Shrimp Pozole

Photo: Kate Mathis
Prep Time:
1 hr 20 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 30 mins

Instead of pork, this lighter take on Mexican pozole enlists shrimp, which is a tender accompaniment to those soft, puffy corn kernels (or hominy) and blistered tomatoes. Our cacao-free version of mole enriches the basic broth with its own complex flavors, including the nutty-spicy blend of almonds and an ancho chile.


  • 2 pounds shell-on large shrimp

  • 1 ½ white onions, cut into 12 wedges

  • 6 cloves garlic

  • 1 dried ancho chile

  • ½ cup sliced almonds (with skins)

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano

  • Coarse salt

  • 12 Campari tomatoes

  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) hominy, rinsed and drained

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • Toasted corn tortillas, for serving


  1. Shell and devein shrimp; refrigerate shrimp and place shells in a pot. Add 8 onion wedges, 4 cloves garlic, and 3 quarts water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 1 hour. Strain, discarding shells; return stock to pot.

  2. Heat a heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high. Cook chile until charred on both sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to a heatproof bowl; add 1 cup boiling water, placing a dish on top to keep submerged. Soak until soft, 20 minutes. Remove stem and seeds; reserve liquid.

  3. Meanwhile, toast almonds in skillet over medium until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate; let cool. Repeat with sesame seeds, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to another plate; let cool. In separate batches, finely grind almonds and sesame seeds in a spice grinder, then combine.

  4. Place remaining 4 onion wedges and 2 cloves garlic in skillet; cook over medium-high until softened and charred in places, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender with chile, 2 tablespoons soaking liquid, 1/3 cup stock, almond-sesame mixture, tomato paste, oregano, and 1 teaspoon salt; pulse to a paste.

  5. Return skillet to medium-high and blister tomatoes, turning occasionally, until charred in spots, 7 to 9 minutes. Add to pot with remaining stock. Add 1 tablespoon salt; bring to a simmer. Add shrimp and hominy; continue to simmer until shrimp are just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes.

  6. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add mole and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Divide soup among bowls and stir about 2 tablespoons mole into each; serve, with tortillas.

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