Camarones a la cucaracha is a definite must try if you love spicy shrimp. Don’t let the title deter you from trying this super easy shrimp appetizer! Cucaracha in Mexico refers to a bug, that’s all I will say about that! Lol! Keep scrolling for more deliciousness!
What’s In a Name?
Remember that Shakespeare you learned in high school? Where am I going with this? I don’t know!! Lol! No, but seriously, there are a few dishes that come to mind that have funny names in Spanish. Atropellado (to be run over) is a delicious beef dish popular in Monterrey. Who thinks of these names? Did you google the translation of cucaracha yet, ha, ha, ha! Moving on!
One of these things looks like the other!
As I journey through everything Mexican gastronomy, I am finding similarities to popular American-style dishes. This recipe for camarones a la cucaracha is very similar to Cajun barbeque shrimp. Served with the shell on in a spicy rub and butter sauce! Perfect for dipping!
The shell is too much work!
Lol! This was my thought when I would see shrimp recipes prepared with the shells on. After tasting the difference with and without the shell, I vote for leaving the shells on! It is a little more work, but you get so much more shrimp flavor leaving the shells on.
What’s Best, Frozen or Fresh Shrimp?
Living in the northeast, my best option is to purchase frozen shrimp. After all it is flash frozen as soon as it’s caught fresh. Some seafood counters have their seafood out for hours. Do you really know how fresh it is sitting there? I opt for frozen seafood nine out of ten times. I have had good luck so far. If you live in an area where fresh seafood is abundant, than go for it! Lucky!
Are you a spice hoarder?
I am! And proud of it! But, don’t just store it. Use them! What’s the point of having twenty different kinds of spices if you never use them? A good source of good quality inexpensive spices is a Mexican market. I stock up any chance I get. Keep them stored in a cool dark place. I sometimes even store them in my refrigerator.
Without further ado, Camarones a la Cucaracha!
Camarones a La Cucaracha! Spicy, Shell On Shrimp!
- 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 6 large cloves of garlic. minced
- 1/3 white onion sliced into thin strips
- 12 extra large Texas gulf coast shrimp shells on, rinsed well
- 1 tablespoon chile California powder or paprika to keep it mild
- 1 tsp chile pasilla powder
- 3/4 tsp chile de arbol powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2-3 tsps Maggi or soy sauce
- Your favorite hot sauce to taste
- Juice of 1 large lime plus more to serve
- Cilantro to taste
- 6 Radishes sliced
- More lime
- In a large skillet, add the butter and heat to medium. Once butter melts, add the onions and garlic. Saute for 3-4 minutes.
- Reduce the heat, slightly. Add the shrimp, all the chile powder varieties, pepper and salt , to taste. Stir well to combine. Mix in the maggi or soy sauce and hot sauce. Continue cooking, and stirring as needed.
- When shrimp begins to turn pink and opaque, add the juice of 1 lime. Stir well to combine. Taste for salt. Cook just until shrimp is done. Transfer to serving plate. Garnish with radishes, cilantro and more lime.