Every culture has their kebabs, from lamb kebabs in the Middle East, pork souvlaki in Greece, chicken yakitori in Japan, ground beef kebabs in Morocco, chicken pinchos in Spain, to beef heart anticuchos in Peru, you could travel around the world and be sustained on a kebab-only diet. What makes the Peruvian anticuchos unique is the marinade — a dark red blend of smoky aji panca, spices, vinegar, and lime juice that fills the air in the streets of Lima, where a line around the block is typical for the best anticucho street vendors.
To make this traditional Peruvian dish more accessible, this recipe uses shrimp instead of beef heart, and the shrimp is cooked in a skillet instead of over the grill. With a nod to Argentinian cooks, the shrimp is served with a chimichurri sauce made with parsley and other spices that complement the anticucho marinade. Make these Peruvian shrimp anticuchos at home and get ready for the line of friends and neighbors waiting to get their fix from the most popular kebab cook on the block.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE ANTICUCHO
- 16 shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 4 wood skewers, soaked overnight in water
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 lime, cut in quarters, for squeezing after serving
INGREDIENTS FOR THE ANTICUCHO MARINADE
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon aji panca
- 1/2 teaspoon each salt, pepper, cumin
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- juice of 1 lime
INGREDIENTS FOR THE CHIMICHURRI
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon each salt, pepper, oregano
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- juice of 1/2 lime
In addition to the ingredients above, you’ll need a sealed container for the marinade, skewers for the shrimp, a skillet, a blender to make the chimichurri sauce, and a ramekin.
- Combine all the ingredients for the anticucho marinade in a container
- Add the shrimp, seal the container, and refrigerate for 1 hour
- Combine all the ingredients for the chimichurri sauce in a blender and purée until smooth
- Transfer the chimichurri sauce to a ramekin and set aside
- Place the shrimp on the skewers, 4 shrimp per skewer
- Sauté the shrimp in skillet with cooking oil over medium to high heat, 1 minute per side
- Remove from heat and serve on a plate with chimichurri sauce in a ramekin
- Squeeze a quarter lime over each skewer, and use a spoon to scoop some chimichurri sauce over the shrimp
4 skewers, each with 4 shrimp.
Make sure the skillet you use is large enough to fit the skewers with the shrimp, otherwise sauté the shrimp without the skewers. For presentation, you can place the shrimp on the skewers after sautéing.