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How to make authentic Aguachile (aka Camarones en Aguachile), a flavorful Mexican appetizer, similar to ceviche, where shrimp is marinated in 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
How to make aquachile
Cut 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 a 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, cut, 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.
Generously salt, cover with water. Add a splash of white vinegar to brighten the color of the onion.
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 the shrimp, 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.
Top with avocado right before serving- which adds a delicious creaminess to counter balance the acid.
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!
To temper the heat of this Aguachile recipe – add fresh avocado slices- which I failed to take a picture of here, but added upon serving. Simple lay slices of avocado over top.
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
Authentic Aguachile Recipe with Shrimp
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 45
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 6-8 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Marinated
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Diet: Gluten Free
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
- 1/4 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
- 1 1/2 cups sliced Turkish or English cucumber
- avocado slices
- radish slices
- drizzle olive oil
- cilantro leaves
- tortilla chips or mini tostadas
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!
When ready to serve, taste ( I like to taste on a tortilla chip) adjusting the salt. Add avocado slices to the top, scatter with fresh cilantro and an optional drizzle of olive oil.
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.
- Serving Size: With 1 avocado ( ½ cup serving)
- Calories: 95
- Sugar: 1.8 g
- Sodium: 360.8 mg
- Fat: 3.2 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 5.5 g
- Fiber: 2.1 g
- Protein: 12.4 g
- Cholesterol: 91.2 mg
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First ceviche recipe ever tried- and it is awesome!
Every bit as tasty and Spivey as one made in our favorite restaurant!
Great to hear!
Delicous! Felt like being in Quintana Roo again. I used 55/lbs size shrimps and saved myself the effort of slicing them in half…
Hi there, I am making this for a dinner party and need to get quantities right. Is this 1lb of shrimp with or without the shell?
Without the shell. 🙂
Not going to lie this is the best aguachile recipe I’ve found. Everybody loves it when I make it. I add a little bit of salsa negra and salsa Maggie for some extra flavor.
Glad you are enjoying this Sarah! Love your additions.
My aguachile marinade turned out army green instead of vibrant like yours. Any idea why? Mine looks so ugly 🙁
Did you change any of the ingredients?
I may have already commented, but in case I haven’t, this is a great recipe! It comes out great each time and however you combine the suggested add-ins, it’s delicious. I’ve made it several times for different groups of people and everyone compliments it. Good one!
Thanks so much Cristina!
Can this be made a night before serving?
Hi! You know, I’ve only done it on the same day- but I remember leftovers actually tasting pretty good the next day. The shrimp will “cook” more and more as it sits in the lime juice. What you could do- is prep everything before, then put it together on the day of serving?
I made this recently and it was a hit. Loved the simplicity and the bold flavors. I did cut my shrimp into bite size pieces and served it with chips.
Sounds perfect Neha! Glad you enjoyed this!
We loved it!!! Very close to ceviche we had in Mexico.
Great to hear Kathy!
Do we drain the lime juice after cooking them and then cover with the marinade or leave it in? Also, we made one following the recipe and it wasn’t as vibrant green, any suggestions? Overall, delicious
Did you add the cilantro? The cilantro really gives it a vibrant green color. You don’t need to drain the the lime juice, but if you feel you have a lot, you can use part of it in the marinade ( in the blender).
Thank you! This was my first time ever trying aguachiles, my friend always tells me how great it is. I looked for the best recipe on the web and yours popped up! The ingredients were simple so I thought why not just make it myself? So glad I did! Thanks again for sharing!
Glad you enjoyed Krystal!
Hi! If I wanted to do 2 lbs of shrimp can I just double the marinate recipe?
Yes I would. 🙂
This recipe was delicious! We first made it for an appetizer and put servings into individual small cups with chips on the side. It was a hit. We have made it several times for ourselves and the flavors are perfect. I do extra red onion because I am a huge red onion lover. I have used both raw and precooked (sorry bought the wrong kind) shrimp and both have been delicious.
Great to hear!
Are corn tortillas not grain free?
They are gluten-free.
Followed recipe. Came out amazing!
I just made this recipe. After waiting for three hours for my shrimp to turn pink, I finally had to eat something else. The shrimp were still raw. Did anyone else experience this?
I layed 1# of defrosted shrimp in a pie dish In a single layer. I used salt. I used fresh lime juice. I actually used more than it called for because I noticed the shrimp were not close to cooked after 20 minutes. I also sliced my shrimp in half length wise. Then after three hours, I saw they were still not cooked so I chopped them up further.
When I say they are not cooked it’s because they were grey and translucent. Every hour that passed by, I could see the shrimp turn more pink, but it definitely took longer than 20 minutes.
I just checked them recently, it’s been 7 hours and they appear to be almost done.
Why did my shrimp take so long?
Hi Amanda, I’m not sure? Were your shrimp especially large? Sometimes extra-large ones can take longer. Also, giving a stir during the marinating process can help, so they are more evenly coated with the lime juice.
Hmm that must be why. I used jumbo shrimp. What size do you normally use?
I typically use 21-25 per lb.
Aguachile makes no reference to water – – “agua-” is the first half of “aguacate”, Mexican Spanish for “avocado”, which is a customary addition to the dish.
Hahaha! Every time I read your reply, it gives me a good laugh. This recipe slaps though. Always a hit!
This was really good and easy! So fresh and refreshing, add the cucumbers for sure!
Thank you, thank you. I just tried your recipe and my wife and I can’t stop eating it.
We love Ceviche and this is my first time doing Aguachile. We tried your recipe and it is wonderful.
We just spread a little Mayonnaise to the Tostadas and Voila!
Best aguachile recipe!
thanks so much- glad you enjoyed it!