Quick Mexican Shrimp (Discada con camarón)

Mexican shrimp, or “camarones” as they’re known in Mexico, embody the vibrant and diverse culinary landscape of this richly cultured country. Imagine plump, succulent shrimp, kissed by the flavors of Mexico’s varied regions, each dish a celebration of the country’s coastal bounty and culinary heritage.

First, envision the shrimp themselves – tender, juicy, and brimming with oceanic freshness. Whether they hail from the azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific coast, or beyond, Mexican shrimp are renowned for their sweet flavor and firm texture. They’re the perfect canvas upon which to showcase Mexico’s bold and vibrant flavors.

Now, let’s explore the myriad ways in which Mexican shrimp can be prepared. Perhaps you envision them marinated in a zesty blend of citrus juices, chili peppers, and fragrant spices, then grilled to perfection over an open flame. The resulting dish is a symphony of smoky, tangy, and spicy flavors, with each bite transporting you to the bustling streets of Mexico City or the sandy shores of Baja California.

Or maybe you prefer your shrimp nestled in a rich and aromatic mole sauce, made with a complex blend of chilies, nuts, seeds, and chocolate. This traditional Mexican sauce adds depth and richness to the shrimp, creating a dish that’s as comforting as it is indulgent. Served alongside fluffy rice or warm tortillas, it’s a meal fit for a fiesta.

But the versatility of Mexican shrimp doesn’t end there. From ceviche, where the shrimp is marinated in citrus juices and mixed with fresh vegetables and herbs, to aguachile, a spicy shrimp cocktail made with lime juice, chili peppers, and cucumber, there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy this beloved ingredient.

And let’s not forget about camarones al ajillo – shrimp sautéed in a garlic-infused olive oil, with just a hint of smokiness from dried chili flakes. It’s a simple yet elegant dish that highlights the natural sweetness of the shrimp, while the garlic adds a savory depth of flavor that’s impossible to resist.

Whether served as an appetizer, main course, or part of a festive celebration, Mexican shrimp are a culinary treasure that’s beloved the world over. So the next time you’re craving a taste of Mexico, reach for a platter of plump, juicy shrimp, and prepare to be transported on a flavor-filled journey south of the border. Ole!


1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
1 pound medium shrimp peeled 

deveined (I use frozen shrimp, then thaw it)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground chili powder divided
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder divided
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt divided
1 small yellow onion chopped
2 small jalapenos or 1 large jalapeno, core and seeds discarded, diced
2 red bell peppers cored and chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 can reduced sodium black beans — 15 ounces, rinsed and drained
1 cup long-grain brown rice do not use short grain or instant, as it will become mushy
2 cans diced tomatoes in green chiles, such as Rotel 10-ounce cans, 20 ounces total
1 1/2 cups water
3 medium green onions chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro plus additional for serving
1 lime cut into wedges
Optional — for serving:
additional sliced jalapeno
sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
diced avocado


In a large skillet or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat.

Once the oil is hot but not smoking, swirl to coat the pan, then add the shrimp.

Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon cumin, and ¼ teaspoon salt.

Stir to coat the shrimp with the spices, then continue to saute just until the shrimp is pink and fully cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove to a plate and set aside.
Add the remaining ½ tablespoon oil, onion, jalapeno, and bell pepper.

Cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the oregano, black pepper, the remaining 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon cumin.

Stir to coat the vegetables and cook 30 seconds.

Add the rice and beans.

Stir to coat once more.
Add the diced tomatoes in their juices and water.

Stir to combine the ingredients.

Bring to a gentle boil, cover, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Let simmer 30 minutes.

Remove the lid and stir, scraping up any rice that has started to stick to the bottom of the pot.

Re-cover and continue to let simmer with the lid on until the rice is tender, 10 to 15 additional minutes, stirring the pot every 10 minutes to prevent sticking. If the rice begins to dry out, add a bit more water as needed.
Stir in the green onions, cilantro, and reserved shrimp.

Squeeze the lime over the top. Serve warm with desired toppings.
I have only tested this recipe with long grain brown rice.

If white rice or another type of rice or grain is substituted, the cooking time and liquid ratios will vary.

Consult the package for guidance.
Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Rewarm gently in the microwave.
Re-frozen then reheated shrimp dishes are not my favorite, but you can certainly freeze this if you like.
Enjoy !! 


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