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Growing up near the Gulf, my mami loved getting shrimp from local shrimpers. One evening she surprised us with shrimp albóndigas, succulent meatballs swimming in a rich tomato broth. Served with warm corn tortillas, this dish is comfort at its best. I am excited to share my mami’s recipe—a bit of her love from my home to yours. Enjoy!
—Food Editor Vianney Rodriguez

1/2 pound Roma tomatoes
1/2 pound tomatillos
6 cups shrimp or vegetable broth, divided use
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 egg
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1–2 tablespoons masa harina (corn flour)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
3 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 cup rinsed and chopped cilantro
Rice, steamed (optional)
4 corn tortillas, for serving
Sliced radishes, for garnish
Cilantro, rinsed and chopped, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tomatoes and tomatillos on a baking sheet. Roast until skins have charred, turning occasionally, 10–13 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

2. Blend the cooled tomatoes and tomatillos in a blender or food processor with 1 cup broth until smooth. Set aside.

3. Pulse shrimp in cleaned food processor until finely ground.

4. Move ground shrimp to a bowl. Add egg, oregano and masa harina. Mix by hand until well combined.

5. Lightly oil clean hands and form shrimp mixture into 3/4-inch meatballs. Place meatballs on baking sheet and refrigerate to keep firm.

6. In a stock pot or Dutch oven, add olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery and carrots and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cumin and cook 30 seconds. Stir in tomato mixture and cook an additional 2 minutes.

7. Add remaining broth and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low and season with salt and pepper. Gently add meatballs to broth. Simmer without stirring 8–10 minutes. Stir in cilantro.

8. Serve over steamed rice or alone as a soup. Garnish with radishes and cilantro and serve with warm tortillas.

Serves 4.

June 2023 Recipe Contest