Cocktail sauce is an important component for ensuring a successful shrimp cocktail. Besides being in the name of the appetizer, the cocktail sauce provides a strong hit of flavor to the otherwise bland shrimp. A good cocktail sauce is slightly acidic and sweet with a kick of heat. If you enjoy the subtle spicy component of a cocktail sauce, consider punching it up by incorporating wasabi paste into your next batch.
Wasabi paste is a green, paste-like mixture of wasabi root and is quite spicy. It has a bite to it similar to horseradish, and many wasabi pastes you find in restaurants are actually made mostly from horseradish. Meanwhile, real wasabi has a fresher taste and a depth of flavor you won't find in the fake stuff. You can add wasabi paste to Tasting Table's classic cocktail sauce with ease. Simply mix it in with your other ingredients.
Be careful using wasabi paste because it can be incredibly strong. Start with a quarter of a teaspoon and taste your sauce to decide if you wish to add more or not.
Read more: 15 Different Ways To Cook Fish
Other Ways To Spice Up Your Cocktail Sauce
Wasabi paste is just one way to add a kick of heat to your cocktail sauce. Horseradish is another popular way to incorporate spice, and it has a similar flavor to wasabi. Like wasabi, horseradish is pretty strong, and too much can become overwhelming on your taste buds so use sparingly and add more as needed. Lots of cocktail sauce recipes will feature horseradish but you can always add more to give your sauce added spice.
Tabasco sauce is a great way to bring in some heat to your sauce as well; and like horseradish, a lot of recipes will feature this ingredient. Things like wasabi and horseradish can be too much for some people, but Tabasco is easy to add, a little milder, and easily found. You can do a couple of dashes and add more to fit your spice preferences. You can also change the type of Tabasco sauce you use to bring in different flavor elements.
Another fun way to bring a hottness to your sauce is using a dash of chile powder. Chile powder will bring a smoky element to the sauce, and spice as well. Chile complements the other ingredients present in the sauce and makes for a unique take on it.
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