Believe it or not, this is a retro shrimp recipe. My grandmother and great aunt used to make this Shrimp Dip, which is interesting because shrimp wasn’t readily available when we were kids, nor was it cheap. Especially up here in the great white north. I suspect that they made it with canned shrimp sometimes. Fortunately, now you can buy frozen shrimp pretty much everywhere if you aren’t lucky enough to live on the Gulf of Mexico where fresh shrimp is plentiful. It’s delicious spread on crackers and is always popular at parties.
If you’re using frozen shrimp, defrost them according to the directions on the package. You’re making this with cooked shrimp so make sure you buy the right kind, otherwise cook the shrimp, chill and remove the tails. It doesn’t matter what size shrimp you use since you’re chopping them up anyway. I used size 31/40 which means there’s between 31 and 40 shrimp of that size in a pound. The recipe calls for a cup but I usually use a little more.
Take your cream cheese and lemon out of the fridge so they’re at room temperature when you’re ready to mix everything together. A lemon will give you more juice at room temperature. Roll it around before squeezing it to get the most out juice. You can substitute about 2 Tbsp prepared lemon juice if you don’t have a real lemon.
Once the shrimp are defrosted, drain them really well, rinse and drain again, then pat them dry. Chop them up, not too large but it’s ok to have some larger chunks. And don’t forget to remove the tails and the shells. Do I really have to say that?
Shrimp vs prawns – what’s the difference?
I used to think the difference was simply their size and where you lived. There are, however, slight differences including not only their size but their legs, claws and how they reproduce. But in reality, it doesn’t matter if you make shrimp recipes with shrimp or prawns. In fact, you could make this with crab or lobster if you’re feeling like spending some money.
Anyway, back to the Shrimp Dip. Chop up half an onion (or a full small onion) into really small dice or use a grater.
Use a hand mixer to combine the cream cheese and lemon juice until smooth. Add the mayo, ketchup, onion, Worchestershire sauce and a pinch of salt. You can use real mayonnaise or Miracle Whip. The original recipe is Miracle Whip but I use half regular mayo, just so it isn’t too sweet. The ketchup gives it some sweetness as well as a nice shrimp-like colour.
I revised the recipe for Shrimp Dip to include horseradish for extra zip. Since seafood sauce is basically ketchup and horseradish, it just made sense. You can include it or not, and use the heat level you prefer. I used extra hot horseradish.
Once it’s mixed well, stir in the shrimp.
Chill until serving. Garnish with some green onion for a nice presentation and serve with crackers or veggies for dipping.
This keeps for a day or two so you can make it in advance. Bring Shrimp Dip to your next party and watch it get gobbled up. Just make sure to label your dish in case someone has a seafood allergy!
Not a seafood person? Maybe you’ll like Hot Layered Mexican Dip instead.
Here’s the recipe:
- 8 oz Cream Cheese at room temperature
- Juice of 1 lemon or 2 Tbsp
- 1/2 cup Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip of 1/4 c of each
- 2 Tbsp Ketchup
- 1 tsp Horseradish optional
- 1 Small Onion grated
- 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- pinch salt
- 1 cup Chopped Cooked Shrimp or more
- Minced Green Onion for garnish
- Mix together cream cheese and lemon juice until smooth. Add mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish, grated onion, Worcestershire and salt. Blend well.
- Remove shells, tails and veins from cooked shrimp. Rinse and drain well. Pat dry. Chop into chunks and combine with cheese mixture.
- Top with minced green onion and chill before serving. Serve with crackers and/or vegetables for dipping and spreading.