Peruvian Shrimp & Potato Chowder

Chupe de Camarones – Shrimp and Potato Chowder

This hearty chowder is a favorite in Peru, where it is often made with crayfish. The typical preparation is to boil the crayfish, process the cooked crayfish in a blender with some of the caldo(broth), and then to add the puréed crayfish back to the stew to thicken it. Other traditional ingredients include yellow potatoes, aji chile peppers, corn, milk and queso fresco cheese. Chupe de camarones is usually served with a poached egg and garnished with several whole crayfish.

This “quick and easy” version of chupe de camarones is less complicated to prepare, but still rich and full of flavor.


  • ¼ teaspoon saffron
  • 2 Tablespoons hot water
  • 1 pound raw shrimp (peeled)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon aji Amarillo chili powder
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, or 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons achiote paste or annatto seed powder
  • 3 cups seafood or chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium yellow potatoes
  • 3 ears of fresh corn, or 2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup heavy cream, half and half or milk
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. 1Add hot water to saffron and let it soak at least 10 minutes.
  2. 2Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy soup pot over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and sauté until pink, about 3-4 minutes. Remove shrimp to a bowl and let cool.
  3. 3Add chopped onion, garlic, and aji chile pepper to the soup pot. Sauté over medium heat until onion is translucent and fragrant. Add tomatoes, cumin, achiote, and oregano and cook until tomatoes are soft.
  4. 4Peel the potatoes and cut into 1 inch cubes. Add potatoes to pot with the seafood broth, and simmer until potatoes are very tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  5. 5While potatoes are cooking, cut shrimp into bite-size pieces (reserving several shrimp uncut for garnish, if desired). Season shrimp with salt and pepper and toss with the lime juice. Set aside.
  6. 6Slice one ear of corn crosswise into 2 inch pieces, and remove kernels from remaining 2 ears. Add corn pieces and corn kernels to pot along with the saffron liquid. Simmer for 2-3 minutes more.
  7. 7Remove chowder from heat, and stir in cream/milk and queso fresco cheese. Stir in shrimp with the lime juice and season chowder with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. 8Serve in bowls, garnished with shrimp, crumbled queso fresco cheese, and chopped fresh oregano or cilantro.

A delicious one dish meal that pair very well with Bodega del Sur’s Malbec.


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