Shrimp stew, known as asopao de camarones in the Latino community is a thick and hearty shrimp and rice soup that is typically served on rainy days.
Puerto rican soup recipes are a favorite on Latina Mom Meals. Our sancocho soup, sopa de salchichon (salami soup), and our sopa de fideo are all excellent Spanish soup recipes that your family will enjoy.
What is asopao?
Asopao de camarones (shrimp gumbo) is a thick Puerto Rican shrimp stew made with shrimp and rice. This Puerto Rican soup has all of the flavors you've come to love from the Puerto Rican cuisine. Homemade sofrito, shrimp, peppers, onions, spices, and a shocking small amount of rice, with a rich seafood broth creates an almost creamy shrimp gumbo recipe.
How To Say Asopao in english
The pronunciation of asopao in English is "ah-so-pow". Say that five times!
How To Make Shrimp Gumbo | How To Make Asopao de camarones
To make this asopao de camarones, you need to remove the shell and tails from the shrimp. DO NOT DISCARD SHRIMP TAILS. Unless you want to use seafood bullion, this step is crucial for that authentic seafood broth.
Also, you may want to soak the rice in water for a few hours for a softer asopao and a quicker cooking time. COMPLETELY OPTIONAL.
How To Make Shrimp Broth
To make the shrimp broth, add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a large pot over medium high heat. Once it's warm, add in some chopped onions and red peppers. Let it cook for a minute before adding in the shrimp tails, chopped garlic, homemade sofrito, salt, a few sprigs of cilantro and a few sprigs of thyme (thyme is optional, but I love it). Let it cook an additional 30-60 seconds before adding in about 10 cups of water.
Bring the water to a boil for a minute before reducing to a simmer. Let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
Once the shrimp broth has cooled slightly, drain the pot in a colander over a VERY LARGE bowl or another pot to RESERVE THE SHRIMP BROTH. You do not want to discard the broth, just the shrimp tails, and anything that stays behind in the colander. If you find that the pot is too heavy or are concerned you may burn yourself, use a soup ladle or a mug and empty out the broth by hand.
If you just realized that the shrimp you bought is already cooked and does not have tails, you can skip this step of making shrimp broth and use shrimp or seafood bullion in it's place.
Now that the broth has been reserved and put to the side, we're going to use the pot that is now empty and place it back on the stove over medium high heat.
Warm oil and we'll build the sofrito sauce by adding in chopped onions, chopped peppers, garlic and sofrito. Allow this to cook for about a minute or until fragrant (stirring frequently to keep it from burning). Next, add in salt, pepper, oregano, sazon, and a pinch of cumin. After twenty seconds, add in the tomato sauce and about a quarter cup of the raw shrimp and set the rest of the shrimp to the side until the end. Allow the sofrito sauce to infuse with the shrimp for about thirty seconds before gently adding in the shrimp broth.
Optional ingredients for asopao de camarones: You can add in chopped green olives, a few sprigs of thyme, and pimentos to the sofrito sauce.
Higher heat and bring shrimp broth to a boil; add in rice. Lower heat to medium or until the shrimp broth is at a steady and gentle simmer. Allow the rice to cook, stirring it occasionally. Check for water level when you stir. If it's too low, add some water to the pot. Remember, asopao de camarones is meant to be a stew, so you want there to be enough shrimp broth. Also, keep in mind that the shrimp gumbo thickens when cool.
After about 20ish minutes, your rice should be tender. At this point, add the remaining uncooked shrimp and cilantro, continue to cook until the shrimp is pink and no longer gray -about an additional 5-7 minutes.
When the asopao de camarones is cooked, taste for seasonings. Adjust the salt and pepper to your liking. Also, keep lemon or lime wedges near, I love to spritz my asopao de camarones with a squirt of fresh lemon juice.
What to serve with asopao de camarones
The #1 recipe that is served with asopao de camarones is tostones (twice fried plantains) that have been brushed with olive oil, crushed garlic, and salt. Dip the plantains into the shrimp gumbo before adding a spoonful of the asopao into your mouth. It is divine together! Hot sauce over it always is a hit too!
This asopao de camarones is a one pot dinner recipe. A side salad or sauteed green beans and 2-3 tostones is plenty to serve dinner and know that your family is full.
Once your stomach has digested, be sure to serve our creamy pumpkin flan to your family! That's it mi gente, buen provecho! Let me know in the comments how you like your asopao to be made or to include.
Asopao de Camarones | Shrimp and rice stew
Shrimp Broth Ingredients
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil divided
- ½ large onion chopped and divided
- ¼ red bell pepper chopped and divided
- ¼ cup of homemade sofrito
- 1 pound of shrimp tails removed and set aside
- 4 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoons of salt or to taste
- A few sprigs of cilantro
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 8-10 cups of water
- 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil
- ¾ of red pepper chopped
- ½ onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- 1 packet of sazon
- ½ teaspoon of cumin
- 4 oz of tomato sauce
- ½ cup of sofrito
- 1 cup of long grain rice soaked in water
- ¼ cup of cilantro chopped
- 1 pound of raw shrimp
- Warm oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat and add onions and peppers. Cook for 3 minutes, or until vegetables soften.
- Add in sofrito, shrimp tails, garlic, salt, cilantro, and thyme. Saute for another 3-4 minutes. Add in water and simmer water for about 10-15 minutes.
- Turn off heat to allow shrimp broth to cool.
- Once the shrimp broth has cooled slightly, drain the pot in a colander over a VERY LARGE bowl or another pot to RESERVE THE SHRIMP BROTH.
- In the same pot warm oil and we'll build the sofrito sauce by adding in chopped onions, chopped peppers, garlic and sofrito.
- Allow this to cook for about a minute or until fragrant (stirring frequently to keep it from burning). Next, add in salt, pepper, oregano, sazon, and a pinch of cumin.
- After twenty seconds, add in the tomato sauce and about a quarter cup of the raw shrimp and set the rest of the shrimp to the side until the end. Allow the sofrito sauce to infuse with the shrimp for about thirty seconds before gently adding in the shrimp broth.
- Higher heat and bring shrimp broth to a boil; add in rice. Lower heat to medium or until the shrimp broth is at a steady and gentle simmer.
- Allow the rice to cook, stirring it occasionally.
- Once rice is tender and cooked through, add in the remaining raw shrimp and chopped cilantro. Cook an additional five minutes, or until shrimp is pink and cooked through.
- Taste for seasoning.