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Most seafood might wither under a sauce worth its weight in chiles, but shrimp is the ultimate vehicle for sinus-clearing, clarifying heat. The name might make it sound forged in the kitchens of Hell itself, but add camarones a la diabla to your repertoire, and you’ll find it has the kind of harmony only found on Earth.

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What Are Camarones a la Diabla?

Camarones a la diabla, also known as “diablo shrimp” or “Mexican deviled shrimp,” is a classic among Mexican recipes, featuring perfectly juicy, large shrimp coated in a fiery red tomato and chile sauce.

How to Make Camarones a la Diabla

These shrimp make the ultimate appetizers or main course centerpiece for spicy food enthusiasts: easy to bring together, relentlessly flavorful, and easy to tuck into any number of other recipes (spice up Italian night and toss the finished shrimp and their hot sauce with angel hair pasta, for example).

Use caution when handling the chiles or sauce in this recipe: You can wear gloves while discarding the potent seeds and stems, but either way, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands and any surfaces (like cutting boards or knives) afterward. One innocent rub of the eye and your evening just got a lot more painful.

Camarones a la Diabla Recipe

Serves
4
Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Cook Time
20 min

Ingredients

  • 6–8 dried chiles, depending on spice level preference (a blend of both chile de arbol and guajillo chiles. You can also incorporate habanero or chipotle peppers if you can take the heat)
  • 3–4 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 small white onion or yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1–1.5 lb jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1–2 tablespoons dry white wine (optional)
  1. Season shrimp with salt and pepper on both sides and set aside.
  2. Place dried chiles in a large bowl. Submerge in boiling water and cover. Allow to rehydrate for 5–10 minutes, until the flesh is pliable. Remove any stems.
  3. Add chiles, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, diced onion, garlic cloves, oregano, and kosher salt and pepper to a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Taste, and adjust seasoning as needed.
  4. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and sauté until light pink with a little give (they shouldn’t feel so firm that they feel rubbery), about 1 minute each side. For the last 30 seconds, add the wine, and swirl pan to disperse.
  5. Reduce to medium heat and stir in the chile-tomato mixture, evenly coating the shrimp and warming the sauce to a rolling simmer. Taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  6. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Garnish with fresh cilantro and fresh lime juice if desired, and serve alongside rice and warmed flour tortillas.

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