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Aguachile is a pepper lime sauce (jalapeño pulverized with water and lime) tossed with butterflied shrimp. Topped with slices of avocado and red onion and served with crispy tostadas.
The thing I wanted the absolute most the minute I landed was aguachile. I knew that it was something that I’d probably find a lot of in Cabo.
What is Aguachile?
If you’re unfamiliar with what aquachile is, it’s simple. Think of it like a super spicy Mexican ceviche but with lime (vs. tomato). And most times the shrimp hasn’t marinated and “cooked” all the way through in the lime juice. The important thing when eating/making aguachile is that the shrimp you use must never have been frozen. We’re talking super fresh, sushi-grade shrimp.
This is easily found at a really good fish market. Even Whole Foods will have this. If you’re a little freaked out about this, then no worries. Simply boil the shrimp until pink and proceed with the marinade.
The term “aguachile” comes from when you mash the jalapeño and then add a bit of water to it.
How to Make Aguachile
- Pulverize the jalapeño. You can do this using a mortar and pestle OR a food processor.
- Add the lime juice, salt and water.
- Butterfly the shrimp, horizontally. You want the shrimp thinly sliced.
- Toss the shrimp with the aguachile.
- If you’re squemish about eating raw shrimp, you can transfer it to the fridge to marinate for about 30 minutes. This will allow the lime juice to “cook” the shrimp.
- Serve on a plate.
- Top with sliced avocado, thinly sliced red onion and peppers.
- Serve aguachile with tostadas and beer.
What is Served with Aguachile?
Serve with crispy tostadas and a cold beer. You can add the butterflied shrimp, along with the red onion, avocado and onion to a tostada.
If you’re in the mood for a quick summer meal, dis is it.
- 1 jalapeño, loosely chopped
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice, from about 4 limes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled thinly sliced
- 1/2 red onion, peeled thinly sliced
- To Make the Aguachile (water + pepper):
- To a mortar and pestle (alternatively you can use a food processor), add the jalapeño and twist and mash twist and mash. (If using a food processor, pulse until pulverized.) Sprinkle with salt and do it once again, pulverizing the jalapeño into a paste. Add 2 teaspoons of water and do it once more. This is aguachile!
- Pour into the lime juice mixture, add olive oil and a few pinches of salt. Adjust the salt to taste.
- Prep the shrimp by butterflying it. Slice it in half, horizontally. You want it super thin so it really gets marinated.
- To a bowl, add the shrimp, pour the lime juice mixture on top, tossing it until evenly coated. (If you’re sort of freaked out about eating raw shrimp, no worries; transfer the shrimp to the fridge to marinate and “cook” for 15 to 20 minutes, until no longer opaque).
- Immediately plate, arranging the shrimp how you like. Add the thinly sliced cucumber, avocado, sliced jalapeño, red onion and top with any leftover aguachile lime juice mixture. Serve with tostadas and beer
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
If you end up making this Aguachile, let me know on Instagram!
Looking for more Latin-inspired recipes? Here are some of my favorites: