Marie Rose ( Seafood ) Sauce

The UK’s favourite accompaniment to cold seafood is Marie Rose Sauce ( sometimes sold as seafood sauce ), a tangy blend of ketchup and mayonnaise. Historically the seafood cocktail dates back to the United States during the late 19th century, when shellfish, often oysters in a spicy sauce, were a popular appetiser. The custom of serving the dish in stemmed glasses can be traced to the era of Prohibition, but unlike many recipes, there is no list of claimants for the glory of inventing the idea. By the end of the 1950’s a dish of shrimp and cocktail sauce, served in a sundae glass, was available at the Las Vegas Hotel Nevada. The dish was described as the “original shrimp cocktail” and sold at fifty cents.

Seafood Sauce

In the 1970’s many an English dinner party was graced by a Prawn Cocktail, crisp lettuce, plump prawns and tangy Marie Rose and they are still popular today, perhaps, with some extra Smoked Salmon or a couple of Crevettes. Marie Rose is best made using some homemade mayonnaise and quality ketchup and I cannot better the recipe of Simon Hopkinson and Lindsey Bareham in their wonderful book ‘ The Prawn Cocktail Years ’ revisiting a host of neglected dishes such as Black Forest Gateau, Duck a l’Orange and Shepherd’s Pie.

Marie Rose Sauce                      serves 4

4-5 tablespoons of homemade Mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Heinz Tomato Ketchup

4 shakes of Tabasco

2 teaspoons Cognac

Juice of half a fresh Lemon


In a medium mixing bowl thoroughly combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, Tabasco, cognac, lemon juice and a couple of good pinches of paprika.

The Prawn Cocktail Years

Simon Hopkinson & Lindsey Bareham

Hardback, 256 pages

1997, Macmillan

ISBN 0 333 68460 5


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