Caldo siete mares translates to soup seven oceans. I am not an authority on everything Mexican food. Simply a cook who is passionate about Mexican food and it’s delicious ingredients! Although I did not grow up enjoying certain dishes, I want to share my experiences with preparing the recipes. So, let’s go!!
Step Outside Of The Box!
What are you waiting for? This recipe for siete mares has been on my drawing board for a few years now. What stopped me from diving in and preparing it? I didn’t grow up cooking seafood. Lack of fresh seafood where I live. That’s enough! Just work with what you can find! I did! It was so delicious that I prepared it twice in 10 days!
You Heard That Right!
The first recipe included a frozen seafood combo with imitation crab. I will confess that it’s not my favorite, but the soup was quite delicious. Just be careful not to overcook any of the seafood. The second variation, I used a different seafood combo(no imitation crab). The second version also included shrimp with the heads and shells on. Adding the shrimp like that adds ten times more seafood flavor to your soup base.
Fresh Versus Frozen
Naturally if I had a choice, I would choose to use fresh seafood in my recipes when possible. Unfortunately, that is not always possible. The key to making the frozen seafood work is combining with fresh ingredients and good quality spices.
Why Not Just Peel The Shrimp?
Sure! That would making eating the soup a lot easier. What you would be missing is seafood flavor though! I already have the peeled version, caldo de camarones on site. If those shrimp heads with those eyes staring at you intimidates you, peel and clean them, lol! It’s that simple.
Caldo Siete Mares (Seafood Soup)
- 1 large onion divided in half
- 4 large roma tomatoes
- 5-6 cloves of garlic look for large cloves
- 2 guajillo peppers stems and seeds removed
- 8-9 cups water or low sodium chicken or seafood broth
- 3 tbsp tomato/chicken bouillon optional (knorr)
- Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- 1 chayote squash peeled and diced
- 2 large carrots peeled and sliced in half moons
- 2 celery sliced thin
- 2 jalapenos minced
- Handful of washed Cilantro plus more for garnish
- Avocado or extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Salt to taste
- dried crushed chile de arbol to taste
- 2 pounds frozen seafood mix defrosted
- 20 Texas gulf coast shrimp shells on, defrosted
- 1/3 Cup More cilantro finely chopped
- Crushed chile de arbol to taste
- 8 Radishes sliced
- 2 Limes sliced into wedges
- Bolillo bread, Tostadas or chips
- 1/3 Cup red onion diced
- Preheat a large griddle or comal for a few minutes at medium heat.
- After a few minutes, add the tomatoes, half of the onion(dice the other half and reserve) and cloves of garlic with skins on. On one side of griddle, toast the dried chile guajillo for 30 seconds per side or until they become aromatic. Remove the dried chiles and place them in a bowl with very hot water, reserve.
- Continue dry roasting the tomatoes, onion and garlic for 25 minutes, removing the garlic after 15 minutes.
- After 25 minutes of dry roasting, tranfer the tomatoes, onion, peeled garlic, softened dried chiles, 2 tbsps tomato/chicken bouillon, 1/2 tsp pepper and 2 cups of water to the blender. Blend until smooth. Taste for salt, then set aside.
- To a large pot, add 2 tablespoons of oil and 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter. After a few minutes, add in the onions, jalapeno, carrots, chayote and celery. Stir well to combine. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes.
- To the pot with vegetables, pour in the blended tomatoes. Stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in 6-7 cups of water or low sodium chicken broth. Mix in 1 more tablespoon of the tomato/chicken bouillon. When it comes up to a boil, taste for salt. Adjust to your liking.
- After the broth simmers for 5-7 minutes, mix in the 2 pounds of defrosted seafood. Stir gently and let it cook for 5-6 minutes. Add the shrimp, making sure you stir everything and making sure shrimp is covered with broth. Let everything cook for 5 minutes and then gently stir to make sure shrimp are pink and opaque, cooked all the way through.
- If ready, serve right away. Garnish with cilantro, radishes, onion, crushed chile de arbol and lime wedges. Serve with tostadas or crusty bolillo bread.