by Charles Bourland

Shrimp Cocktail has been in NASA food systems since the Apollo days and is still one of the most popular astronaut foods. Shrimp are very conducive to freeze drying. When processed properly, the dehydrated shrimp are very similar to fresh shrimp after water is added. Astronaut Story Musgrave (STS-6, STS-51F, STS-33, STS-44, STS-61, STS-80)  liked shrimp cocktail so much that he requested it for every meal, every day for the duration of the mission.

Shrimp Cocktail
Shrimp Cocktail in the current flight package on the left and the early Shuttle flight package on the right.

The Recipe:

- 4 lbs Individually Quick Frozen large (approximately 25-35 per pound) peeled and de-veined shrimp or fresh 25-35 per pound count de-headed and de-veined Gulf shrimp
- Shrimp Boil
- 1 bag Rex Dry Crab Boil
- 2 oz bottled lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon dehydrated onion flakes
- 4 teaspoons Tabasco red pepper sauce
- 1 tablespoon celery salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt

- Rinse shrimp 3 times with water and soak for 10 minutes in 1.5% salt solution ( 3 tablespoons salt per gallon)
- Add shrimp boil mixture to 1 gallon of water and heat to boiling
- Add  4 lbs shrimp to the boiling mixture and boil for 6 to 8 minutes
- Drain immediately and chill with ice or place in refrigerator
- Serve chilled
- Since the dried shrimp cocktail sauce is usually not available on the retail level the best substitute is a commercial sauce. Add some extra horseradish to give it the space shrimp cocktail kick.

Serves: 16

NASA further processes the shrimp by freeze drying and adds the dried cocktail sauce to the shrimp at the time of packaging for flight. Astronauts add chilled water to the package and mix by kneading the package.




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