Plantain Tamales in Spicy Shrimp Sauce

by0| PUBLISHED Aug 6, 2003 4:00 AM
Plantain Tamales in Spicy Shrimp Sauce

Bacanes perdidos, or lost tamales, is a delicious use for leftover plantain tamales. This dish is a specialty of Baracoa.

Yield: serves 4-6


  • 2 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt
  • <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>3</sub> cup annatto-infused oil
  • 8-10 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 8 scallions, trimmed, white and pale green parts only, finely chopped
  • 2 bunches chives, finely chopped
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 (14-oz.) cans unsweetened coconut milk
  • <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>4</sub> bunch cilantro, chopped
  • Leaves from 5 sprigs oregano, chopped
  • <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> - 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 6 plantain tamales, cut into 1" pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 recipe pumpkin rice


  1. Put shrimp into a small bowl, season with 1 tsp. salt, and set aside to marinate at room temperature for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 20 seconds. Add onions,scallions, and three-quarters of the chives and cook, stirring often, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and cook, stirring often, until sauce thickens slightly, 3-4 minutes.Add coconut milk, cilantro, oregano, and cayenne to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, 6-8 minutes.
  3. Add tamales and shrimp to sauce in skillet and season to taste with salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are cooked through, 5-6 minutes. Divide shrimp, tamales, and sauce between 4-6 plates and garnish with the remaining chives.