Camarones Guisados (Stewed Shrimp)

Camarones guisados (Stewed shrimp)

Visitors who come to the Dominican Republic, especially those who come for a ‘holiday in the sun’ often arrive equipped with little background information about the country, its history and its culture.

North Americans and Europeans, who make up the majority of these tourists, will have had exposure to Mexican cooking as their only example of Latin American cuisine. For this reason they may assume that the food they will encounter in the DR will be similar to Mexican.

Camarones guisados (Stewed shrimp)

The main important difference is that Dominicans do not accompany their meals with flour or maize tortillas. This legacy of indigenous culture survives strongly in Mexico and Central America, but not in the Dominican Republic, probably because the indigenous inhabitants of the island of Hispaniola were wiped out by the Spanish before the middle of the 16th century. Some indigenous foods survive in Dominican cuisine, most notably casabe (cassava bread), but though popular, this is not a daily staple by any means.

Camarones guisados (Stewed shrimp)

Another characteristic that separates Mexican and Dominican eating habits is that Dominicans in general do not like spicy food. Some of my friends here have acquired a taste for it, and do enjoy spicy dishes from India and Mexico, but it is not traditional to Dominican cooking. For those who can’t live without the ‘kick’ of spicy food, restaurants will usually provide you with a bottle of hot sauce on request. Possibly the only spicy Dominican dishes are ‘chivo picante‘ – spicy goat, the typical dish of the northwest and sold at the roadside of Autopista Duarte and ‘rabo encedido‘ – an oxtail stew.

Camarones guisados (Stewed shrimp)

Avocadoes when in season are very popular here, as in Mexico, but unlike the Mexican guacamole they are eaten in chunks, not mashed and seasoned. They are usually served to accompany the main meal of rice, beans and meat, or asancocho or an asopao.

Adding salt and lemon to everything in sight, including your beer, is not customary here! Doing so will get you some inquisitive looks and an unwanted reputation.

Camarones guisados (Stewed shrimp)

The only countries in the region which shares many of the dishes and customs of Dominican cooking are neighbouring islands of Puerto Rico and Cuba. The rest of Latin America share one or two dishes with the Dominican cuisines but are called differently.

So visitors who come here expecting tortillas and guacamole may expect some surprises, but it is guaranteed that none of them will be unpleasant.

Aunt Ilana
Camarones Guisados Recipe (Stewed Shrimp)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Very easy to make, it calls for few ingredients, Camarones Guisados (Stewed Shrimp) this is one of our favorite recipes.
Serves: 6 servings
  • 2 lbs of shrimps, peeled and deveined
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into small pieces
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 4 plum tomatoes cut into cubes or 1 doz cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  1. In a saucepan heat the oil over low heat.
  2. Cook and stir the tomatoes, peppers, and garlic for a minute.
  3. Add tomato sauce and ½ cup of water.
  4. Simmer over low heat until all the vegetables are cooked through.
  5. Add the shrimp and simmer until the shrimp turn bright pink.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Alex May 2, 2014, 1:54 PM

    What kind of Tomato Sauce should be used here?

  • Samir November 6, 2013, 7:51 PM

    How about also putting some beer in it? My mom makes it like that sometimes too and it’s delicious. I’m trying to cook shrimp myself this weekend.

  • Amour August 27, 2012, 2:49 PM

    when is it really the right time to add the salt and how much of it..dosent work out for me when i add the salt at the end should i just add it after the sauce/paste

    • Aunt Clara August 27, 2012, 11:21 PM

      I never had any trouble adding salt at the end. It makes sure that it isn’t under or oversalted.

  • carly March 11, 2012, 12:04 PM

    Do you use green or black pitted olives for this dish?

    • Aunt Clara March 11, 2012, 12:14 PM

      Green olives, but you can also use whatever olives you have at hand.

  • Jeffrey March 10, 2012, 12:12 PM