Veracruz-Style Shrimp with Tortillas in Pumpkin Seed Sauce (Pipian)

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Talk about a stunning dish. Wow. Just wow.

We’re not going to lie…this dish does take some time to prepare. But, boy oh boy, is it worth it.  The Veracruz-style shrimp explodes with vibrant flavors, and of course, the lightly fried corn tortillas bathed in the sublime Pumpkin Seed Sauce all work together incredibly well.

Veracruz-Style Shrimp with Tortillas in Peanut Seed Sauce


The Mexican State of Veracruz is a beautiful blend of cultures running along the Gulf Coast. It has many cultural influences that are evidenced in their incredible cuisine. Seafood is a staple, and this dish captures the essence of this exciting and exotic locale.

We suggest making the pumpkin seed sauce (pipian) in advance.

In fact, you can make this glorious sauce up to 1 week before assembling the dish.

Pumpkin Seed (Pepita) Sauce

The sauce is traditional Veracruz and is comprised of tomatoes, olives, capers, raisins, and bay leaves.

You won’t believe the smell as it simmers on the stove.

Incredible, to say the least!

A veracruz sauce simmering in a large skillet.


You can cook the shrimp to however your favorite method is, from grilling to sauteing.

We think a quick sear in a hot, oiled skillet with some minced garlic, salt, and pepper is all that’s needed.

Once they are bright pink, they are ready to eat! Set them aside as the rest of the dish comes together.

Add garlic and salt to shrimp, then saute

In a separate skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.

Quickly toss the corn tortillas (one at a time) to soften them.

Lightly fry a corn tortilla in a little oil

Next, a quick coating in the pumpkin seed sauce will deliver so much flavor.

Be careful, the tortillas will be a little fragile after the quick-fry.

Carefully submerge the cooked tortillas in the pumpkin seed sauce

Make this on a weekend when you have some time, and you can enjoy the smells and the process of creating this incredible dish.
The Veracruz shrimp is also amazing over rice if you want to skip the pumpkin seed sauce.

Either way, make this, and you’ll feel as those you are treating yourself to a 3-star Mexican restaurant in the heart of beautiful Veracruz, Mexico.  150% Loon Approved!

Veracruz-Style Shrimp with Tortillas in Peanut Seed Sauce

Ready to impress? Make this incredible Veracruz-Style Shrimp with Tortillas and Peanut Seed Sauce!

And when you do, be sure to take a picture, post it to Instagram and tag @howtofeedaloon and hashtag: #howtofeedaloon!

Veracruz-Style Shrimp with Tortillas in Peanut Seed Sauce

Veracruz-Style Shrimp with Tortillas in Pumpkin Seed Sauce (Pipian)

Veracruz-Style Shrimp with Tortillas in Pumpkin Seed Sauce is truly a special and amazing dish. This is a classic Central Mexican dish. Start by making the Pumpkin Seed (Pepitas) Sauce, then make the Veracruz shrimp. Then assemble one of the most beautiful and delicious plates you'll ever see or eat. Recipe from one of the greatest Mexican cuisine chefs of all time, Ricardo Munoz Zurita. This recipe can be cut in half and still easily serve 4 to 6.
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Course: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Enchiladas, Shrimp
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 465kcal



  • 3 lbs tomatoes 9 or 10 medium, cored
  • cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup white onion finely chopped
  • tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • ¼ cup green olives pitted and quartered lengthwise
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 1 tbsp capers drained
  • 2 tsp oregano dried


  • Pumpkin Seed Pepitas Sauce (click for recipe)
  • 1/2 cup corn oil can also use vegetable oil
  • 16 corn tortillas yellow corn is good


  • 40 large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley chopped



  • Blanch tomatoes in 3 batches in a pot of boiling water for 10 seconds per batch.
  • Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of cold water.
  • Peel, seed, and finely chop tomatoes.
  • Heat oil in a deep 12 - 13 inch heavy skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking, then saute onion (without browning), stirring, 3 minutes.
  • Add garlic and saute, stirring, until garlic and onion are pale golden, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in tomatoes, sugar, salt and bay leaves and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is evaporated, 20 to 30 minutes.
  • While the sauce cooks, pre-heat oven to 200 F.
  • Add olives, raisins, capers, and oregano to sauce and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Transfer sauce to a baking dish, discarding bay leaves, and keep warm, covered, in the oven.


  • Transfer 2 cups hot Pumpkin Seed (Pepitas) Sauceto a bowl large enough to hold a tortilla. (a pie plate works well). Keep the remainder of sauce warm, covered, on the stovetop over low heat, or in the oven.
  • Heat oil in a 7 - 8 inch heavy skillet over medium heat, until hot but not smoking, then carefully pass tortillas 1 at a time though the oil with tongs to soften, about 2 seconds per side.
  • Blot both sides of tortilla with paper towels and place on a plate.
  • Flip stack so slightly cooler tortillas are on top.
  • Working with 1 tortilla at a time, dredge in pumpkin seed sauce (in the bowl) to coat both sides, then roll up like a cigar in a shallow baking pan, arranging tortillas side by side in pan as rolled.
  • Cover tortillas with foil and keep warm in oven.


  • Pat shrimp dry, then toss with garlic and salt.
  • Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking, then saute shrimp mixture, stirring and turning shrimp, until just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir the shrimp and parsley into Veracruz sauce.


  • Put 2 tortillas on each of 8 plates and spoon more pumpkin seed sauce over them.
  • Spoon shrimp mixture over tortillas and garnish with parsley. 


Calories: 465kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: -13g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 943mg | Potassium: 590mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1568IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 2mg
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