• Grilled Prawns with Recado & Tomatillo Salsa


Grilled Prawns with Recado & Tomatillo Salsa

By Andrew Zimmern

My demo at the Grand Tasting at Pier 94 was a blast. I made Mexican-style grilled prawns in honor of our NYCWFF Destination of the Year, Mexico, a country whose food is second to none in terms of regionality, depth and quality.

Grilled Prawns with Recado & Tomatillo Salsa


  • 3 pounds U15 shrimp, wild-caught Mexican or Ecuadorean, peeled and deveined

The Recado

  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 4 dry chipotle chiles, seeded and deveined
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 12 ounces tamarind paste turned to soft pulp
  • 1 onion, sliced and caramelized/charred
  • 10 garlic cloves roasted
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, charred/roasted
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

The Salsa

  • 1 small onion minced super fine
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 12 tomatillos
  • 1 jalapeno roasted and cleaned
  • 2 roasted poblano chiles, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 handful cilantro leaves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 5 tablespoons chopped mint leaves


Make the Recado

Heat the oil and fry the chipotle chiles for 10 seconds. Reconstitute in one cup of boiling water for 20 minutes. Discard 1/2 the water. Place all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Place in a zip-top bag with the shrimp and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

Make the Salsa

Place the onions and salt in a large non-reactive bowl. Puree all the other ingredients in a blender. Combine the two mixtures. Season with salt and pepper and use within 4 hours.

Grill the shrimp over direct heat to taste. Serve with the salsa.

NOTES  The recado will keep for 5 days in a refrigerator.

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