Plantain Tamales in Spicy Shrimp Sauce

  • Serves

    serves 4-6


By SAVEUR Editors

Published on August 30, 2005

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


  • 2 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt
  • 13 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
  • 14 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • Leaves from 5 sprigs oregano, chopped
  • 12-1 tsp. cayenne
  • 6 plantain tamales, cut into 1" pieces
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 recipe pumpkin rice


Step 1

Put shrimp into a small bowl, season with 1 tsp. salt, and set aside to marinate at room temperature for 5–10 minutes.

Step 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.

Step 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. Serve with pumpkin rice.

Continue to Next Story

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.