Camarones a la Diabla are juicy, large shrimp covered in a bright red chile pepper sauce that are ready to eat in 30 minutes! (gluten free, low carb, paleo)
If you love chile peppers as much as I do, you’re going to love these Camarones a la Diabla! Also known as diablo shrimp or Mexican deviled shrimp in English, this dish features juicy, large shrimp covered in a bright red chile pepper sauce that’s spicy, super flavorful and very addicting.
I didn’t eat much seafood growing up, partly because my parents grew up in a landlocked state in Mexico and partly because I grew up in Oklahoma City, which is also a landlocked state. Not a lot of local and fresh seafood options if you know what I mean. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve loved trying new foods and experiencing new ingredients. I’ve been particularly interested in learning how seafood plays a role and is prepared in Mexican cuisine, just because that’s a part of Mexican cooking that I don’t really know about. So to learn more about the flavors of Mexican seafood dishes, I’ve been trying to cook seafood more often by following recipes from some of my favorites like Rick Bayless and Pati Jinich. It’s been so much fun and so freaking delicious!
One of the easiest things to prepare as a home cook is shrimp. It can literally be cooked and ready to eat in 5 minutes if you just want it plain, so shrimp as a starting point for my seafood exploration is perfect. But of course I don’t want it plain – I want it a little jazzed up! And the perfect Mexican way to do that is by making a chile pepper sauce.
Camarones a la Diabla is all about the red chile sauce. The brightness of the sauce comes from a combination of guajillo and chile de arbol peppers as well as plump red roma tomatoes. Yes, it’s spicy, but this version isn’t crazy spicy and can easily be customized to your tastes.
How to make Camarones a la Diabla
- Soak stemmed and seeded guajillo and chile de arbol peppers in hot or boiling water for about 15 minutes. During this time, I like to cover the bowl or pot they’re soaking in with either a lid or a large plate to help keep in as much heat as possible.
- Puree softened chiles in a blender with Roma tomatoes, garlic, onions and salt.
- In a large saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat, add some olive oil and cook shrimp for 1 minute per side, until they are light pink.
- Add in the pureed red chile sauce, lower heat to medium and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and hot.
- Remove from heat, taste, season with more salt if necessary and serve.
Tips for making Camarones a la Diabla
- If you’re afraid the sauce may be too spicy for your tastes, I recommend soaking all the peppers as instructed but only adding in 1 chile de arbol pepper into the blender. Puree the sauce until smooth and then taste. If it’s still too spicy, add in a roma tomato and puree. Keep tasting and adjusting until it’s just right.
- Don’t forget to season the sauce generously with salt. If you’re not used to cooking with dried chiles, you may find their earthy taste a little bitter. The tomatoes should help with that, but you may also find that the sauce needs more salt. Add it in gradually and taste after each addition to make sure you don’t accidentally over-salt.
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Camarones a la Diabla (also known as diablo shrimp) are juicy, large shrimp covered in a bright red chile pepper sauce that are ready to eat in 30 minutes! (gluten free, low carb, paleo)
- 8 dried guajillo chiles, rinsed, stems and seeds removed
- 3 dried chile de arbol chiles, rinsed, stems removed
- 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 medium white onion, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1.5 pounds large raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and tail-on
- salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium bowl or saucepan, add dried guajillo and arbol chiles. Add very hot or boiling water until chiles are fully submerged. Cover with a lid or large plate and let sit for 15 minutes, until chiles have softened.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the softened chiles to a large blender. Add the tomatoes, garlic, onion and salt. Puree until completely smooth. Taste and season with more salt, if necessary. If the sauce is too spicy, add more tomatoes.
Heat a large saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and shrimp. Cook shrimp for 1 minute per side, or until shrimp is light pink.
Add the red chile sauce to the pan or skillet and mix together to coat the shrimp. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and hot.
Remove the pan or skillet from the heat and serve alone as an appetizer or with Authentic Mexican Rice as a meal.
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