Shrimp Escabeche

Escabeche is poached fish that is marinated in an acidic mixture and usually served cold. It is popular in Spain and Central America. It is similar to its well-known cousin, ceviche, except that in this case the shrimp is thermally cooked. Ceviche only “cooks” the fish in citric acid.  This particular variation adds cucumber, mango and red onion, and is marinated in lime juice. It was perfect for last night when I wanted a light meal.

Light meal made with little effort, but marinades for a few hours.

Rating: 4-1/2 stars. The lime juice has much better and less harsh flavor than vinegar.  The mango was too sweet for my youngest son, but he was able to eat around the mango. I am definitely going to add this to my cookbook.

Rating: 4-1/2 stars.
Cost: $10.
How much work? Small.
How big of a mess?  Small.
Start at: 5:00 PM. Ready at: 8:00 PM.


1 lb large raw shrimp (about 30)
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from 8 limes)
1/2 cucumber, halved lengthwise & cut crosswise 1/4 inch thick
2/3 cup chopped mango
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 jalapeño, stem and seeds removed; finely chopped
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt (or course sea salt)
Ground pepper

  1. Prepare an ice-water bath. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; poach all the shrimp until just cooked through, 1 1/2 – 2 minutes
  2. Carefully transfer the shrimp to the ice-water bath; let cool. Drain shrimp, and peel. Slice each shrimp in half.
  3. Toss shrimp with 1/2 cup of lime juice in glass bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, covered, stirring halfway though.
  4. Drain away lime juice from shrimp into a separate bowl, reserving for step 5.
  5. In a large serving bowl, toss together shrimp, cucumber, mango, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, 3 tablespoons of lime juice, 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt, and a pinch of pepper. Refrigerate for 30 more minutes.
  6. Toss again before serving.

7 Responses to Shrimp Escabeche

  1. lorri says:

    Simple and tasty. When I cook with shrimp, I almost always peel it raw. I suppose there might be occasion when you want to leave the shells on for flavor (in a cioppino, or if marinading in herbs) but when just quick cooking/boiling water… remove shell and poop chute first. ; -)

    The shell does come off easily after cooking but the p.s. is tougher to clean (not difficult but so very, very easy when cleaning the shrimp while raw). It’s a visual/textural thing for me. No p.s. left in my food!

  2. You are right, I hadn’t given it any thought. I usually peel first too; unless the recipe specifically calls for cooking with the shells on.

    What is P.S.?

  3. lorri says:

    ha – sorry – it’s still early in the AM for me so when i typed my comment…and mentioned removing the poop chute, i thought i’d abbreviate from there on out and typed p.s. rather than p.c. = oops.

    muscle memory from typing…fingers want to type p.s. not p.c. it’s a chute not a shoot – ha –

  4. haha – I wouldn’t have known what PC is either. Mostly my supermarket only sells pre-deveined shrimp, so no real choice. Do you find the shrimp to be better/fresher if you remove it yourself?

  5. lorri says:

    Oh my, yes. I used to be able to find shrimp “with vein” (as they call it, not a poop chute) in the local grocery store/supermarket. No longer! I know that shrimp is always processed to some degree, right on the fishing boat. But nowadays it’s all highly processed and so you have the ‘saline’ flavor that it’s packed into.

    I used to soak the shrimp a bit, and rinse it, in an attempt to get rid of that flavor. It only worked sometimes. Probably a year ago or more i stopped buying the processed shrimp as it really does not taste like fresh shrimp!

    Places to buy ‘fresh’ shrimp: (1) local farmers market. depending what city/state you are in, you might have fishmongers who catch it and sell it. Cost per pound can be reasonable (if they are competing with the supermarkets) or can be higher. (2) a local fish market. cost is always double or more what the supermarket sells it for. But its fresh! I prefer mexican white shrimp, but any unprocessed shrimp should be good. (3) Costco. I only buy from Costco these days, in 3 or 4 pound bags. YES it is processed, but not as much. less or none of the saline/salt flavor. I clean the shrimp myself, not the machines. Usually $8.99 to $9.99 a pound, for the 12 – 15 size (that is 12 to 15 pieces to a pound) so these are larger shrimp. That is a good price point for the size. Several bites to eat the whole shrimp.

    As I type this i realize, even tho the shrimp is still somewhat processed/frozen by Costco, because it’s the larger size shrimp, this is why it doesn’t have that saline taste, and you can still taste the shrimp flavor. It’s processed less and the shrimp meat is larger so it doesn’t absorb and retain the processing solution as the smaller size shrimp does.

    I highly recommend you try fresh shrimp sometime. You’ll never go back ; – ) to supermarket shrimp. Boil in UNSALTED water, for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes as your recipe has. I am sure you know how to not overcook them. They are just perfect that way. So sweet….

  6. Lately, I have been following Chris Kimball recommendation. Flip the package over and look at the ingredients. Sometimes you’ll find packages that say: “Ingredients: Shrimp.” If I really want shrimp, I’ll go as far as “Ingredients: Shrimp, Salt.” But I am never desperate enough to buy anything containing any of these: Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Polyphosphate, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Sodium
    Acidpyrophosphate, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Sodium Hexametaphosphate.

    Unfortunately, I have not found anyplace to buy fresh fish. I lived in Hoboken for a few years and could buy it there, but not in these Northern NJ suburbs.

  7. lorri says:

    Costco locations in/close to NJ

    Sams Club & other similar warehouse stores might have a quality shrimp? FYI

    cheers, L

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