Caldo de Camaron

How to Make Caldo De Camaron

Four Methods:

Caldo de camarónliterally translates to "soup of shrimp," and that's what this dish essentially is. This Mexican shrimp soup is served hot and delivers a spicy kick of flavor with every bite. Best of all, the soup is easy enough to prepare at home yet impressive enough to serve to company.


Makes 6 to 8 servings


  • 1 L (1 qt) water
  • 1 sprig fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) dried Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 stalks of celery, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 fish head and the bones of any medium-size fish, rinsed
  • 1 lb (450 g) Mexican dried shrimp
  • Water
  • 3 medium tomatoes, cut in quarters
  • 2 dried ancho chiles
  • 1 dried guajillo chile
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 lb (225 g) carrots, rinsed, peeled, and sliced
  • 1 lb (450 g) potatoes, rinsed, peeled, and cubed

Optional Garnish

  • Lime wedges
  • Avocado
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Chopped red onion


Make the Fish Stock

  1. Combine the water, herbs, and vegetables.Pour the water into a large saucepan. Add the flat-leaf parsley, thyme, Mexican oregano, 1/2 a medium onion, 2 carrots, 2 cloves of garlic, and 2 stalks of celery. Place the saucepan on the stove and heat on high until the water boils.
  2. Add the fish head and bones.Stir these new ingredients into the mixture. Allow the contents of the saucepan to reach a rolling boil again before reducing the heat to medium-low.
    • If possible, use bones from lean fish, like bass or cod, and avoid oily fish, like salmon.
  3. Simmer for 15 minutes.With the liquid barely at a simmer, allow the stock to cook uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    • During this time, the flavors should blend together, creating a more flavorful stock. If you want the flavor to be even stronger, you can simmer the broth up to 40 minutes. Never let it return to a boil after its initial simmer, however, since fish stock can quickly become cloudy if it gets too hot or cooks for too long.
  4. Strain.Pour the contents of the saucepan through a large, heavy strainer or colander. Reserve the liquid for use as stock in yourcaldo de camaronrecipe. Discard the solid ingredients, including the vegetables and fish bones.
    • If necessary, remove the fish bones by hand before straining the rest of the liquid. Fish bones can sometimes get caught in the holes of a strainer, clogging them up and preventing the liquid from flowing through readily.
    • Note that this stock can be prepared in advance. If you opt to make the stock before you prepare the rest of the soup, pour the finished stock into an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to four days.

Prepare the Shrimp

  1. Cover the shrimp in cold water.Place the dried shrimp in a medium stockpot and cover them with cold water. Allow the shrimp to sit for 15 minutes.
    • When done, drain the water through a colander and rinse the shrimp.
    • Return the drained and rinsed shrimp to the stockpot.
    • This step is important if you are using dried shrimp or other packaged shrimp. Soaking and rinsing the shrimp before cooking it can help remove any distortions in taste that may have developed during the packaging process.
  2. Let the shrimp simmer in fresh water.Cover the shrimp with 1 cup (250 ml) of cold water, or enough water to cover them completely. Bring the contents of the pot to a boil on medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and let the shrimp gently simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Strain the liquid.Pour the contents of the stockpot through a colander. Reserve both the shrimp and liquid, but set them aside separately.
    • The water in which you boiled the shrimp has been flavored with the taste of shrimp. You will add this to your stock just before you finish the soup for an added hint of shrimp in the taste of the broth.
  4. Remove the heads, tails, and legs.Allow the shrimp to cool until you can safely handle them with your hands. Peel off the heads, tails, and legs before setting the cooked shrimp aside.
    • You can yank out the legs and head with your fingers. Similarly, you can pinch the tail and gently pull it off the body using only your fingers.
    • You can remove the shells if desired, but you could also leave the shells on if you want the soup to have a little crunch to it. If you want to peel the shrimp, however, pinch the shell between your fingers starting at the head end of the shrimp. Pull the shell down and off the body of the shrimp using gentle pressure.

Prepare the Chile Sauce

  1. Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles.Use a knife to cut out the stems and ribs, removing the seeds along with them in the process.
    • Work carefully. Use food-grade plastic gloves to handle the chiles if you want to avoid getting any of the hot juice on your hands, since the chiles could cause mild skin irritation.
    • Wash your hands well after handling the chiles. Do not touch your eyes before washing your hands, since doing so will cause your eyes to burn.
  2. Toast the chiles.Heat a large, dry skillet on medium-high for 2 minutes. Place the chiles on the skillet and toast, 10 to 15 seconds, before flipping them over to the other side and toasting another 10 seconds.
    • Turn the chiles using tongs.
    • The chiles should brown to the point of charring on both sides. You do not want the entire side to blacken, though. Ideally, the chiles should only be exposed to the heat long enough for a few dark brown spots to develop.
  3. Add the other sauce ingredients.Place the tomatoes, garlic, and remaining onion half in the skillet along with the chiles. Cover with water, and let simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes.
    • Stir the contents of the pan occasionally to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the skillet.
  4. Puree the sauce.Transfer the contents of the pan to a blender or food processor. Puree the ingredients together on high speed until a thin sauce forms.
    • If you have a handheld electric blender, you could use that instead of a standing blender or food processor. No matter what tool you use, though, try to make the sauce as smooth and thoroughly blended as possible.

Finish the Dish

  1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot.Add the oil to a large stockpot and let it heat for a minute or so on medium temperature.
    • The oil does not need to be sizzling hot, but it should be warm enough to spread over the bottom of the pot evenly as you turn and rotate the dish.
  2. Pour the sauce into the pan, directly over the oil.Allow the sauce the simmer uncovered for 8 to 10 minutes. It should become thicker during this time.
    • Use the rounded bottom of a ladle to smooth the sauce over the oil in an even layer.
    • Keep the stockpot uncovered during this time. By keeping the stockpot uncovered, you allow more of the liquid to evaporate, thus causing the sauce to thicken. If you cover the stockpot, though, the liquid stays trapped inside, and the sauce will stay thin.
  3. Add the cooking liquid from the shrimp.Pour the liquid you reserved upon straining the shrimp into the stockpot. Mix well to combine it with the sauce and cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until the liquid starts to simmer gently.
  4. Add the remaining soup ingredients.Pour in the fish stock, then add the potatoes, carrots, and shrimp. Simmer on medium-high heat for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are just barely soft enough to pierce with a fork.
    • To ensure that your soup cooks well enough within these 10 minutes, cut your carrot slices and potato cubes into pieces that are bite-size to half-bite-size. If you make these pieces any larger, they may take longer to cook. Cooking the soup for much longer than 10 to 15 minutes, however, can result in overcooked shrimp and overly thickened broth.
  5. Serve hot.Thecaldo de camaronis done. Ladle the hot soup into individual serving bowls and garnish each serving with chopped avocado, chopped red onion, fresh chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh juice from a lime wedge.
    • Store any leftover soup in the refrigerator or freezer.It should last for 3 days in the refrigerator or up to 1 month in the freezer. To successfully store the soup:
      • Fill your sink with cold water and add a tray or two of ice. Dunk the bottom of the soup pot in the water to cool the leftover soup quickly.
      • Pour the extra soup in the freezer-safe plastic bags. Label each bag with the contents and current date.
      • Place the bags in your refrigerator to cool or lay them flat in your freezer. Freeze them in a single layer initially, and stack the bags in your freezer once the soup has frozen solid.
      • Thaw frozen soup overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat the soup over low to medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, before serving.

Community Q&A

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  • To save time, skip the homemade stock and use 1 liter (1 quart) of premade, store-bought seafood stock instead.

Things You'll Need

  • Large saucepan
  • Mixing spoon
  • Kitchen knife
  • Strainer or colander
  • Medium stockpot
  • Food-grade plastic gloves
  • Large skillet
  • Tongs
  • Blender or food processor
  • Large stockpot
  • Ladle
  • Individual serving bowls

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Date: 06.12.2018, 12:33 / Views: 53275