A note about shrimp: There are innumerable Mexican recipes with shrimp, but I had not been able to cook and share any, due to my severe shellfish allergies; that changed in one occasion a few months ago, when I used chewy konjac pasta as a substitute in my recipe for Aguachile. A little while ago, I finally found frozen vegan shrimp at a specialty store, which are also konjac-based, but shaped and textured to specifically resemble the crustacean:
I would not classify them exactly as wholesome because the label lists a few shady ingredients, such as sorbitol (an artificial sweetener), and MSG (Mono Sodium L-Glutamate, a seasoning), as well as some churls of the allergen spectrum, namely, wheat and soy. However, in contrast to regular shrimp, these vegan counterparts have zero cholesterol and, in terms of calories, 100g have merely 75 calories, compared to 120 calories in 100g of regular shrimp. Their size and weight are approximately equivalent to a “medium” raw shrimp count of 48 pieces per pound (454g); once thawed, these vegan shrimp may be cooked like the regular, either boiled or pan fried for a short time, so in this recipe, and from now on, I will be able to cook with the vegan version as a straightforward substitution.
Camarones a la diabla – Deviled Shrimp, is a classic dish that may be found all around Mexico, with some variations from state to state. In addition to onion and garlic, the base for the sauce is a blend of dry red peppers and canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. The proportions will determine the level of spiciness, with guajillo (photo below, left) being mild, chipotle in adobo (centre) medium, and chile de árbol (right) very spicy:
For the mildest sauce, use only guajillos and one chipotle with a little adobo; reducing guajillos and increasing the other two will render a spicier sauce. The extreme would be using no guajillos, but only very spicy chiles de árbol, and several chipotles, with a generous scoop of its adobo.
For this batch, I chose a medium level, using three mild guajillos, 3 very spicy de árbol, and one chipotle with one tbsp of its adobo sauce. The dry peppers must be wiped with a damp towel, and then, stems and seeds are removed.
And finally, following my previous post featuring a city in the state of Sinaloa, I chose a recipe from that state, which is also interesting for the use of ketchup and lime juice, as extra condiments:
Sinaloa Style Deviled Shrimp –
Camarones a la diabla estilo Sinaloa
Ingredients (for one to two portions)
100g (about 12 pieces) medium, peeled and cleaned raw shrimp, or thawed vegan shrimp
100g (about 1 cup) white onion; peeled and sliced thinly
½ lime (juice)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp butter
2 tsp olive oil
6-8 dry red peppers (mild guajillo, spicy de árbol, or a mix, to taste); cleaned, and stems and seeds removed
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, plus 1 tbsp adobo, or to taste
1 clove garlic; peeled
1 small piece (about 1 tbsp) white onion; peeled
2 tbsp ketchup
½ cup freshly boiled water, plus more, as needed
Mexican style white rice (click here for my recipe)
Onion and shrimp are measured by same weight, roughly a third of a large white onion, and a dozen medium shrimp (photo below, left, with fully thawed vegan shrimp). Slice onion very finely and arrange on a plate; place shrimp on top, seasoning with salt and pepper, and then sprinkling with freshly squeezed juice from the half lime (photo below, right, with vegan shrimp turned to pale side, to make them appear “raw”):
Reserve in the fridge.
Roast dry peppers, piece of onion and garlic clove in a dry (no oil) frying pan over medium heat; turn to lightly char on all sides, removing peppers and garlic promptly to avoid burning. Transfer to a bowl with the freshly boiled water (photo below, left), adding onion, as well. Allow to soak until cooled down to room temperature (photo below, right):
Once cooled, transfer all the contents of the bowl, including soaking water, to a blender jar, then add ketchup, chipotle and adobo (photo below, left). Process for at least one minute, until very well blended and smooth; it will make approximately a cup of sauce (photo below, right):
Prepare rice, or reheat, and keep warm.
Ten to fifteen minutes before serving, warm up butter and olive oil in the same frying pan as before, over medium heat, stirring until butter melts (photo below, left). Add reserved shrimp and sliced onions (photo below, right):
Cook, stirring, for five to six minutes, until onions are translucent, and raw shrimp have turned opaque and pink (or vegan shrimp show a few golden brown spots, photo below, left). Pour in reserved sauce (photo below, right):
Pour a little more water in the blender jar, to collect any sauce left, and add to the pan, as well (photo below, left). Continue cooking and stirring for about five more minutes, until the sauce is nice and hot, and starts to bubble (photo below, right):
Serve all the dish on top of a bed of rice for a very generous plater, or divide into two portions, serving half the batch, with rice on the side, as shown below:
Each bite of shrimp and onions, smothered in sauce, with some rice, was simply devilishly delicious, a true explosion of flavours from the spicy peppers, smoky chipotle, citrus lime, and tangy with a-touch-of-sweetness ketchup:
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I am sharing my post at Thursday Favourite Things #531, with Bev @ Eclectic Red Barn, Pam @ An Artful Mom, Katherine @ Katherine’s Corner, Amber @ Follow the Yellow Brick Home, Theresa @ Shoestring Elegance and Linda @ Crafts a la Mode.