Tuesday, 27 October 2009

salpicón de camarónes (veracruz prawn cocktail)

This recipe comes from Saveur, an American food magazine which I love.

The best way to explain a salpicón, is to take the words straight from Saveur:
“The word salpicón, which comes from the Spanish sal, salt, and picar, to chop, refers, in classic French cooking, to a mince of poultry, game, or vegetables bound with a sauce. In Mexico, however, it can mean anything from a shredded beef salad in the north to this citrusy shrimp appetizer”

As summer comes closer to Sydney I begin to crave raw seafood drenched in lime or lemon (but never both at the same time!). Adding chillies, coriander and avocado is an additional blessing and this dish is one of my all time favourite meals in summer.

It's also another 2009 food challenge since it's another Mexican recipe.

Salpicón de Camarónes (Veracruz-Style Prawn Cocktail)

Recipe from Restaurante Doña Lala in Tlacotalpan, Mexico.
Printed in
Saveur Issue #12. Serves 4.

1 lb. cooked small prawns (shrimp)
1 cored chopped tomato
½ small white onion, peeled +chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled +minced
1 fresh jalapeño, seeded +sliced
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Salt & freshly ground white pepper
1 avocado, peeled + sliced
Lime wedges


1. Peel shrimp.

2. Mix together shrimp, tomatoes, onions, garlic and jalapeño.

3. Stir in oil and parsley, season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Top with avocado and garnish with lime wedges.

I added coriander and used cherry tomatoes.

As my Weekend Herb Blogging entry, I’m focusing on the avocado. Our host is Katie from Eat This, so go check out the round-up.

Avocado has been my theme ingredient in two other WHB posts, one in 2007 (cold avocado soup from the Ivory Coast) and one in 2008 (avocado shake from Vietnam). So here’s 2009 and some avocado information copied dircetly from my 2007 post.

The word avocado comes from the Aztec (Nahuatl) word ahuacatl, via Spanish aguacate and means “testicle”. Perhaps because of its appearance, the Aztecs believed avocadoes were an aphrodisiac and called it "the fertility fruit". Apparently during avocado harvesting, virgins were kept indoors to prevent any promiscuity taking place.

This reputation stuck with the avocado for such a long time and many people in South America wouldn’t eat it because they wanted to appear wholesome. Companies had to undertake serious PR campaigns to dispel the myths and get the fruit out to the public.

The Nahuatl word ahuacatl makes up other words like ahuacamolli, meaning "avocado soup/sauce” which the Spanish transformed into guacamole.

In 2005, the world’s top ten avocado producing nations were, in order: Mexico, Indonesia, USA, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic, Peru, China and Ethiopia. As trees need well aerated soils and subtropical or tropical climates to thrive, this makes sense.

Propagation by seed takes around 5 years to produce fruit and the quality is never as good as the parent tree. Commercial plantations therefore graft new seedlings.

Avocadoes mature on the tree but ripen once harvested. The fruit is high monounsaturated fat contents and contains 60% more potassium than bananas, vitamin Bs, vitamin E, vitamin K and folate.

In Brazil, Vietnam, the Philippines, Jamaica and Indonesia avocadoes are blended with sugar and milk to create a milkshake.

It is also interesting to note that avocado foliage, skin and pits are said to poison animals such as birds, cats, dogs, cattle, goats, rabbits and fish.


This time previously on M&M:
2008 -
Sago gula bali (Balinese coconut sago dessert)
2007 -
Fatteh (Syrian chickpea & yoghurt breakfast)
2006 - Japanese-style tomato carpaccio


  1. Nice combination of avocados in there :)

  2. Hi Anna,
    I've been reading your blog for ages, and I don't know if I've ever left a comment before. Just wanted to let you know how inspiring your writing is. I always want to try your recipes, and I love the interesting information you give about the ingredients. I actually have a blog award for you at my blog. You can check it out here

  3. I'd love to eat this! This is just the type of thing I'd order if I was on the coast.


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