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The Hirshon Mexican Deviled Shrimp with Chipotle and Achiote Paste - Camarones a la Diabla con Recado Rojo

The Hirshon Mexican Deviled Shrimp with Chipotle and Achiote Paste – Camarones a la Diabla con Recado Rojo

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 1 cup achiote seeds
  • 1 cup juice of naranja agria (Also known as Seville or sour orange. Substitute: 2 parts lime juice, 1 part each orange juice and grapefruit juice)
  • 12 whole allspice berries
  • 4 Tbsp. whole, fresh Mexican oregano leaves or 2 Tbs. ground dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin seed
  • 1 tsp. coriander seed
  • 1 Tbsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 20 cloves garlic, 1/2 peeled and roasted over an open flame, the rest left as is (TFD change – original recipe was all roasted) (TFD Note: Asian supermarkets frequently sell already peeled garlic cloves in bulk – these will make your life much easier)
  • 2 Tbsp. Maggi Seasoning (TFD change – original recipe used coarse sea salt)
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly-grated nutmeg (TFD addition)
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly-ground cloves (TFD addition)
  • 1/2 cup additional juice of naranja agria
  • 2 Chipotles in Adobo or to taste, TFD prefers Herdez brand plus sauce from jar as needed
  • Pineapple vinegar (preferred) or use your favorite type
  • Shrimp, preferably wild Mexican shrimp
  • Lard (preferred) or oil
  • ***
  • Cilantro and chopped avocado for garnish


  1. For the Chipotle Achiote paste:
  2. In a spice mill or coffee grinder dedicated to the purpose, grind the achiote seeds in batches until fine. Transfer to a fine sieve held over a plate or bowl; tap and shake the sieve until all that remains at the bottom is coarse residue that looks like sand.
  3. Return the residue to the grinder and repeat the process one more time. Continue until all of the achiote has been ground. Discard any residue that will not pass through the sieve.
  4. Cover the ground achiote seeds with the 2 cups of sour orange juice, and stir to mix thoroughly. Allow to stand at room temperature as you continue with the remaining steps.
  5. In a cast iron skillet over high heat, quickly and lightly toast the allspice, whole oregano (if using ground oregano, add in the next step) coriander seeds and cumin until fragrant and just beginning to smoke. Immediately remove them from the skillet and allow to cool 2-3 minutes.
  6. Place peppercorns and the toasted spices in the spice grinder, and process until it becomes a fine powder. Strain powder through a sieve held over a plate as you did for the achiote seeds; repeat and discard any residue that remains.
  7. In a blender, process garlic, chipotles, as much sauce from the can as you prefer, Maggi seasoning and the remaining ½ cup sour orange juice until puréed.
  8. Add the achiote paste and the ground spices and all remaining ingredients – process until you achieve the consistency of a very smooth thick paste, about 3-4 minutes. You will probably need to do this in a few batches.
  9. Divide paste into equal pieces, wrap each portion well with plastic wrap or place in resealable plastic bags. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 3 weeks. Chipotle Recado Rojo may also be frozen indefinitely.
  10. Combine shrimp with some vinegar and as much paste as needed to create a smooth liquid. Let marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.
  11. In a large, heavy saucepan or a wok, heat some lard or oil until smoking hot. Add the drained shrimp (reserve the marinade) and cook until almost done. Add the reserved marinade, cook the shrimp until done.
  12. Garnish with cilantro and avocado and serve immediately.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Category: Recipes