Today, Mexican cuisine is extremely famous due to the delicious dishes with unique ingredients. The blend of various spices offers a myriad of flavors, both sweet and sour. However, most people are only familiar with popular Mexican dishes, such as Tacos or Quesadilla. But, several other Mexican dishes are unknown to the world and have excellent taste and consistency. One such dish is the mighty Mexican Aguachile Rojo.
Aguachile Rojo is just the right dish for spicy food lovers. It’s rich in chilies, sauces, and pairs exceptionally well with seafood. So, if you’re curious about it, then read on to know more about its origin, curiosities, and the best recipe to prepare Aguachile Rojo!
Aguachile Rojo Mexico (Origin and Curiosities)
The Aguachile is a type of dish originating from Mexico. It’s available in various types, such as Aguachile Verde, Aguachile Rojo, Aguachile Negro, and many more. So, before I talk about the origin of Aguachile Rojo, it is imperative to know about the history and origin of Aguachile.
Aguachile originated from the Sinaloa state of Mexico. Initially, it was simply a type of ancient method to season and soften the meat. Hence, the natives added the meat into a bowl containing boiling water and chilies.
Soon enough, this method of cooking turned into a marinade. The Mexicans used Aguachile marinade, consisting of hot water and chilies, to add more flavor to the seafood.
Today, the Aguachile marinade is available in different types. One of the most popular Aguachile recipes is the Aguachile Rojo.
The Aguachile Rojo is a unique sauce consisting of red chili peppers, Habanero red sauce or Huichol salsa, and tomatoes (sometimes). It’s added to various seafood items such as shrimp, tuna, and fish.
Aguachile Rojo sauce might have its origins in the Nayar mountains. It is because the natives from the Nayar mountains, also known as the Cora people, live in the Nayarit state. Now, the Nayarit state is located on the same belt as the Sinaloa region.
So, the proximity might be the reason why the Cora people got introduced to the Aguachile recipe from Sinaloa. But then, they added their own unique twist to it and made a new version of the original Aguachile, known as the Aguachile Rojo!
Aguachile Rojo Vs Aguachile Estilo Sinaloa
Both Aguachile Rojo and Aguachile Estilo Sinaloa are different varieties of Aguachile. So, even though the base ingredients and cooking method are pretty similar, there are some differences here.
Let’s dive into each one of them:
There are some common ingredients between Aguachile Rojo and Aguachile Estilo Sinaloa, such as shrimps, red onions, cucumbers, avocados, and lime juice.
However, as Aguachile Rojo is Red Aguachile, you may find other ingredients such as serrano peppers, jalapeno peppers, and habanero present in this dish. This increases the heat of the dish and makes it spicier than Aguachile Estilo Sinaloa.
On the other hand, Aguachile Estilo Sinaloa consists of Chiltepin peppers. Now, did you know that some food enthusiasts even think that Chiltepin peppers are hotter and spicier than Habanero too?
You may find a few differences in the flavor profile of both dishes. For instance, as Aguachile Rojo contains various peppers, it might be spicier than Aguachile Estilo Sinaloa.
Moreover, Aguachile Rojo may also have a slightly tangy and sour taste due to the presence of jalapenos.
On the other hand, the chiltepin peppers add a slightly smoky taste to the Aguachile Estilo Sinaloa, along with extra heat.
As the name suggests, Aguachile Rojo, also known as the Red Aguachile, has a deep red color due to various chilies, tomatoes, and sauces.
However, Aguachile Estilo Sinaloa doesn’t contain any additional sauces, chilies, and tomatoes. So, it has a slightly greenish shade due to the presence of cucumbers and Chiltepin peppers.
Even though both the recipes are a type of Aguachile, their origins are different.
The traditional Aguachile Estilo Sinaloa has originated from the Sinaloa region of Mexico. Alternatively, as I mentioned above, Aguachile Rojo has its roots in the Nayarit state.
Aguachile Rojo Recipe
If you follow the following steps, Red Aguachile or Aguachile Rojo is an easy dish to cook and prepare. Here is our favorite method for preparing it:
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 1 dish
- 12 limes
- 4 red Fresno peppers
- 16 shrimps, preferably large
- 2 to 3 Habanero peppers,
- 1/2 cup of sliced red onion
- 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
- 1 cup of sliced cucumber
- Remove the stems from both the red Fresno peppers and the Habanero peppers.
- Use a small sharp knife to peel and clean the shrimps properly, then wash them with cold water. Then, pat them dry gently with a paper towel.
- Juice 8 limes and cover the shrimps with that juice, and let it rest for 15 minutes.
- Juice the other 4 limes. Then, put the juice, habaneros peppers, red Fresno peppers, salt, and some grapeseed oil in a blender. Keep blending until you get the perfect texture. Don’t forget to taste the mixture and check the saltiness.
- Cover the shrimps with the blended mixture and sprinkle some pepper, then mix everything together.
- Add the chopped cilantro, onions, cucumber on top and let it rest for 15 minutes more.
- Your dish is finally ready to serve with some tostadas.
Additional Tips to Make The Best Aguachile Rojo
Use Large Shrimps
The larger the shrimps, the better your dish will be. This is because large shrimps have better marination, and hence, they are full of taste and flavor.
You can also easily cut them all the way through to the backside in a butterfly shape. This will help the shrimps lay flat during the marination process and pick more flavor.
Use High-Quality Shrimps
It is crucial to your health to buy high-quality shrimps to avoid any foodborne sickness. Make sure you freeze the shrimps before using them to kill all the bacteria and make it safer to eat.
Thaw Your Shrimps
You will need to thaw your frozen shrimps before preparing the recipe. You can thaw them out in the fridge and prepare your recipe within 12 hours.
However, you can boil the shrimp before preparing the recipe to kill any bacteria if you are scared of eating raw food. Although the original recipe has raw shrimps, boiled shrimps will also be delicious.
Mix Different Kinds of Peppers
Different kinds of peppers go along very well with this dish, so why not mix them all? The best peppers to use are Habanero peppers and Fresno peppers. However, you can also mix Jalapenos and Serrano if you prefer.
This blend will make the difference in this dish. You can add different amounts to get the level of spiciness that you want.
Add Vegetables and Fruits
A lot of people add tomatillo and other basic vegetables in the blender to get their preferred taste. Moreover, some chefs even put pieces of mango on top of the dish when they serve it. They say that this fantastic mix of spiciness and sweetness is something that you should experience!
Let Your Dish Rest
Letting your dish rest before serving is essential to get the best flavor. You should let it rest and cool down in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. That time will help the shrimps be better marinated and absorb more flavor.
However, you should not let it rest for too long. For example, if you are using raw shrimp, then 30 to 40 minutes will be perfect.
Aguachile Rojo Con Chile Chiltepin Recipe
If you’re a fan of Chiltepin peppers, then you can try preparing Aguachile Rojo with Chiltepin peppers.
This recipe is different from the traditional recipe of Aguachile Rojo, as it contains Chiltepin pepper. So, if you want a distinct smoky flavor with a spicy taste, try out Aguachile Rojo Con Chile Chiltepín!
Given below is the most straightforward recipe for it
- Chiltepin chili (as per taste)
- 1 cucumber
- 1 red onion
- 1 avocado
- Lemon (as per taste)
- Sea salt
- 16 large shrimps, peeled and cleaned
- Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- Jugo seasoning sauce (optional)
- First, simply add the Chiltepin chili and salt to a blender and grind them.
- Take a bowl and add the shrimp into it. Squeeze lemon into the shrimps as per your requirements and let them rest for 15 minutes.
- Then, you need to add the chili-salt mixture to the shrimps.
- Mix everything together such that the ingredients are well-incorporated.
- Then, add cucumber and onion.
- In this step, you can add different sauces of your choice, such as Worcestershire sauce and even Jugo seasoning.
- Finally, add avocado to the top.
- Let the Aguachile marinade chill for around 15 minutes.
- Once done, you can serve them with Tostadas!
Hence, this way, you can prepare Aguachile Rojo Con Chile Chiltepin right at home.
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