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Chupe de Camarones | Peruvian Crawfish Chowder

Chupe de Camarones is a Peruvian chowder, thick and creamy with potatoes, prawns and corn. A hearty soup perfect for cold weather. A few simple shortcuts so that even new cooks can master this one.

A bowl of Peruvian Chupe de Camarones.

It seems that most cultures have at least one thick and savory chowder in their culinary repertoire such as potato soup or corn chowder.

Peru has several chowders. Seafood, meat and vegetables show up in their favorite soups. Today we are diving in to Chupe de Camarones, with is crayfish or shrimp soup.

It looks like a lot of ingredients but several are probably already in your pantry. I have chosen crawfish tails but you can simply use peeled and deveined shrimp.

It doesn’t matter what kind of broth you use, just use one you like. Instead of boiling shrimp shells, I opt to buy peeled and deveined shrimp and a bottle of clam juice. The clam juice added to a good vegetable broth makes for a delicious and easy seafood broth.

This soup is typically made with fresh potatoes. I have an abundance of dried potato slices in my pantry so I am using those instead. You can use either but fresh potatoes will add more starch to your stew making it thicker.

One special ingredient that you may not be able to find is aji amarillo chili paste. Aji chilies are common in South America and worth finding if you can. One of my local supermarkets has a robust ethnic aisle and carries it. You can find it in your local Hispanic market or order online.

If you don’t have this, simply substitute with something strong tasting with medium heat. Some choices can include Chipotle in Adobo or a mix of Anaheim and Jalapeño chilies, diced. Aji paste has a slight vinegar note to it so add a splash of vinegar at the end of cooking.

The amount of substitutions depend on how much heat you like in your chowder. This makes a lot of soup so you have some wiggle room to experiment.

Instead of cooking the corn cobs in the soup, I opted to roast it and use it as a garnish.

How to make this Chowder

Corn cobs roasting in the broiler.
Roast the corn cobs under a broiler until charred.
Spices and onions in a pot with tomato paste.
Gently fry the spices, tomato paste and aromatics.
A jar of Aji Amarillo.
Spices and aromatics frying in a pot.
Stir frequently to prevent burning.
A soup pot with rice and potatoes.
Increase heat and add liquid and starches.
Soup pot with wooden spoon.
Stir frequently with a wooden spoon, scraped the bottom to ensure all the flavor bits on the bottom are incorporated into the soup.
A bottle of clam juice.
One of my favorite cooking hacks. Bottled clam juice is an easy way to make a seafood broth.
Scrambled eggs pouring into soup pot.
Add been eggs while stirring to create a silky texture.
Soup pot with soup.
Prawns and cream added to soup pot.
Add cream and crawfish or shrimp.
Stirring soup pot with wooden spoon.
Stir well and bring to a simmer.
Trimming charred corn kernels off the cob.
Cut kernels off the cob.
A bowl of Peruvian Chupe de Camarones.
Garnish with crumbled Cotija cheese.
A spoonful of Chupe de Camarones.
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A bowl of Peruvian Chupe de Camarones.

Chupe de Camarones

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Chupe de Camarones is a Peruvian chowder, thick and creamy with potatoes, prawns and corn. A hearty soup perfect for cold weather. A few simple shortcuts and even new cooks can master this one.

Ingredients

  • 4 small ears of corn (or 2 large)
  • 2 Tbs oil
  • 1 cup onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-5 Tbs Aji Amarillo hot pepper paste (add to taste)
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 Tbs dried oregano
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream or half and half
  • 8 oz bottled clam juice
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1 lb of shrimp tails or crawfish tails, peeled and deveined
  • salt to taste

GARNISH

  • queso fresco

Instructions

  1. Place corn cobs on a rimmed baking sheet and cook under broiler until slightly charred. Rotate to cook all sides.
  2. In a large soup pot, add oil and heat over low-medium heat. Add next 5 ingrients. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add broth, rice and potatoes, increase heat to medium and bring soup to a simmer. Continue a low simmer for 30 minutes with lid on.
  4. Check to see if rice and potatoes are cooked through. If poatoes aren't soft, keep cooking until soft.
  5. Add cream and clam juice, stir and bring back to a simmer.
  6. While stirring the pot, slowly add the beaten eggs.
  7. Add shrimp or crawfish, cook for 3 three minutes or until cooked through.
  8. Check for seasoning, add salt if needed. Garnish with corn kernals and Cotija cheese.

Notes

  • Just like most soups, they are highly versatile. If you don't like rice in your soup, simply add more potatoes. If you want some greens in your chowder add some chopped spinach.
  • If you like to buy your shrimp with heads and tails on, use those shells to make a seafood broth instead of adding clam juice to vegetable broth.
  • If you don't have vegetable broth, use chicken broth.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 536Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 251mgSodium: 2687mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 3gSugar: 25gProtein: 28g

Did you make this recipe?

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Tymonee

Tuesday 24th of November 2020

Saving this one! We usually have a crawfish boil at our house. We always have leftovers, and the next morning we peel all of it and freeze! Definitely will be using some of the frozen crawfish for this soup! Thank you!

Tina

Tuesday 24th of November 2020

What a GREAT idea Ty! I miss those crawfish boils:(. My first and last was in Texas. I need to work on that for sure*

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