This spicy shrimp dish known as picante de langostinos harmonizes the flavors of Peru’s sea with flavorful peppers such as ají panca.
Years ago I learned to make picante de langostinos specifically because we really enjoy shrimp in our house. I prepare this recipe often for visitors since it showcases the various Peruvian peppers as well. You can prepare this dish as mild or spicy as you wish. It is typically served with white rice, but I have occasionally served it with trigo or quinoa.
Spicy Shrimp (Picante de Langostinos)
Servings: approximately 6
- 1½ kilos (3 lb 5 oz) of medium-sized shrimp
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 to 3 tablespoons garlic, ground
- ½ large onion, chopped fine
- 2 to 4 tablespoons of mirasol pepper paste (aji mirasol, depending on the amount of spice you want)
- 2 to 4 tablespoons of panca chili paste
- 2 to 4 tablespoons ground fresh yellow pepper (aji amarillo)
- 4 slices of white bread, without crust
- 1 can of evaporated milk
- ½ kilo (1 lb., 2 oz.) of fresh cheese (queso fresco), crumbled with a fork
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Cumin (or more to your personal taste)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 4 to 6 yellow potatoes, cooked, peeled and sliced
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced or quartered (for decoration)
100 grams (3½ oz) fresh cheese (queso fresco), diced (for decoration)
- Wash and peel the shrimp. Rinse the shrimp again after peeling. Boil water in a large pot with salt, pepper and a bay leaf. Once water begins to boil, add the shrimp and bring to a boil for 1 to 2 minutes, until they turn pink. Drain and reserve the water to use later in the recipe.
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the garlic and onion and cook until golden brown. Season with salt, pepper and cumin and add the 3 types of ground peppers. Cook for a few minutes and incorporate the bread (which was previously soaked in milk and blended).
- Cook for a few more minutes. If the sauce is dry, add some of the reserved shrimp water until the sauce has a softer consistency. Check the seasoning. Add more salt, pepper or cumin if needed.
- Before serving, bring the mixture to a boil and add the fresh cheese, grated Parmesan cheese and shrimp (save some for decoration) and bring the mixture to a boil again. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper to taste only if needed.
- If the sauce is too thick, add more of the reserved shrimp water.
- Arrange the spicy shrimp in a bowl and decorate with the potato slices, the hard-boiled egg, the fresh cheese and the reserved shrimp. Serve with white rice or a grain of your choice.
Cover photo: Picante de langostinos/Culantro pero no tanto
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