Dress Up Poached Shrimp With a Trio of Dipping Sauces

POPSUGAR Photography | Sarah Lipoff
POPSUGAR Photography | Sarah Lipoff

Want to wow your party guests without spending hours in the kitchen? Then turn to a party classic, shrimp cocktail: elevate the shellfish dish with a trio of flavorful dipping sauces that are so addictive, your guests will want to double-dip.

The dish may sound involved, but thanks to a few pantry staples — think barbecue sauce, coconut milk, garlic chili paste, and the like — pulling off this elegant hors d'oeuvre is easier than you think.

Poached Shrimp with Cocktail, BBQ, and Peanut Dipping Sauces

YieldServes 8 as an appetizer

From Sarah Lipoff, POPSUGAR Food


    • For poached shrimp:
    • 24 large- or jumbo-size shrimp, deveined, tails still on
    • Salt
    • For cocktail sauce:
    • 1/2 cup ketchup
    • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon freshly grated or prepared horseradish
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • For Thai peanut sauce:
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk
    • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
    • 2 teaspoons garlic chili paste
    • Juice of 1 lime
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • For pineapple barbecue sauce:
    • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
    • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple
    • 1 teaspoon honey


    1. Poach the shrimp: Fill a large pot or Dutch oven with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat down to medium. Drop the shrimp in the boiling water and season with salt. Let simmer for three minutes. Remove the shrimp from the boiling water, strain, and plunge immediately in a ice-water bath. Drain, cover, and chill shrimp for up to four hours before serving.

    2. Make the cocktail sauce: In a blender or a small food processor, blend ketchup, vinegar, and horseradish. Add fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

    3. Make the Thai peanut sauce: Clean out the blender or food processor and combine coconut milk, peanut butter, and garlic chili paste until well-combined. Add fresh lime. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

    4. Make the pineapple barbecue sauce: Clean out the blender or food processor and mix barbecue sauce, crushed pineapple, and honey until well-combined. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

    5. Spoon dipping sauces into small ramekins, topping each with a poached shrimp for garnish.