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Jul 1, 2011 05:21 AM

Don't Americans have shrimp cocktails with creamy sauce?

I'd had a notion that this was so, but going on a Princess cruise recently confirmed it.

The shrimp cocktails had a ketchuppy looking sauce, with no hint of cream!
I'm not knocking it, I'm just really interested in cultural differences.
Is this the standard all over the U.S.?

Shrimp cocktails (or prawn cocktails as we call them) in Australia have a creamier sauce, like Thousand Island dressing (sometimes it probably IS thousand island dressing, but not always). Sometimes the creaminess comes from mayonnaise, sometimes from cream. I like using cream in our cocktail sauce as the flavour is more subtle.

Which leaves me with another question - in the U.S., how do you use your thousand island dressing if not for shrimp cocktails?

What about other countries? What kind of sauce do you have your shrimp cocktails? What do you do with your thousand island dressing?

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  1. shrimp cocktail sauce for as long as i can remember is ketchup with horseradish....
    thats what my parents always made it out of anyway..and usually what u find here in the USA

    thousand island is either a salad dressing or with a reuben sandwich.... ime

    3 Replies
    1. re: srsone

      Googled Reuben sandwich - interesting, I might have to try it:

      The Reuben sandwich is a hot sandwich of layered meat, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese, with a dressing. These are grilled between slices of rye bread. The meat is either corned beef or pastrami, and the dressing is either Russian or Thousand Island dressing. Several variants exist.

      The picture on Wikipedia is quite scary - it's huge!

      1. re: ursy_ten

        yes theres a deli in New York city that makes one thats huge...the carnegie deli iirc

        1. re: ursy_ten

          That Wiki pic? It's of one at Katz's, presumably the one in Manhattan. As pictured, it's not that big. I've seen (and had) Reubens twice the size.

      2. You're thinking of Marie Rose sauce, which we use in NZ just like Australia and, now that I live in the UK, I can confirm they use here too. Mayonaise and/or cream with tomato sauce, I think my mother gets all fancy on it and adds a bit of lemon juice and worcestershire sauce, which then takes it closer to the territory of Thousand Island.

        3 Replies
        1. re: ultimatepotato

          when my dad would make 1000 island at was ketchup,mayo and relish
          thats what he usually had on his salad at home...or eating out

          1. re: ultimatepotato

            Marie Rose sauce - thank you! I never knew it had a name.

            1. re: ultimatepotato

              Marie Rose is a classic of the 1970s dinner party and, indeed, a stawart of wannabe pretentious restaurants of the time - mayo, ketchup, lemon in proportions to suit. Still pretty good when done well, vile when not. Prawn cocktail is still one of my partner's favourite starters which goes to support the old expression that you can take a girl out of Salford but never take the Salford out of the girl.

            2. Shrimp cocktail, as srsone says, means one thing here: cold shrimp served with cocktail sauce, typically a mixture of ketchup, horseradish, and lemon juice, sometimes with ground celery seed or other seasonings. The cocktail sauce is used as a dip, always, IME.

              Marie Rose sauce, Russian dressing, and Thousand Island dressing are all related to one another and are usually mayo-based. Most people here (again, IME) use Russian dressing or Thousand Island for salads or sandwich spread. Reubens are AMAZING, can't believe there are people who've never had them! They're a diner standard here. The Rachel is also delicious.

              1 Reply
              1. re: LauraGrace

                Yep, I don't think we have Reubens in Australia. I will have to try one (guess I'll have to make it myself though 'cause I don't think I'll be able to order one anywhere)

              2. Most places its served with a ketchup and horseradish sauce. In the south you will often find shrimp remoulade in place of a traditional shrimp cocktail and that is a creamier sauce.

                1 Reply
                1. re: twyst

                  Shrimp remoulade looks kind of similar, only spicier (though I found quite a bit of variation in recipes) - I think I like a lot about that Southern cooking...

                2. IME. Shrimp Cocktail proper in the US is cooked shrimp served with cocktail sauce, which is ketchup and horseradish. It's typical "American" fare, but you can definitely find it served with more imaginative sauces such as a Creole Mustard, or Curry, or Remoulade.
                  Those are really fun, too, but the typical fallback is cocktail sauce.
                  I think what's funny, or well maybe not funny, but it's also typical for many people to buy the cocktail sauce premade and pay for the convenience of combining 2 fairly typical ingredients found in the fridge.
                  Oh, lemons for squeezing are typically an accompaniment, and perhaps a pooper scooper a la Tommy Boy ;-)

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: monavano

                    i dont remember ever buying cocktail sauce...i always remember us/my family making it...
                    like tartar sauce...i always make that myself also...

                    1. re: srsone

                      In the seafood section, the pre-made convenience sauces are always there. I like both ingredients so I always have them on hand. Easy peasy!

                    2. re: monavano

                      I agree, when I started googling recipes for sauces sometimes I was amazed how many of them are so simple to make.

                      What's a Tommy Boy? I did google it, but didn't get anywhere with it!

                      1. re: ursy_ten

                        Tommy Boy was a Chris Farley movie

                        u can find it on imdb

                        1. re: srsone

                          Oh, thanks - I guess I was looking for a culinary reference!

                        2. re: ursy_ten

                          Tommy Boy is a movie. Funny scene (gross-funny)-- basically refers to needing a pooper scooper to remove the black vein, like the shrimp just ate Thanksgiving dinner before it died!