How to make authentic Aguachile (aka Camarones en Aguachile), a flavorful Mexican appetizer, similar to ceviche, where shrimp is marinated in a lime juice, but with the addition of chiles and cilantro. A simple and delicious appetizer that is low-carb and keto friendly. Video
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Ever since we got back from Mexico, I have been chomping at the bit to share this delicious Aguachile Recipe with you! One of my favorite things to eat in Mexico, along with ceviche, is Aguachile. Ceviche and Aguachile are similar in that both are fish or shrimp, “cooked” in lime juice. But Aguachile takes it a step further by adding blended chiles and cilantro to the mix, giving it this vibrant green color and spicy deliciousness!
Aguachile literally means “chili water” and this is what flavors the shrimp in this recipe. Spicy and full of flavor- I find this so incredibly addicting… and I can’t wait for you to try this!
Watch how to make Aquachile! | 60-sec video
This Aguachile recipes starts with cutting the shrimp in half, removing its tail and any veins. This makes for easier eating and faster marinating time. If using very small shrimp, you can butterfly them, leaving one side attached if you prefer, but I find just cutting them in half is easiest and fastest.
Here I’ve used frozen, raw, peeled shrimp – 21-25 per pound size, that I’ve thawed.
Place in a shallow bowl or baking dish and squeeze with lime juice, enough to coat them well. Metal can react with the lime so use glass or porcelain dish where shrimp have room to marinate in a single layer. Add a pinch of salt.
Let the shrimp marinate 20 minutes turning them over, halfway through, so each side gets in contact with the lime juice.
You will know the shrimp are “cooked” when they turn a soft pink hue. Notice the color difference from above.
While the shrimp are marinating salt and soak the red onions.
Thinly slice the onions, or use a mandolin. I used a quarter of a red onion for this Aguachile Recipe.
Then make the flavorful aguachile marinade – which, in a nutshell, is blending up chilies ( jalapeño or serranos) cilantro, a garlic clove, lime juice and salt.
Blend this until it is smooth and bright vibrant green.
Leaving the lime juice in, pour the Aguachile Marinade over the shrimp, stirring it in.
Scatter with the drained onions, stirring them in a bit too, saving some for the top.
Add cucumber and cilantro and refrigerate covered until ready to serve. then top with avocado right before serving if you like.
Aguachile is best served nice and cold!
Serve the Aguachile with avocado, tortilla chips or mini tostadas. Or if going grain-free, plantain chips work too!
How delicious does this look?
I hope you love this Aguachile Recipe as much as I do- let me know what you think in the comments below!
You may also like:
- Ceviche Recipe
- Shrimp Ceviche Verde
- Peruvian Ceviche Recipe
- Hearts of Palm Ceviche
- Chimichurri Shrimp
An authentic Aguachile Recipe with Shrimp! Similar to ceviche, shrimp is sliced in half, and cooked in a mixture of lime juice, chiles and cilantro. A flavorful, simple and delicious appetizer! Serve with cucumber, avocado and tortilla chips.
- 1 pound raw shrimp (peeled and deveined, tails removed) ( or sub scallops- see notes)
- 1–2 large limes
- generous pinch salt
- ¼ of a red onion, very thinly sliced ( use a mandolin)
- generous pinch salt
- splash white vinegar ( optional, to brighten color)
- water to cover
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice ( 2–3 limes) ( see notes)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 cup cilantro, packed (half of a large bunch) tender stems OK
- 2 jalapeños, sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 serrano chili, sliced in half lengthwise ( optional for extra spicy)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Slice the shrimp in half (lengthwise) and remove any veins or tails. Place in a shallow serving dish in one layer if possible. Squeeze with enough lime to cover the shrimp- which will cook the shrimp, turning them slightly pink. Sprinkle with a little salt. Turn shrimp over as needed to cook both sides in the lime juice – this will take about 20-30 minutes.
Thinly slice the red onion, place it in a bowl and season generously with salt. Pour just enough water to cover the onions. Optional: Add a splash of white vinegar to enhance and bring out the red color of the onion.
Make the Aguachile Marinade: Place the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, for a full minute, scraping down sides as necessary. If you have excess lime juice marinating the shrimp you can use some of this in the blender to make your ½ cup.
Pour the aguachile marinade over the shrimp and toss to coat. Drain the onions and scatter them over top, mixing them in slightly. Add cucumber or radishes if you like. Refrigerate 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. This is best served cold!
Serve with tortilla chips or mini tostadas on the side.
Enjoy one of my favorite Mexican dishes!!!
Feel free to sub thinly sliced raw scallops for the shrimp! ( ¼ inch-⅓ inch thick)
TIP: Limes have different acidity levels. I always try to pick limes that are ripe ( less acidic) and slightly soft to the touch. Or I let them ripen for a few days on the counter before using. Before using roll them on the counter pressing down hard with your palm to get them even more juicy!
If raw shrimp makes you squeamish, feel free to try this with cooked frozen shrimp (thawed). It is not “real”authentic Aguachile -but it will give you an idea of the flavor and perhaps embolden you, the next time to use raw shrimp. 😉 Cut them in half the same way, as they are easier to eat and pile on a chip.
The acid in the lime truly cooks the shrimp and you can witness this, with the color change.
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