Many foreigners who come to Mexico are unaware of what aguachile is, and they tend to skip right past it on the menu – missing out on this hidden gem!
Aguachile is a Mexican dish made of raw shrimp submerged in lime juice and seasoned with chile peppers, salt, cilantro, cucumber, and slices of onion. It is typically served with avocado and eaten with tostadas. If you like shrimp ceviche, but prefer more of a kick, then aguachile is for you!
Aguachile originates from Mazatlán, Sinaloa, where aguachile is considered the unofficial state food. Interestingly, aguachile, by its meaning, has nothing to do with seafood. It literally means ‘chile water.’
Centuries before the Spanish conquest, indigenes of Sinaloa were known to transport their meat long distances, and they used salt to preserve the sun-dried meat. On their return, they would boil water with chiltepines chile pepper and submerge their dried salted meat in the water. With its spread to the Northern region came its reinvention, the recipe evolved into a tasty sauce used as a marinade for raw seafood, mainly shrimp.
Aguachile comes in variations, such as the Aguachile negro (black version and my personal favorite) prepared with soy sauce, and Aguachile rojo (red version) prepared with red chiles.
Most seafood restaurants in Mexico offer aguachile as one of their tasty appetizers. I personally order it as my entree because it is not only delicious, but healthy and low carb too.
My favorite restaurants in Puerto Vallarta to get Aguachile are Tuna Azul, located in the Romantic Zone, 1000 Caguamas, located in 5 de Diciembre, and El Payo, located in Bucerias just 40 minutes from Vallarta.
Aguachile is not for the faint of heart, but if you like spicy food, then I highly recommend trying it out at some of these amazing seafood spots in Puerto Vallarta!
Written by Ryan Donner
Source: Banderas News