Summer is officially here! Get those barbecues out and put on an apron, because its time for some “Pinchos de Camaron”.
These tasty grilled shrimp skewers or “pinchos de camaron” as we know them in Ecuador, are made with shrimp, marinated in a spicy passion fruit achiote sauce. If you are a fan of “maracuyas” or passion fruits – and you like shrimp, then this is your recipe! If you don’t have achiote in your kitchen, or don’t know what “achiote” is, don’t worry. This ingredient is used to give the shrimp a beautiful color more than anything else.
Achiote, also known as “annatto”, is a red seed, which can either be ground to powder or used to infuse oil and butter for cooking. It has a very rich red color and a very subtle earthy flavor. Achiote is used in many Ecuadorian dishes, and in Spanish we also refer to it as “color”, because it adds color to the food.
These shrimp skewers are best served as appetizers with various dipping sauces. Spicy avocado or spicy cilantro salsas work the best.
PASSION FRUIT SHRIMP SKEWERS
Makes: 15-20 skewers with 4-5 shrimp each
Trick: If using wood skewers, soak them in water for about an hour before putting them on the grill - this prevents them from burning on the grill.
- 2 lbs or 1 kg of raw shrimp, deveined. Shells can be kept on or taken off, depending on your preference.
- 15-20 skewers.
- 1 to 2 teaspoons of ground cumin.
- 1 teaspoon of chili powder.
- 1 tablespoon ground achiote or annatto powder.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- ½ cup pure passion fruit juice or concentrate, unsweetened.
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tbs of melted butter.
- ½ tbs ground achiote.
- Spicy cilantro salsa.
- Spicy avocado salsa.
- Lime slices.
Passion fruit marinade:
Achiote butter for basting:
Dipping sauces and sides:
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- In a large bowl, cover the shrimp with the passion fruit marinade ingredients and let it sit for at least 2 hours in the fridge.
- Pre-heat the grill.
- Put the shrimp on the skewers. If the skewers are a main meal put 5-6 shrimp on each skewer and for an appetizer put only 3-4 shrimp.
- Brush the shrimp with the melted butter achiote right before placing on the grill.
- Grill for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until the shrimp are fully cooked and they have turned completely pink. Baste with the achiote butter as needed.
- Serve with dipping sauces and lime slices or on top of your favorite salad.
Let us know what you think about the tasty dish once you've tried it either on your own or on your Galapagos Cruise with Quasar!
One of the questions we get asked the most at Quasar is this -
What's the best time of year to travel to Ecuador?