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C O O K a L O C A

This is a dish for serious seafood lovers, chilli and lime hard core fans only. It will literally make your lips puckered and sets your tongue on fire. Aguachile is made of raw shrimps cooked in lime, drenched in fiery green salsa made of ground Serrano chillies, cucumber, cilantro and more lime. This traditional dish is originated from Mazatlan, the state of Sinaloa (Northeast Mexico). In a way, it is similar to Ceviche (see my previous post), as it also involves cooking the seafood in the acidity of the lime. I guess it is the addition of the Serrano chillies that makes it unmistakably Mexican! Aguachile could also be made with baby octopus or other fine-textured seafood.
Aguachile is normally served in the coastal area. Prepared and “Cooked” a la minute by the fisherman boys who go along the shore selling fresh seafood from the boat. It takes around 10 minutes to marinate the shrimp to perfect “doneness”; exactly the time you have to gulp down your first glass of cold beer. Then you could have your aguachile with your fresh second glass of beer that is cold enough to wash down the fire in your mouth! What a perfect scenario for spending time at the beach in summer time. Though normally prepared as main meal, served with tostadas or crackers, however it also goes well as a light and refreshing starter.
M introduced this dish to us few nights ago. A fan of lime and chilli, this dish is one of his all time favourite. The taste really hit the spot of the Asian palate. We love it instantly. The spiciness of the Serrano chillies and the tartness of the lime stimulate your palate intensively and increase your appetite instantly.
This dish is very simple to make, but you have to take care that you have the freshest shrimp you could find. Clean them well and “butterfly” them, to ensure they are “cooked” in the middle part.
If you could not find Serrano chilli, substitute it with spicy green chilli.

Here is the recipe according to M (Gracias!)

Ingredients (serves 4 person as main course and 6 persons as starters )
1 kg shrimp, cleaned, peeled, deveined, butterflied and dried with kitchen towel
2 peeled small cucumber, sliced one thinly, and roughly chopped the other
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 table spoons chopped cilantro leaves
6 chile Serrano, sliced
2 cups lime juice (reserve 2 table spoon for the salsa)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Crackers to serve
Dried chilli Arbol to serve (optional)

Methods:

Put the prepared shrimps in a bowl and cover with the lime juice. Make sure that the lime juice covers the shrimps completely. If not turn the shrimps around every other minute.
Let it rest for ten minutes until it turns opaque.

For the salsa:

Pulse the chopped cucumber, Serrano chillies, cilantro and reserved lemon juice, for few seconds until smooth.
Check the seasoning and add salt to taste.

Serving:
Arrange the sliced cucumber on an individual plate/bowl, arrange the shrimps on the cucumber.
Spoon over the salsa, garnish with chopped cilantro, sliced red onions and a pinch of dried chilli Arbol if you wish.
Served with some crackers, tostadas or toasted crispy corn tortillas.

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9 Responses to “The Mexican Week Part 4 | Aguachile”

  1. mess

    beautifully fresh.

  2. Tangled Noodle

    The moment your page opened and the top photo appeared, I was hooked! (Pardon the fishing pun). I’ve had marinated raw seafood only once or twice at restaurants but I love the flavors! There is a Filipino version called ‘kinilaw’ that used coconut vinegar for the acidity. My hesitation to make it at home comes from the my concern about finding super-fresh fish. But between this and your Peruvian ceviche post, I think I should make the effort to find good quality seafood. My husband would love either of these!

  3. Mexico Cooks!

    I’ve been reading your excellent blog and think you should read mine, too. You’ll love it.

    It’s Mexico Cooks!, at http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com. Named #1 Food Blog in the World in November 2008 by the Times (London), Mexico Cooks! takes its readers on a weekly adventure to the best food, fiestas, and off-the-beaten-path locations in the country.

    If you’d care to add a link to Mexico Cooks! on cookaloca, I’d be delighted. Let me know if you do it, please!

    Cristina Potters
    Mexico Cooks!
    http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

  4. Rani

    I drool over this posting.. i wish I can buy a fresh shrimp in jakarta! will look for it this week. But there’s no Serrano chile here, gimana dong?

  5. lisaiscooking

    This looks really great, and the salsa looks delicious.

  6. sari tjio

    Hi Rani, I think you could use any spicy green chili you could find. (cabe hijau besar yang pedas bukan rawit). It’d work find!

    Lisa and Mess, the salsa is so fresh. Goes really well with the shrimp.

    Tangled, I really would like to try the Philipino version Kinilaw. What kind of seafood do you use normally? DO try the either the ceviche or the aguachile, they are both really tasty. Take care with the chili though ;)

    Hi Christina, welcome.. love your blog too. You really captured the richness of the Mexican culture in your blog! best blog according to the Times 2008? well done!

  7. Sherry

    Just came from Mexico and had this dish three times. We are hooked and plan on making it here at home in Indiana, USA Thanks!

  8. Rose

    I just tried this recipe and it turned out great. Next time I’m going to put salt and the red onions in the lime marinate. I think it might give it a different kick. Thanks for the recipe! It satisfied the craving. Tastes extra delicious with a cold cold beer. ;) <3

  9. Aguachile, Cluedo and Breakthrough Thinking! | #andyisaac

    [...] was recently in Mexico City on a business trip and had the opportunity to try aguachile for the very first time.  Its a simple dish that typically comprises of raw shrimp, chilli, [...]

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