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+ servings
close up of spicy shell on shrimp

Camarones a La Cucaracha! Spicy, Shell On Shrimp!

Easy and economical spicy shrimp appetizer! Don't let the Mexican name scare you! Lol!
Course Appetizer, Botana
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Servings 4 Servings


  • 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.


Don't let the Mexican word cucaracha, cockroach, deter you from trying this easy and delicious shrimp appetizer! It's whimsical! Lol! The traditional recipe is prepared with shrimp that still has the heads on. They are not that easy to find most times. Traditional camarones a la cucaracha are prepared with the whole shrimp that includes the head. This was all I could find at the time.