Camarones al Mojo de Ajo is a flavorful Mexican dish made by sautéing shrimp seasoned with lots of garlic, butter, salt, pepper, and lime juice. The garlic sauce that is created after cooking is typically rich and aromatic, adding a delicious depth of flavor to the shrimp. 

In my country, Mexico, Camarones al Mojo de Ajo is a popular dish for Lent (Cuaresma), alongside other homemade Lenten dishes we enjoy when we’re not eating meat. It’s a yummy seafood option that is perfect also all year round.

I grew up eating this dish because is a traditional recipe from my coastal town in Colima, along with many other seafood dishes like camarones a la Mexicana or ceviche. So, I wanted to share with you my mom’s recipe which is the one I’ve been making for years and that my family loves!

Close-up of Camarones al Mojo de Ajo.

Now let me talk to you about the ingredients.

For this recipe I am using fresh shrimp I cleaned myself and left the tails on, feel free to use frozen shrimp if you prefer, you’ll only need to thaw them first.

Then, they’re called shrimp al mojo de ajo for a reason, there are lots of garlic included, so use as many cloves as you want, I used 4 large cloves for 1 pound of shrimp.

You’ll also need butter and oil to sauté the shrimp and create a bit of creamy sauce. Salt and pepper for seasoning and more flavor, then a tangy kick with some fresh lime juice.

Again, feel free to adjust seasonings to your preferences and to change the ingredients a little bit if you can’t find some, for example, I sometimes use lemon juice instead of lime.

Once you have gathered all the ingredients, let’s start cooking!

Camarones al Mojo de Ajo Recipe

To make Camarones al Mojo de Ajo you will start by properly cleaning the shrimp by removing the shells and deveining them. 

If you use frozen and already cleaned shrimp, make sure to thaw them first.

Shrimp cleaned in a bowl and two more bowls containing the shrimp heads and shrimp shells.

Next, in a molcajete or mortar, combine the peeled garlic cloves, black peppercorns, and sea salt, and grind them together until a smooth paste forms.

Paste of smashed peppercorns, sea salt, and garlic cloves in a molcajete.

Once the garlic paste is ready, place the cleaned shrimp in a bowl and coat them thoroughly on all sides with the paste.

Fully coated shrimp with garlic paste in a bowl.

In a non-stick pan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Then, increase the heat to high and add the coated shrimp to the pan.

Cook them gently for 2-3 minutes per side, ensuring they curl around and turn pink.

Shrimp sautéed on a pan.

After cooking the shrimp, pour in the lime juice and continue to cook for an additional minute, shaking the pan to evenly distribute the flavors.

Cooked shrimp with garlic on a pan.

Once camarones al mojo de ajo are ready, is time to serve them! At my home, we like to serve them with warm tortillas are great for wrapping the tasty shrimp and making tacos.

We also like some sides like creamy refried beans to add richness to the plate, making it even more fulfilling. Or Serve it with white rice and enjoy a crisp green salad on the side. 

In Mexico, this dish is also often served as a tasty appetizer pairing it with a glass of crisp and refreshing Mexican beer.

And since it’s great for sharing, this Mexican garlicky shrimp is the perfect dish for family gatherings or parties because it comes up in just a few minutes!

Notes & Tips

Those are a few tips I learned from my mom when it comes to making camarones al mojo de ajo. Hope you find them useful!

  • I prefer seasoning the shrimp with the garlic paste before adding it to the pan, some recipes call for adding the garlic to the pan, but if you want the best flavor, coat the shrimp with the paste! Thoroughly coating the shrimp with this garlic paste ensures that each piece is evenly flavored with the aromatic mixture, enhancing the overall taste experience.
  • When you cook the shrimp, use a mix of butter and olive oil in the pan; the butter makes it taste rich and the olive oil gives it a nice flavor.
  • Be careful not to cook the shrimp too long, or they will become tough; just cook them until they turn pink and curl up a bit, which should take about 2-3 minutes on each side.
  • My mother always added the lime juice at the end of cooking because adding it at the start will result in a bitter taste which we didn’t enjoy.
Camarones al mojo de ajo served in a clay plate with rice, salsa, and lime wedges..

At my home, we rarely have to store camarones al mojo de ajo because we devour them within minutes! But let me share with you some tips for storing leftovers in case you need it.

First, let the cooked shrimp cool to room temperature, then, transfer them to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.

While freezing is possible, the shrimp’s texture may change, so it’s best to consume within a few days for optimal flavor and texture.

Reheat in a pan slightly coated with butter or olive oil.

More Mexican Shrimp Recipes

Did you enjoy my Camarones al Mojo de Ajo recipe? I hope you do! So, please, don’t forget to rate it and leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you! Also, remember that you can share it using the buttons below and follow this blog on PINTERESTINSTAGRAMFACEBOOK, and YOUTUBE!

Camarones al Mojo de Ajo recipe.

Camarones al Mojo de Ajo

4 servings
Camarones al Mojo de Ajo is a delicious Mexican dish of succulent shrimp cooked in a flavorful garlic butter sauce. Bursting with savory goodness, it's a perfect choice for any occasion.
prep 10 minutes
cook 8 minutes
total 18 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoon cilantro (chopped)
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Place peeled garlic cloves, black peppercorns, and sea salt in a molcajete or mortar. Pestle to make a smooth paste.
  • Place cleaned shrimp in a bowl and add the garlic paste. Turn the shrimp to coat on all sides with the garlic paste.
  • Heat butter in a non-stick pan over medium-low heat.
  • Turn the heat to high and add the shrimp. Cook gently for 2-3 minutes per side, flipping halfway through, until they curl around and turn pink.
  • Pour the lime juice and cook for one more minute, shaking the pan to distribute the flavors.
  • Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with chopped cilantro before serving.

Notes

  • Clean the shrimp thoroughly by removing shells and veins before cooking; this enhances appearance and taste.
  • When cooking shrimp, use a mix of butter and olive oil for richness and flavor.
  • Cook until pink and slightly curled, about 2-3 minutes per side, to avoid toughness.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 198mg | Sodium: 718mg | Potassium: 325mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 183IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 1mg
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