Tangy Pasilla Shrimp

Camarones en Escabeche Rojo
From Season 9, Mexico—One Plate At A Time
Servings: 4


  • 1/4cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2ounces (4 or 5)dried pasilla negro chiles, stems removed, cut into rings with scissors, seeds discarded
  • 1/2small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1tablespoon sugar
  • Salt
  • 1pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail segment intact
  • 1/4cup cilantro leaves


Making the escabeche. In a very large (12-inch) skillet, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the chile pieces and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. (Don’t cook them too long, they’ll burn and taste bitter.) Scoop in the red onion and cook another minute while the onion wilts slightly. Add the balsamic vinegar, sugar, 1/3 cup water and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Simmer another minute to allow the flavors to come together.

Finishing the shrimp. Add the shrimp to the skillet with the escabeche. Stir until they are just barely cooked through (they will turn pink but be slightly translucent at the center), 6 to 8 minutes. Scoop the shrimp into a shallow serving bowl and garnish with the cilantro leaves. This dish is delicious served warm, at room temperature or cool.


  1. This is a very easy and delicious recipe! However, I couldn’t find “Pasilla” peppers at my local grocer (In the Houston area), only ancho, guajillo, and cascabel dried peppers. In researching on-line, I saw conflicting information on pasilla peppers. When you specify pasilla, is this the same as ancho? I’ve made this recipe twice, once with guajillo and tonight with ancho peppers. Both peppers were delicious but I like the ancho pepper flavor better. I’m thinking I may need to make a trip to Fiesta grocery store to look for pasilla peppers? Thank you!

  2. When Bayless talks about pasillas, he’s talking about the long, slender-ish, dark (almost black chile also known as “chile negro”), which is the dried form of the chilaca chile. The confusion comes in because in some places, “pasilla” is used to refer to the poblano chile, the dried form of which is called “ancho.” I’ve not looked for pasillas at Fiesta when in TX, but at the Hispanic-oriented grocery chains here in AZ, they are generally pretty easy to find in the dried chile area.

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