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Serves 4

3 medium tomatoes, about 1 pound

2 jalapeño chilies


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Pinch of pimentón or chipotle chili powder

12 littleneck clams, scrubbed

1 pound mussels, scrubbed

8 large shrimp, shell-on

½ pound squid, sliced in thin rings

Juice of 2 limes, plus 4 lime wedges for serving

¼ pound cooked crabmeat

¼ cup finely chopped white onion

4 scallions, slivered

1 serrano chili, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro

1. Heat a stovetop grill or charcoal barbecue to high (or use broiler if desired). Place tomatoes and chilies on grill and allow to char, turning to black on all sides, about five minutes. Let cool to room temperature; do not peel. Chop tomatoes in quarters and place in jar of a blender. Cut stems off chilies, then cut them lengthwise. Remove seeds if desired. Add chilies to blender jar, along with ½ teaspoon salt, the pimentón and 1 cup water. Blend to a rough purée, then pour into a bowl and let cool. You should have about three cups.

2. Put the clams and 1 cup water into a wide skillet with lid. Set pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Cover and let cook until all clams have opened, about five minutes. Transfer clams and cooking juices to a large bowl and let cool. Repeat process with mussels, adding another 1 cup water to pan. Transfer to another bowl (separate from clams).

3. Put shrimp into the wide skillet and cover with well-salted water. Place pan over high heat and bring to a simmer, then cook one minute. Remove shrimp with slotted spoon and let cool. Add squid to the same pan with simmering water and let cook just until firm, about 30 seconds. Drain squid and let cool.

4. Pluck clams and mussels from their shells, reserving clam juice. Peel and devein shrimp and cut in half lengthwise.

5. Thin tomato sauce with ½ cup clam juice. (Save mussel juice for another use; refrigerate for up to two days, or freeze it.) Add lime juice and adjust seasoning. Ladle a little sauce into four wide glasses or bowls. Add clams, mussels, shrimp, squid and crab meat to each glass. Add chopped onion and scallion to each glass, then top with remaining sauce. Gently stir with a teaspoon to distribute ingredients. Chill well. Just before serving, garnish with sliced serrano chili and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

David Tanis, The New York Times

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