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Posole with Shellfish

Posole with Shellfish

Here's an utterly unclassic variation -- but a damned delicious bowl of soup, rich with the sweet flavor of crabs. Serves 4

SKU 632-Recipe

  • 4 Serves


  • 1/2 pound posole
  • 2 1/2 pounds poblano chilies
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 12 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons masa harina
  • 12 live hard-shell crabs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound small shrimp, shelled
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 pound tomato, cut in large dice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves plus additional cilantro for garnish
  • 1 cup cooked rice


  1. The night before making the soup, cover the posole with water in a bowl. Soak overnight.
  2. Place the chilies over an open flame, and cook until charred on all sides. Place chilies in a paper bag, and let rest for 15 minutes. Peel the charred skin away, and cut away the seeds and membranes. Finely chop the remaining flesh of the chilies. Reserve.
  3. Pour the vegetable oil into a large, heavy pot over moderate heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until it starts to brown. Stir in the masa harina, and cook the mixture for 2 minutes. Whisk in 6 cups of hot water, making sure the masa harina is incorporated. Bring to a boil, add the crabs, and cover the pot. As soon as the crabs turn pink, add the cumin, the oregano, and half of the chopped green chilies (reserve the other half). Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 3 hours.
  4. Drain the posole, and add to the pot. Simmer for 2 hours more.
  5. One hour before serving, toss the shrimp with the coarse salt.
  6. When ready to serve, remove the crabs from the soup pot. Cut them in half, and squeeze the crab juice into the soup. Discard the crabs, reserving a few claws for garnish. Place a heavy pan over very high heat. After several minutes, toss the shrimp in the pan and cook until just pink. Add the reserved chopped chilies, the lime juice, tomato, and cilantro leaves to the soup pot. Taste for seasoning. Place 1/4 cup cooked rice in each of 4 soup bowls, fill with soup, and garnish with shrimp and cilantro. Serve immediately.