and top with half the chopped prawn mixture. Divide the melon/mango among the glasses and spoon the remaining prawn mixture on top. Gently place the avocado upright in each glass. Finish with 1 or 2 prawns perched on top and drizzle over the salsa rosa you set aside.

Bonus Recipe: Mahonesa (Mayonnaise)


  • 1 free-range egg yolk
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • pinch of sea salt flakes
  • 160ml grapeseed oil
  • 160ml extra virgin olive oil


  1. Place the egg yolk and egg in a mixing bowl or in the bowl of a food processor. Whisk or blitz to combine, then incorporate the vinegar, lemon juice and salt.
  2. Whisking or blitzing continuously, very gradually pour in the oils, one at a time, in a thin, steady stream, until you have a thick mayonnaise.


The recipe is easily doubled to serve 8, 12 or more people. Check out my serving suggestion for a crowd/party below.


This recipe calls for a crisp white wine and ourAmphora Blanco or straight albariñoare both the perfect pairing for seafood.

Serve as an entrée or appetiser or make a larger amount and serve in pre-bought mini tartalettes or savoury cones - check outPadstow Food Service- love their stuff!