Aguachile Rojo Recipe

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aguachile rojo recipe



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Aguachile rojo, a vibrant and spicy dish, is a delightful representation of Mexican coastal cuisine, particularly revered in the regions of Sinaloa and Nayarit. This dish, whose name translates to “chile water,” combines the freshness of seafood with the fiery punch of red chilies, creating a refreshing and bold flavor profile. Perfect for hot summer days, aguachile rojo is not just a meal but an experience, bringing together the simplicity of raw ingredients with the complexity of Mexican culinary traditions. Below is an authentic recipe to guide you through creating your own aguachile rojo, capturing the essence of the sea and the heat of the sun in every bite.


500g shrimp, peeled and deveined (you can also use other seafood like scallops or fish)
2 cups lime juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
3-4 red chilies (such as árbol or guajillo), deseeded and soaked in hot water
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 avocado, sliced (optional for garnishing)
Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnishing
Salt to taste


Prepare the Shrimp: Begin by slicing the shrimp in half lengthwise to ensure they are evenly marinated. If using fish, slice it into thin, bite-sized pieces.

Marinate the Shrimp: In a large bowl, combine the shrimp with half of the lime juice and a pinch of salt. Ensure the shrimp are well-coated. Let them marinate in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes. The acidity of the lime juice will “cook” the shrimp, turning them pink and opaque.

Make the Aguachile Sauce: While the shrimp are marinating, prepare the aguachile sauce. In a blender, combine the red chilies, the remaining lime juice, orange juice, and a pinch of salt.

Blend until the mixture is smooth.

Assemble the Dish: Remove the shrimp from the refrigerator and drain off the excess lime juice. Arrange the shrimp on a serving platter along with the sliced cucumber and red onion.

Pour the aguachile sauce over the shrimp, ensuring they are well-coated.

Garnish and Serve: Garnish the aguachile rojo with slices of avocado and fresh cilantro leaves.

Serve immediately with tostadas or crispy tortilla chips for dipping.

Tips for Perfect Aguachile Rojo:

Freshness is Key: The quality of aguachile rojo heavily relies on the freshness of the seafood.

Always opt for the freshest shrimp or fish you can find.

Adjust the Heat: The spiciness of the dish can be adjusted by varying the number of chilies used. For a milder version, remove the seeds and veins from the chilies before blending.

Serving Suggestions: Aguachile rojo is best enjoyed fresh. It’s a perfect starter for a summer gathering or can be served as a light main dish.

Aguachile rojo is more than just a recipe; it’s a celebration of Mexican coastal flavors, combining the freshness of the sea with the vibrancy of chilies. It’s a dish that invites experimentation, whether through the choice of seafood or the balance of heat and acidity. So, gather your ingredients, embrace the spirit of Mexican cuisine, and dive into the refreshing world of aguachile rojo.

As you delve into the preparation of aguachile rojo, you’ll discover that this dish is not only about tantalizing your taste buds but also about bringing people together. It’s a communal dish, often served in the center of the table, encouraging everyone to share and enjoy the experience. The vibrant colors and bold flavors make it not just a feast for the palate but for the eyes as well.

Experimenting with Aguachile Rojo:

The beauty of aguachile lies in its versatility. Here are a few variations to explore:

Seafood Variations: While shrimp is traditional, feel free to experiment with thinly sliced raw fish like snapper, sea bass, or even scallops. Each type of seafood offers a unique texture and flavor.

Fruit Twists: For a sweeter contrast to the spicy chilies, consider adding diced mango or pineapple. This addition can bring a delightful balance to the dish, playing off the traditional citrus notes.

Herb Infusions: While cilantro is the classic herb used in aguachile, don’t be afraid to incorporate other herbs such as mint or parsley for a different flavor profile.

Chili Options: The type of chili used can greatly alter the dish’s heat level and flavor.

Experimenting with different chilies, like habanero for more heat or chipotle for a smoky touch, can tailor the dish to your preference.

Aguachile Rojo: A Cultural Journey

The preparation and enjoyment of aguachile rojo are deeply rooted in Mexican culture, embodying the country’s coastal cuisine’s simplicity and richness. This dish tells a story of traditional cooking methods, where the natural flavors of the ingredients are highlighted and celebrated. Aguachile serves as a reminder of the importance of gathering around a meal, sharing stories, and enjoying the company of others.

Serving and Enjoyment Tips:

Pairings: Aguachile rojo pairs wonderfully with light, crisp beverages. A cold Mexican lager beer, a glass of white wine, or even a refreshing michelada can complement the dish’s spicy and acidic notes.

Occasions: Given its refreshing qualities, aguachile is perfect for summer parties, beach gatherings, or any occasion where light and vibrant food is desired. It’s a dish that’s bound to impress guests with its bold flavors and beautiful presentation.

Embracing aguachile rojo is not just about trying a new recipe; it’s about experiencing a piece of Mexican coastal life. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or venture into your own variations, aguachile rojo offers a delicious way to explore the rich culinary landscape of Mexico. So, as you prepare this dish, let the vibrant colors and bold flavors transport you to the sunny shores of the Mexican coast, where food is not just nourishment but a celebration of life and community.


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