Salpicón de marisco is a Venezuelan seafood salad consisting of shrimp, octopus, and mussels along with onion, cucumbers and bell peppers tossed in a tangy vinegar based-dressing. It is served chilled, making it a great appetizer on a summer’s day.
Salpicón de Marisco must be made at least several hours ahead of time to give the ingredients adequate time to soak up the dressing. It is served as a traditional tapa, or starter, an essential part of cuisine originating in Spain and still practiced throughout Latin America.
In some communities in Venezuela and other Latin American countries, freshly squeezed lemon juice will be added to the dressing or used in place of vinegar. Venezuela’s version of the dish also stands out from the rest as it replaces the typical red meat associated with salpicón with seafood.
Origin & Cultural Significance
While salpicón de marisco is uniquely Venezuelan, the larger category of foods it belongs to, Salpicón, has its origin in Spain. These dishes are simply meat mixed with vegetables, especially onion, and have been mentioned in Spanish literature as far back as the 1500s.
Salpicón likely made its way to Venezuela through the conquistadors, where the settler Spanish culture began to mix with the indigenous cultures of the region. Venezuela, with its large coastline, has ample access to fresh and plentiful seafood. Over the course of time, Venezuelans took the concept of Salpicón and created a new and delicious recipe using the resources available to them.
Salpicón de marisco is a Venezuelan seafood salad consisting of shrimp, octopus, and mussels along with onion, cucumbers and bell peppers tossed in a tangy vinegar based-dressing.
- Shrimp, deveined and peeled - 12 oz.
- Onion, small, chopped - ½
- Octopus legs, pre-cooked and sliced - 8 oz.
- Imitation crab stick - 8
- Mussels - 10 oz.
- Garlic, sliced - 3 cloves
- White wine - 1 cup
- Red pepper, cut into ½ chunks - ½
- Green pepper cut into ½ chunks - 1/2
- Tomatoes (chopped) - 3
- Olives (green and black) - 3 oz.
- Shallots - ⅓ cup.
- Cucumber (cut into ½ inch chunks) - ½
- Bay leaf - 1
- Pepper - 1 tsp.
- Salt - 1 tsp.
- Smoked paprika - 1 tsp
For the dressing:
- Extra virgin olive oil - ½ cup
- Sherry vinegar - ¼ cup
- Sugar - 1/2 tsp
- Begin by preparing the mussels. Wash in a colander to remove any debris.
- In a large pan, combine white wine, garlic, and bay leaf. Bring to medium-high heat. Stew in mixture until the mussels open, about 4 minutes. Then immediately remove from heat.
- At the same time, boil the already peeled and deveined shrimp in a medium saucepan with lightly salted water, for about 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the mussel meat from the shells. Set aside and let cool. Remove the shrimp from heat and also set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine onion, peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, and shallots.
- Now add the shrimp, mussels, crab stick, sliced octopus legs, and olives into the same large bowl.
- In a small mason jar, combine the ingredients for the dressing and shake well.
- Pour over the salad mixture and stir gently to coat evenly. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. Allowing the salad to marinate overnight will leave a tastier result.
- Bring the salad from the fridge 20 minutes before serving. Sprinkle paprika to taste and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 562Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 205mgSodium: 1987mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 3gSugar: 11gProtein: 46g
Nutrition is provided and calculated by Nutritionix. It is for general information purposes and is only a rough estimation.