Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Shrimp in Culichi Salsa

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2-3 servings
A specialty of Sinaloa, Mexico, Shrimp in Culichi Salsa feature a sauce made with roasted poblanos and Mexican crema. A true coastal delight!

Camarones en Salsa Culichi, or Shrimp in Culichi Salsa, is one of the many popular dishes in and around Sinaloa, Mexico. Identified as the shrimp capital, Sinaloa is known for its abundance of seafood. Besides the fresh shrimp and other shellfish, the cuisine includes stingrays, squid, octopus and lobster. The culichi salsa or sauce is mainly made up of roasted poblanos and Mexican crema. The shrimp is typically butterflied before cooking to give it a specific look, but that is the chef’s choice, so I left mine as is: simply served the camarones en salsa culichi with a stack of warm corn tortillas. Delicious!


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  1. Add the poblanos, serranos, garlic, onion, cotija cheese, milk, crema, bouillon, salt and pepper to the blender. Blend on high until smooth; taste for salt and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Preheat for a few minutes. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper on both sides.
  3. When hot, add the shrimp to skillet and cook for 2 minutes per side. Remove shrimp from pan and transfer onto plate. To the skillet, add the sauce from blender. Turn the heat to low and cook the sauce for 5 minutes
  4. Now, you could either add the shrimp and Manchego or Chihuahua cheese back into the sauce in the skillet or you can add the shrimp to a baking dish, cover with sauce and top with either cheese. You would finish cooking it under the broiler just to melt the cheese. Serve as is with rice and a green salad or with warm tortillas for tacos.

Chef Notes

A variation is to saute the onions, garlic and serrano before blending the sauce. This will ensure that you cook out the raw flavors.

Another variation is to include a ripe avocado in the blended sauce. It will give the salsa a bright green finish.

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