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Shrimp and corn chowder {Locro de camarón y choclo}
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Ecuadorian shrimp and corn chowder {Locro}

Easy and quick shrimp and corn chowder recipe with a Latin touch. This soup is inspired by the traditional Ecuadorian locro potato soup and is made with shrimp, corn, potatoes, seafood broth, milk/cream, onion, garlic, celery, annatto, and served with cilantro, green onions, avocado, lime and hot sauce.
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, Ecuadorian, Ecuadorian inspired, Latin, Latin fusion, Pacific Northwest
Keyword Chowder, Corn, Locro, Potatoes, Shrimp
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

To marinate the shrimp:

  • 1 lb of medium size shrimp peeled and deveined
  • ½ lb of large whole shrimp or prawns for garnishing
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of ground annatto achiote, adjust more or less based on your preference – can use paprika if you can’t find annatto
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground pepper

For the chowder:

  • 4 tablespoons of butter or oil
  • ½ white onion finely diced
  • 2 celery stalk finely diced
  • ¼ cup of white wine any dry/non-sweet white wine will work
  • 3 lbs of potatoes peeled and cut into medium or large pieces, use Yukon gold in the US or papa chola in Ecuador
  • 4 cups 1 liter of seafood stock or broth, can also use fish or vegetable stock
  • 3 ears of corn in kernels or slices, about 10 ounces of kernels (can use frozen corn)
  • 1 ½ cups of milk
  • ½ cup of cream
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To garnish and serve:

  • Chopped cilantro
  • Chopped green onions or chives
  • Avocado sliced or diced
  • Lime slices
  • Aji style hot sauce

Instructions

  • Place the shrimp in a bowl and add the crushed garlic, 1 teaspoon of annatto powder, salt and pepper. Mix well and let marinate for at least 20 minutes in the fridge.
  • In a medium to large sized soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons of butter or oil and sauté the shrimp until they are cooked, about 5 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pot and save them to add at the end – keep the whole ones separate from the peeled ones. The peeled ones will be added back directly to the soup at the end, while the whole ones will be used to garnish the plates.
  • In the same pot where the shrimp were sautéed, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter with the diced onion, diced celery, and ½ teaspoon of ground annatto or achiote powder. Cook over medium heat until the onions are soft and transparent, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add ¼ cup of white wine to deglaze the pan, stir well, and cook until the liquid is reduced by about half.
  • Add the potatoes and mix well.
  • Add the seafood stock or broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook over low heat with the pot partially covered. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes depending on the type of potatoes and size of the chunks.
  • Use a potato masher to gently mash some of the potatoes, but don’t mash them all, you still want some small chunks of potato.
  • Add the corn and the milk; continue cooking on low for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the cream and cook for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste. You can also add more milk or broth if the soup is too thick.
  • Add the sautéed shrimp (peeled ones) and finely chopped cilantro, mix them into the soup.
  • Serve the soup garnished with the whole shrimp, chopped cilantro, chopped green onions and chives, avocado, lime and hot sauce to taste.