Peruvian Shrimp Chowder (Chupe de Camarones) Recipe

Peruvian Shrimp Chowder

In Peru, Bolivia and Chile “chupe” means stew, a word from the Quechua language. Each region has its traditional chupe which is served on specific days of the week. In Arequipa, the foodie capital of South America, Chupe de Camarones or Chupe de Pescado is served on Fridays, the meatless day.

The key ingredient is Aji Amarillo paste (aji=pepper, amarillo=yellow) available nowadays in most US supermarkets, your Latino food store or online. Aji Amarillo balances its medium heat, which you’ll feel in the middle section of your palate, with a bit of fruity flavor, a very agreeable sensation.

Peru is definitely worth a trip and should you pass through historic Arequipa you must have a chupe at one of the numerous Picanterias, small “hole in the wall” restaurants that offer home-style cooking.

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 40 minutes


  • 24 medium sized shrimp, shell on, deveined
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tsp aji amarillo paste, or to taste
  • 1 cup (200 g) fresh tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 5 cups (1 1/4 L) shrimp stock
  • 1 1/2 cups (350 g) diced potatoes
  • 1 cup (180 g) frozen corn kernels
  • 1 1/2 cups (380 g) cooked Lima beans or peas
  • 2 Tbsp finely minced flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


Begin by shelling and deveining the shrimps. Set shelled shrimps aside and refrigerate.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a saucepan large enough to hold the shrimp shells. Heat oil until it starts simmering. Add shells and cook until they turn pinkish-red. Add 5 cups of water, salt and pepper. Bring to a rapid boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook shells stock while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Pass the shrimp shells through a sieve. Save the stock and discard the shells. Set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, add onions, red pepper, garlic, and aji amarillo. Cook for about 5 minutes or until onions and pepper are soft. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, and continue to cook for 5 minutes longer. Add shrimp stock and diced potatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes are done. Add the corn and cooked lima beans, and simmer for 5 minutes longer. Add the shrimp and cook until shrimps are pink. Do not cook for too long or shrimps start to get rubbery.

Just before serving, garnish each bowl with chopped parsley.

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