In the height of summer, my appetite often settles into a no-man’s land where I’m genuinely hungry but find myself stuck in a lackadaisical funk in which I just don’t feel like eating. It’s as if the act of consuming food generates more heat than it’s worth. Luckily, there are recipes like this cool, fresh shrimp cocktail to snap me out of it, satisfying my hunger while also cooling me down.

This recipe is made in the style of ceviche where citrus-marinated seafood gets tossed with a little jalapeño, scallions and a handful of cilantro. Riffing on that traditional flavor, I added a hydrating crunch of cucumber, and — a move I think really completes it — sweet, juicy, green grapes.

I went with cooked shrimp instead of the raw fish traditional ceviche calls for, in part because I wanted that shrimp-cocktail vibe, and also because cooking shrimp eliminates any sense of urgency. (Although the fish in ceviche is often referred to as “cooked” in the citrus, the acidic marinade only changes its texture so it seems cooked.) Using cooked shrimp, and holding back the cilantro just before serving, means you can refrigerate this dish for up to a day.

When I serve it chilled, with cool hues of green, pale pink and white, I can’t think of anything more delightfully appetizing on a sweltering day.


  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup seeded and diced English cucumber
  • 1 cup (about 6 ounces) halved green grapes
  • 3 large scallions, thinly sliced, light green and white parts only
  • 1 medium jalapeño chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from about 5 limes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Step 1

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare a large bowl of ice water. Cook the shrimp in the boiling water until they are just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a large slotted spoon or spider, transfer the shrimp to the ice bath to cool completely, then drain well. Chop each shrimp into three pieces.

Step 2

Transfer the shrimp to a large bowl and add the cucumber, grapes, scallions and jalapeño. Season with the lime juice and salt and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Add the cilantro just before serving and toss to combine. Serve cold.

Recipe from dietitian and food columnist Ellie Krieger.

Tested by Olga Massov; email questions to

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Calories: 127; Total Fat: 1 g; Saturated Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 143 mg; Sodium: 740 mg; Carbohydrates: 13 g; Dietary Fiber: 1 g; Sugars: 8 g; Protein: 16 g.