Mexican Shrimp Ball Soup

Shrimp Ball Soup in Pot*snicker*

Sorry. I know it’s juvenile, but I can’t help it. Every time I think “Shrimp Ball Soup” I can’t help thinking “I didn’t know the little guys had those.”

Forgive me, I’ll try to restrain myself.


Teacher decided to make Shrimp Ball Soup *snicker* Sorry. to go along with our Pineapple Margaritas.

The whole time Teacher was cooking I bit my tongue so I wouldn’t say anything inappropriate about shrimp balls *snicker* in front of the boys, thus ensuring that we’d be subjected to never-ending comments and wise-cracks about shrimp balls.

Luckily the soup was fairly quick and easy to make. Quick and easy – my cooking mantra!

To be honest, I expected the broth to be fishy or “shrimpy” – like that “off” scent that sometimes wafts towards you from the grocery store seafood counter, but it wasn’t at all! It reminded me of a not-creamy lobster bisque; sweet and rich and “seafood-y” but not overly so. The shrimp balls were tender and flavorful; lighter than any crab cake or meatball I’ve ever had, but not too soft or mushy. Just thinking about it makes me want some!


Shrimp-Ball Soup by Rick Bayless

The recipe is from another Rick Bayless cookbook, Authentic Mexican, and is officially called “Shrimp-Ball Soup with Roasted Pepper and Tomato”.

One of the best things about Rick’s cookbooks is extra commentary surrounding each recipe: rich background information, engaging stories, tips and tricks, traditional and modern variations, etc. I think Authentic Mexican offers the best “extra” commentary – it’s almost more of a novel about Mexico’s culinary traditions with some great recipes thrown in than a cookbook. According to Rick, this recipe is a combination of several recipes found in various Spanish publications.

Shrimp Ball Soup – Ingredients for 4 Servings

  • 8 oz shrimp, peeled, deveined and well chilled (so they won’t mush when you chop them)
  • 1/4 cup small onion, very finely chopped
  • 1/4 ripe tomato, cored, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano (we used Mexican oregano)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium fresh chile poblano, roasted, peeled, seeded, and sliced into thin 1″ long strips
  • 1/2 15oz can chopped tomatoes, well drained (we like Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes)
  • 4 1/2 cups fish broth (we found organic “seafood broth”)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1-2 limes, quartered

Shrimp Ball Soup – Directions in My Own Words

For the official directions and commentary, buy the book!

  1. Set aside 4 shrimp as garnish; refrigerate until step 3. Finely chop the rest of the peeled and deveined shrimp, either by hand or in a food processor. They should be the consistency of a coarse paste. Place in mixing bowl and add chopped onion, tomato, egg yolk, flour, oregano and salt. Mix thoroughly; cover and refrigerate until step 3.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Fry the sliced onion until just brown – about 7 minutes. Add the chile strips and canned tomato, and fry for 3-4 more minutes. Stir in the broth, bring to boil, then cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add salt.
  3. About 15 minutes before serving, poach the set-aside shrimp in the simmering broth. Drop in rounded tablespoons of the chopped shrimp mixture and simmer 8-10 minutes. Then remove from heat.
  4. Ladle into bowls, garnishing each with a whole shrimp and chopped cilantro. Serve with lime wedges on the side, to be squeezed into the soup just before eating.

Shrimp Ball Soup in BowlEnjoy!

Amy Sue

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Shredded Venison Flautas

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