A spicy shrimp recipe featuring the zesty flavors of Clamato beer. With plenty of tasty sauce.
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- Read on for a few relevant details and step by step pictures (2 mins)
From Beer Cocktail to Skillet
We conceived this spicy shrimp recipe on a Saturday morning while sipping on particularly tasty, freshly mixed Michelada beer cocktails with Clamato, complete with picante cocktail shrimp skewers and celery sticks.
It is a good one – easy and very, very delicious. We make it often at home – it is great as a dinner option on weeknights and a family style shared appetizer on weekends.
If you are interested – here is how to make an authentic Clamato beer cocktail.
Every single authentic ingredient used in Clamato beer is enlisted while the shrimp are the star of the show. Equipment wise all you need is a good, sturdy deep skillet such as a 10 inch cast iron.
- Shrimp. Use 21-30 or similarly sized raw shrimp. Peeled and deveined. We like having the tails on.
- Tajin/Chile lime seasoning. This delicious seasoning that usually rims the glasses of clamato cocktails adds both heat and acidity.
- Beer. Use a dark Mexican lager brewed in the Vienna lager style. Its rich maltiness and caramel notes balance the sauce and give it great depth. Negra Modelo or Dos Equis Ambar work perfectly.
- Clam juice/chopped clams in juice. To infuse their signature briny flavor. If you do not like the mouthfeel of chopped clams simply use a good quality clam juice.
- Tomato sauce. The other part of clamato.
- Hot sauce. Most of the spice come from it, use it to taste.
- Zesty sauces. Both Worcestershire sauce and Maggi liquid seasoning (typical in clamato cocktails) contribute umami. If you do not have the latter handy use soy sauce instead.
- Onion & celery, butter and olive oil. We saute both onion and celery to create a savory base for the sauce of the dish.
- Lime and cilantro. A bit of fresh lime juice squeezed over the finished dish brightens up the intense flavor medley of the sauce. A bit of cilantro makes perfect sense as garnish.
How to Make Spicy Shrimp Skillet (a la Clamato Beer)
Step 1. Season the shrimp liberally and set aside.
Step 2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and saute the onion and celery with some extra Tajin seasoning in the butter/olive oil combo.
Step 3. Add the beer and chopped clams and juice and simmer to reduce.
Step 4. Add the tomato sauce and all the liquid seasonings and reduce a bit more. Finally, slide in the shrimp and cook just until they become opaque. They will continue cooking in the hot sauce even after you remove them from the stove. Finish with a squeeze of lime juice and garnish with cilantro and lime wedges.
Our recipe yields quite a bit of sauce – as much as you can see in the last process picture above.
This makes the Clamato beer spicy shrimp perfect with pasta – simply ladle a generous amount of sauce over al dente spaghetti and top with several shrimp. Rice is another great alternative.
If you choose to serve as a shared appetizer – garlic bread is our top recommendation. Consider separating a small quantity of the sauce just so that you expose more of the shrimp (easier to pinch by the tail:) as seen in the picture below. Serve that tasty separated sauce in a warm ramekin next to the garlic bread – no one will complain about the extra dipping option.
Be sure to provide a lot of napkins/paper towels even though this is truly a finger licking good appetizer.
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- 1 lb raw shrimp, 21-30, tail on, peeled and deveined
- 2 tbsp Tajin or other chile lime seasoning, divided equally
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, small dice
- 1 celery rib, small dice
- 12 oz dark Mexican lager (such as Dos Equis Ambar)*
- 6.5 oz chopped clams in juice OR 1/2 cup clam juice**
- 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (or to taste)
- 2 tsp Maggi liquid seasoning (or to taste)***
- 2 tsp hot sauce (or to taste)
- 1 large lime
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (for garnish)
- Coat the shrimp nicely with 1 tbsp of the Tajin/chile lime seasoning and set aside.
- Heat a 10 inch, deep skillet, such as cast iron, over medium-high heat and add the butter and olive oil.
- Add the onion, celery and remaining 1 tbsp Tajin/chile lime seasoning. Stir and saute until soft, 3-4 mins.
- Deglaze the skillet with a bit of the beer, then add all of it. Add the chopped clams and their juice (or 1/2 cup clam juice). Simmer to reduce, about 5 mins.
- Add the tomato sauce, Worcestershire, Maggi seasoning and hot sauce. Stir and simmer to reduce, about 5 more minutes.
- Taste the reduced sauce and adjust the seasonings as needed. Add the seasoned shrimp and cook for about 2 mins or until they are no longer translucent. Do not overcook or the shrimp will become tough.
- Remove from heat, squeeze a bit of lime juice over the dish, garnish with cilantro and lime wedges and serve.
*Dark Mexican lager is brewed in the tradition of Vienna lager. Not only does it balance the acidity of the tomato sauce in this dish but it also contributes beautiful roasty, malty notes and adds depth to the sauce.
**If you enjoy the texture and flavor chopped clams. Otherwise use a good quality clam juice to impart brininess to the sauce and boost the flavor base.
***You can substitute with soy sauce.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 343 Total Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 182mg Sodium: 3467mg Carbohydrates: 31g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 14g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 31g