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Shrimp Is The Flavorful Ingredient You Need To Bulk Up Your Salsa

Shrimp salsa in a rustic bowl
Shrimp salsa in a rustic bowl - Larisa Blinova/Shutterstock

The origins of salsa have been traced all the way back to the Aztecs' domestication of tomatoes, with the first documentation of Europeans encountering the sauce made by Spanish conquistadors in the 1500s. The traditional recipe included just four ingredients: chilis, tomatoes, squash, and beans. While the inclusion of chilis and tomatoes has remained relatively standard, modern variations on that original salsa are vast. If you're a culinary explorer, one that may pique your interest is shrimp salsa.

Shrimp salsa is bursting with the juicy flavors of ripe tomatoes, the smooth creaminess of avocado, tangy raw onions, wonderfully sharp lime, and the delicate, tender taste of shrimp. Visually, it might remind you of homemade shrimp ceviche, but shrimp salsa has one distinct difference -- the shrimp is precooked before it is added to the other ingredients. The result is a vibrant red salsa that is both filling and complex.

You can use precooked or raw shrimp in your shrimp salsa. However, if you're using the latter, make sure to peel and devein the sweet shellfish before delicately sautéing them. Depending on the size of the shrimp, you can chop them into bite-sized pieces or mix them whole with the rest of your salsa ingredients, and voilà, it's ready to go. When you make shrimp salsa, it's as easy as chop, mix, and serve.

Read more: 13 Tips To Make Your Shrimp Taste So Much Better

Flavor Pairings And Servings

Tostada with shrimp salsa and avocado
Tostada with shrimp salsa and avocado - Carlos Escamilla Molina/Shutterstock

This salsa can be taken in whatever flavor direction you prefer. Feel like it's missing some heat? Adding a couple of chopped jalapeños would provide that jolt. If you want to bulk up your shrimp salsa even more, including black beans will add fullness and fiber. Radishes can be added for a satisfying, spicy crunch, or fresh corn for a slightly sweet hint to the overall flavors. Salsas don't necessarily rely on strict recipes; if some flavors are stronger than others to your tastebuds, simply modify your salsa with another squeeze of lime, another pinch of salt, or the addition of a few more sweet tomatoes.

Serving shrimp salsa with tortilla chips is an excellent, if obvious, introduction to this version, but of course, the sweet, fresh condiment is extremely versatile. Shrimp salsa complements and elevates an array of other foods, including Mexican favorites such as tacos, tostadas, burritos, and nachos. Shrimp salsa is also delicious rolled into wraps. Its glorious freshness makes it an excellent salad topping. Shrimp salsa made with mango and avocado pairs brilliantly with fried or grilled fish or chicken.

A Bit About The Shrimp

Cooked shrimp in a bowl
Cooked shrimp in a bowl - Fotografiabasica/Getty Images

From spot to colossal, rock to tiger, and pink to brown, the varieties of shrimp available to the home cook are extensive. However, each type of shrimp has its own characteristics in terms of taste and texture, which you might want to keep in mind when choosing which kind to use in shrimp salsa. Salad shrimpare a popular choice for salsa, as this variety of pink shrimp is very small and has a mild, sweet flavor. Salad shrimp, like almost all shrimp varieties, can be purchased frozen and pre-cooked. You probably don't have to worry about cleaning frozen shrimp, as it's usually already done. Pre-cooked frozen shrimp can thawed and then safely tossed into your salsa.

White prawns would also work well in this salsa, as they have a wonderful tender texture, an appetizing pink hue once cooked, and a fresh, sweet flavor. All of these attributes will complement the other ingredients in your salsa. Available frozen or fresh, white shrimp only get better when you see how easy they are to peel, which makes preparing them for use easier and more convenient.

Shrimp brings an unexpected bite of protein and freshness to an otherwise typical bowl of salsa. The next time you want to whip up the popular treat for game day, snacking, or meal prep, including shrimp is a delicious way to add bulk and bright flavors.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.