Camarones a la Diabla (Devil’s Shrimp)

Camarones a la diabla are shrimps simmered in a spicy and delicious sauce. The dish brings out tons of flavor and the recipe is very simple to make.

And don’t miss the video below where I show you how to cook this utterly delicious Mexican traditional recipe.

Camarones a la diabla on a pan.

What is camarones a la diabla?

Camarones (plural) is the Spanish word for shrimps, and diabla (female for diablo) translate in English to devil. So, the combination of those words would be something like Devils shrimp, more or less.

The dish is made by sautéing shrimps and then simmering them in a chili, spiced sauce.

In Mexico, specially in those states by the Gulf, Caribbean, or Pacific, this dish is very popular and you’ll find it at any restaurants that serve sea food and fish.

Camarones a la diabla served with rice and lime wedges on a white plate.

The recipe varies from state to state, this is because in some places some types of chilies are more popular than others.

For example, in Veracruz, morita and chipotle peppers are very common in their cuisine, while in Colima (where I am from), the sauce is made mostly with chile de árbol and sometimes it also have extra chili peppers sautéed with the shrimps (talk about spiciness!).

Growing up, I remember watching my mother make this recipe over and over. She will also add a few splash of Valentina sauce.

Close up on the shrimps camarones a la diabla.

It is spicy?

Yes, of course. I could tell you to not add chilies at all, but you’ll end with just shrimp in tomato sauce. So, for the sake of traditional food and because I know you’d like to try authentic recipes, I’ll suggest to follow the recipe only if you really enjoy spicy food.

Otherwise, you can maybe try other shrimp recipe, like our Tacos Gobernador (creamy and cheesy shrimp tacos).

How To Make The Diabla Sauce

You will need tomatoes, chile de árbol and guajillo to make the sauce, besides onion and garlic. The amount of chilies depends on how much you can handle spiciness, chile de árbol is very spicy, so take in mind that. I recommend adding at least 2.

Ingredients for diabla sauce labeled with names and displayed on a marble surface.

Remove the stems and seeds from chilies. Place tomatoes on a pot and add enough water to cover them. Boil until tomatoes are tender (about 10 minutes).

Turn off the heat, add chilies and push them down with a spoon to soak them into the hot water. Allow to rest for 10 minutes or until the chilies are soft and everything has cooled down.

Tomatoes and chilies boiled on a pot.

Add tomatoes and chilies to a blender with garlic, and onion. Add one cup of water and blend until you will have a smooth sauce. Set aside.

Salsa chili on a blender.

Make camarones a la diabla

Melt butter in a sautéing pan over medium heat. Add shrimps and season with salt and pepper.

Raw shrimps just added to the pan.

Sauté until shrimps change color, about 1 minute. Take care to not let the shrimps to cook for more than that, or they will become rubbery.

Sautéed shrimps on the pan.

Pour over the diabla sauce and add a pinch of salt. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes while stirring often.

Simmering shrimps in diabla sauce.

You will notice that the sauce has thickened, so adjust salt to your taste and serve immediately.

Devil's shrimp ready on the pan.

How To Serve

Camarones a la diabla are mostly served with Mexican white rice on the side. But in some restaurants you’ll see they’re served with ensalada de coditos (macaroni salad) or spaghetti verde.

Diabla shrimps served with rice and cilantro.

In the caribbean, this dish is served also with fried plantains, which also helps to handle the spiciness. And of course, corn tortillas are always an option too.

Watch How To Make It

More Mexican Sea Food Recipes

A pan with camarones a la diabla.

Camarones a la diabla (devil’s shrimp)

Shrimps simmered in a spicy tomato and chili sauce. An easy recipe ready in about 30 minutes!
PREP 5 minutes
COOK 25 minutes
TOTAL 30 minutes
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 4
Author: Maricruz

Ingredients 

  • 1.5 lb large raw shrimps (peeled, deveined, and with tails left on)
  • 3-4 chile de árbol (stems and seeds removed)
  • 4 guajillo chilies (stems and seeds removed)
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • ½ small onion
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 3 Tbsp butter (or olive oil)
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  • Place tomatoes on a pot and add enough water to cover them. Boil until tomatoes are tender (about 10 minutes).
  • Turn off the heat, add chilies and push them down with a spoon to soak them into the hot water. Allow to rest for 10 minutes or until the chilies are soft and everything has cooled down.
  • Add tomatoes and chilies to a blender with garlic, and onion. Add one cup of water and blend until you will have a smooth sauce. Set aside.
  • Melt butter in a sautéing pan over medium heat. Add shrimps and season with salt and pepper.
  • Sauté until shrimps change color, about 1 minute.
  • Pour over the diabla sauce and add a pinch of salt. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes while stirring.
  • When the sauce has thickened, adjust salt to your taste and serve immediately.
Nutrition
Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 429mg | Sodium: 1430mg | Potassium: 474mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2235IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 267mg | Iron: 4mg
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