Published in the Pacific Pearl Sep-Oct 2019 issue
Nowadays every serious food enthusiast talks about food pairing: white wine needs to be served with fish, red wine with beef and of course a dark beer with German sausage. But how does this work in Mexico, where lagers and tequila rule? And having a beer with your meal is common, but usually it’s not paired with a typical kind of food. It’s a whole different story for another indispensable component of a Mexican meal: the salsas. Here are some recipes how to spice it up like a local!
Getting your Vitamin Sea in Mazatlan isn’t hard at all. Seafood restaurants or ‘marisquerias’ are abundant, because of the fresh fish and shrimp arriving to port. They’re a great way to explore the delicious diversity of lunch options. Yes that’s right: seafood restaurants are traditionally only open for lunch from noon until 5 pm. A must-try is ‘Aguachile’; a spicy ceviche which combines fresh shrimp and local chilis. You can add less chili if you want.
First peel the shrimps and open them lengthwise so they look like butterflies. Then place the shrimp in a deep flat dish, together with the onion and cucumber.
Blend the garlic, lime juice, two types of chili, pepper and salt and pour the mix over the shrimp. The mix should cover the shrimp completely. Cover and marinate for a least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
You have to move the shrimp every 15 minutes so the flavor penetrates well. Before serving add some iced water and soy sauce, to make the taste less acid.
The smell of grilled beef is recognizable from several blocks away and stirs up your evening appetite. Mazatlan is bursting with street-side taquerias, but be aware that they only open after 6 pm. Wait for your ‘tacos de carne asada’ (grilled beef tacos) while munching on a cucumber or radish slice smothered with liquid guacamole. This isn’t the guacamole you might know: chunky with onion, tomato and cilantro. Taquerias in Sinaloa blend the avocado with water and some salt, making an easy topping. Another favorite salsa is ‘Salsa tatemada’ or fiery red salsa: charred tomato, chili, garlic and onion blended with chunks of avocado
Buen Provecho! (Enjoy your meal!)
Maaike Hoekstra has lived in Mexico for over 15 years. She is passionate about Mexican culture and food. Here are the stories and recipes she finds along the way.