Instant Pot Achiote Fish and Shrimp

This easy Instant Pot seafood recipe infuses some classic flavors from Mexico’s Yucatan region. Here, flavors that are bold but not overly spicy win the day. 

In this Instant Pot Achiote Fish and Shrimp recipe, a favorite fruit is one of the stars of the dish. Naranja Agria, or sour orange lays the foundation for both the marinade for the seafood and the eventual sauce that covers the dish. 

Sour orange looks very much like a typical orange but with a puckered and pitted outer skin. The juice tastes like a combination of sweet orange juice paired with tart lime juice (which is exactly what you will use as a substitute if your grocery store does not stock this item).

The other prominent flavor is supplied by Achiote Paste. It comes in a block and looks like an enormous red bouillon cube. The red color comes from the ground seeds of the Achiote tree, called annatto. Additional spices including Mexican oregano, cinnamon, allspice, garlic and pepper are also often added to the recipe. Look for the achiote paste in your grocery stores ethnic food section.

The crown jewel of the dish is another staple in Yucatan cuisine, pickled red onions. They add a crunchy texture, a little bit of heat (from chile peppers), and a pop of flavor and color that brings the whole dish together. They are also very easy to make! If you do decide to try this dish, I highly recommend adding them to the recipe.

Instant Pot Achiote Fish

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Yield: 4

Instant Pot Achiote Fish and Shrimp

Instant Pot Sour Orange Fish Shrimp

Instant Pot Fish and Shrimp recipe with classic flavors from Mexico's Yucatan Region, Sour Orange and Achiote and spiced with Oregano, Cumin and Cinnamon.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 29 minutes


  • 1 lb (400g) White Fish filets (such as sea bass, grouper or red snapper) skinless and deboned
  • 6 - 8 Medium Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3/4 Cup (177ml) Sour Orange Juice (or 1/2 Cup (118ml) Orange Juice and 1/4 Cup (59ml) Lime Juice)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon (18.9) Achiote Paste
  • 4 Tablespoons (66.4g) Tomato Paste
  • 4 Teaspoons (22.16g) Tamarind Paste (or brown sugar)
  • 1/2 Large White Onion, finely chopped or grated
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 4 Tablespoons (59ml) Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon (4.2g) Oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon (4.2g) Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 Teaspoon (1g) Cayenne Pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon (1g) Cinnamon
  • 2 Cups (500g) Cooked Long Grain Rice, prepared as directed.
  • Cilantro and Pickled Red Onions as a garnish


Add the achiote paste and the sour orange juice to a blender or food processor and blend until they are fully combined.

Cut the fish filets in half and place in a bowl with the shrimp.

Pour the achiote/sour orange liquid over the fish and shrimp and refrigerate for 1 hour, tossing the seafood once after 30 minutes.

Remove the fish and return it to the refrigerator, set the marinade liquid aside.

Turn the Instant Pot onto "Sauté" and add the olive oil.

Once the Pot indicates that it is "Hot", add the onions and sauté for 3 minutes.

Add the Garlic and spices and sauté for another 2 minutes.

Add the tomato paste, tamarind concentrate and sour orange marinade to the Instant Pot. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, until the liquid has begun to thicken.

Add the fish and shrimp to the instant pot. Cover with a few sour orange slices.

Seal the pot and make sure that it is set to "Sealing."

Pressure cook on "Manual" (High) for 4 minutes. Release the pressure immediately.

Serve the fish over rice with some of the cooking sauce and garnish with fresh cilantro and Pickled red onions.

Serve right away.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 354Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 134mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 2gSugar: 9gProtein: 18g

The nutritional values for this recipe are estimates only.

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