Shrimp Yucatán

Serves 4-6

| Prep Time: 10 mins

| Cook Time: 10 mins

| Total Time: 60 mins

You may need: Dried Garlic Powder

Discover The Recipe

Mexican cuisine embodies a rich amalgamation of flavors and influences from the country's diverse cultural heritage: a blend of Spanish, French, Caribbean and Indigenous roots. Our Shrimp Yucatán recipe showcases achiote paste, known in Spanish as 'Recado Rojo', a vibrant blend of spices developed by the Mayan people and now a building block for some of Mexico's best known dishes such as 'tacos al pastor' and 'cochinita pibil'.

Achiote paste gets its gorgeous, deep red color from annatto seeds. And our Achiote Spice blend makes it easy to whip up a fresh batch of recado rojo to make any number of delicious Mexican recipes. We chose this recipe because it's quick and easy to prepare and typifies cuisine of the Yucatán Peninsula, which is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Pair this dish with sliced mangoes, avocados, refried beans, pickled red onions, and/or fried plantains for a fresh, healthy Caribbean meal.


  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped

  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1/3 cup orange juice

  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (~1 lime)

  • 2 tbsp Piquant Post Achiote spice blend

  • 1 tbsp olive oil (optional)

  • 1 tbsp tequila (optional)

  • salt & pepper to taste

  • 1.25 lb large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail-on

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 handful of cilantro, chopped (optional)


While this shrimp yucatan recipe calls for raw shrimp, you can use pre-cooked shrimp if that's all you have on hand. First, thaw the shrimp in a bowl of water (fast) or in a colander (slow). Then, marinate the shrimp for 10-15 mins and cook as described.

Shrimp can also be grilled or broiled for a slightly smokier flavor. If you use the grill instead, make sure you cook the recado rojo marinade for 3-4 mins on Med (or until it begins to boil), before using it as a sauce to top the shrimp.

Serve the shrimp yucatan with sides that are typical of tropical Mexico: rice and/or beans, sliced, fresh fruit like mangoes or avocado, fried plantains, or delicious homemade pickled red onions.

Optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don’t sweat it if you don’t have them.


Serve shrimp on a plate and spoon the cooked recado rojo sauce over the top. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with pickled red onions, sliced mango, black beans, white rice and / or avocado.

Alternatives & Substitutions

  • If you don't eat shellfish, you can substitute a flaky white fish like cod, sole, or tilapia for the shrimp. Marinate per the recipe and gently poach / simmer the fish for ~5-7 mins in the pan, spooning the sauce over the fish.

  • You can substitute distilled white vinegar for the apple cider vinegar, if that's all you have.

  • Our Achiote Spice blend can be used to make an authentic achiote paste, which can then be used to make other authentic (if not ambitious) Mexican dishes such as tacos al pastor or cochinita pibil. To make the paste, dump the entire Achiote Spice packet (~2 tbsp of Achiote spice blend) in a bowl and mix with the minced garlic, lime juice, olive oil, salt & pepper (to taste) with 3 tbsp of vinegar (apple cider or white). Mix with a whisk or fork until the mixture becomes a course paste. Add 1 tsp of vinegar at a time if you need to add moisture to form the paste.

  • For our busy slow-cooker aficionados, another alternate is this cochinita pibil taco recipe (pulled pork) that seems doable and scrumptious. Also, here's a pollo pibil recipe (pulled chicken).  We haven't tried either of these yet, but they're now on our list.

  • Vegetarians can use our Achiote Spice blend as a rub on vegetables or tofu before grilling or roasting.  Here's a recipe for roasted vegetable enchiladas from a competitor that looks heavenly. 

  • Don't forget to leave comments and feedback on your meals and experiments in the comments for others to read.

  • Post pictures of your masterpiece meal on social media and tag us. We repost!

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