Camarones a la Diabla is a Mexican seafood dish of spicy shrimp which is first sauteed briefly then simmered in a spicy tomato chili sauce.
Camarones a la Diabla, in English, translates to Devil’s Shrimp. The sauce portion of this dish is referred to as the diablo sauce. It is made from several types of hot peppers, including different varieties of chili peppers like arbol and guajillo. Some sauces also include other types of non-chili hot peppers such as serrano or chipotle peppers.
Traditionally, dried peppers are used. The peppers are reconstituted by boiling and soaking in hot water but some recipes use fresh peppers. The spiciness of the sauce can be somewhat controlled by removing the pepper seeds. The seeds aren’t what make peppers hot but rather the pith – the fleshy center of the pepper that the seeds are attached to. The number of chilies used can also be reduced.
Camarones a la Diabla is just one of the many ways Mexicans cook shrimp. Other shrimp recipes include Camarones a la Cucaracha or cockroach shrimp which despite the unpleasant name is a flavorful shell on shrimp appetizer and Camarones a la Mantequilla or buttered shrimp. Camarones a la Diabla is usually served with white rice. Other sides like tortillas are also an option. The sides help with the spiciness of the chili sauce.
Origin and Cultural Significance
The history of Camarones a la Diabla is unknown. There are over 8 recipe variations that are named after the Mexican states where they originate. Camarones a la Diabla estilo Guerrero from the state of Guerrero is made with Worcestershire sauce and Camarones a la Diabla estilo Cinoloa is made with ketchup. Camarones a la Diabla estilo Jalisco or Jalisco style Devil’s Shrimp contains light beer. This dish is popular and well loved, particularly in the seaside regions of Mexico.
- Large shrimp – 1 lb
- Guajillo chiles - 4
- Chile de arbol -3
- Water – 2 cups
- Tomatoes, halved - 3
- Chipotle pepper – 1/2
- Onion diced – ½ cup
- Garlic, finely diced - 1
- Olive oil – 2 tbsp
- Salt – 1 tbsp
- Pepper – ½ tsp
- Remove the seeds form the guajillo and chile de arbol.
- In a pot, add the chiles and enough water to cover the chiles, about 2 cups and bring to a boil.
- Turn the heat off and let the chiles sit in the hot water for about 5 minutes or until they are soft.
- Drain the chilies then toss the water.
- In a blender, add the chiles, tomatoes, chipotle pepper, ¼ cup of the onion, garlic, and salt.
- Blend until smooth, strain the chili sauce and set aside.
- Peel and devein the shrimp if it isn’t already cleaned.
- Add salt and pepper.
- In a large pan, heat the olive oil.
- Add the remaining onions and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the shrimp.
- Stir constantly and cook for 2 minutes. Don’t overcook– the shrimp will be tough.
- Make sure the heat is on low and add the chili sauce.
- Stir and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 259Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 239mgSodium: 2836mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 29g