Peruvian Shrimp Chowder & Huacatay Sauce

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Chupe De Camarones - Peruvian Shrimp Chowder - Serves Four


1 lb uncooked shrimp in shells (or use precooked frozen shrimp)

4 cups water (or 16 oz. clam broth and 2 cups water if shrimp shells are not available)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon annatto seeds (optional)

1/2 cup finely diced red onion

2 cloves garlic, put through a press

1 teaspoon ground zapote (or 1 teaspoon oregano)

1 teaspoon aji amarillo chili paste (or 1 tablespoon finely diced jalapeno)

1 tablespoon aji panca chili paste (or 1 tablespoon tomato paste)

pinch ancho chili powder (optional)

1/2 cup frozen corn

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/2 cup frozen green beans

1/4 cup long-grain white rice

1 medium white potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup cubed queso fresco

4 eggs

4 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves for garnish


If you are lucky enough to have access to fresh, raw shrimp still in their shells - peel them. Set the uncooked shrimp aside in the refrigerator and rinse the skins. Place the skins in a pan with four cups of water. Bring the water to a boil and then turn down the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes. (Skip this step if shells are not available and you are using clam juice.)

While the shrimp shells are simmering, heat olive oil over medium heat in soup pot. When the oil shimmers, add the annatto seeds. Let them simmer for 5 minutes, then strain the oil to remove seeds and return it to the pan. Keeping the heat at medium, add the red onion and saute until soft - about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, aji amarillo chili paste, aji panca chili paste, zapote, and ancho chili powder and saute an additional 30 seconds.

Strain the shrimp mixture and discard the shells. Add water to the broth so the entire amount is four cups. Pour into the soup pot (or clam broth and water if that is what you are using) and add the corn, peas, beans, and rice. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to medium and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the potatoes, bring the heat up to a boil again, then turn the heat down and simmer about 10 minutes more or until the potatoes and rice are tender.

Add shrimp and simmer about 5 minutes or until they are totally pink and cooked through.

Stir in the cream and queso fresco. If needed, turn up the heat so that the mixture is very hot. One at a time, crack the eggs in a small bowl and add them to the soup. Cook three more minutes.

Divide the soup between four large bowls, getting an egg in each one. Sprinkle each serving with one tablespoon of cilantro leaves to garnish.

Huacatay Salsa


2 tablespoons huacatay paste

2 tablespoons aji amarillo

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoon diced onion

2 cloves garlic, put through a press

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves



Put everything in a food processor and blend until well combined.