FRIDAY’S DISH: Taste of the Sea on the Q53


I just can’t give up summer! You see, I’m a lady who lives in Queens, New York and I’m lucky enough to have a bus that can get me to Rockaway Beach with little to no hassle. Whenever I decide to make that trip I simply must pick up a snack to enjoy by the water. To me, what I’m eating is just as important as remembering to pack sunscreen. While waiting on the bus I stumbled upon a hidden gem. There is a man who works at the bodega just opposite the bus stop who makes a refreshing shrimp cocktail that is perfect to enjoy beach-side.

The shrimp cocktail that I grew up with was always a treat but nothing like this version filled with all of the vibrant flavors of Mexico. The old school version I know is made with boring boiled shrimp and served with a side of somewhat bland cocktail sauce and a lemon wedge. This Mexican version pops with cilantro, lime, sweet tomato juice, and is topped with a few slices of creamy avocado. The cool thing about it is that it’s served with saltine crackers which are the perfect salty vehicle to get the juicy concoction into my mouth.

This last time I stood outside to catch the Q53 bus to Rockaway, I went to my bodega and the man wasn’t there! I vowed to replicate his briny snack but I’m afraid I didn’t even come close. Summer’s over now and I can only hope he’ll be back.

  • ½ lb of raw peeled and deveined shrimp, cut into chunks
  • 1 small can of tomato juice
  • Your favorite hot to taste (I kept it authentic with Cholula)
  • ½ cup of finely chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. of ground cumin
  • Juice of 2-4 limes depending on how juicy they are
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Ripened avocado
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

NOTE: All of these measurements are estimates and not exact
What I did:

I put the shrimp in non-reactive bowl and covered them with the juice of the limes. Season with salt and pepper and stirred until coated. I covered them with plastic wrap and placed in the fridge. The shrimp will “cook” in the lime juice. I think it took mine about 45 min to an hour but you have to check them and stir them occasionally to gauge.

When the shrimp turn pink throughout, drain them and add them to another bowl with all other ingredients except the avocado and I reserved a small amount of the cilantro for garnish. At this point you’ll want to add the juice of another lime and a little more salt and pepper to season the juice. Stir it all together, dip it out into “cocktail” glasses and garnish with 3 slices of thinly sliced avocado. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro. (I always add more avocado ‘cause I’m greedy like that.) Now you can dip and enjoy with saltine crackers!

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