Aguachile Recipe

  • 1 pound raw shrimp (peeled and deveined, tails removed)  ( or sub scallops- see notes)
  • 1–2 large limes
  • generous pinch salt
  • ——
  • ¼ of a red onion, very thinly sliced ( use a mandolin)
  • generous pinch salt
  • splash white vinegar ( optional, to brighten color)
  • water to cover
Aguachile Marinade:
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice ( 2–3 limes) ( see notes)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup cilantro ( half of a large bunch)  tender stems OK
  • 2 jalapeños, sliced in half legnthwise
  • 1 serano chili, sliced in half lengthwise ( optional for extra spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Optional garnishes:
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced Turkish or English cucumber
  • avocado slices
  • radish slices
  • drizzle olive oil
  • cilantro leaves
  • tortilla chips or mini tostadas

1. Slice the shrimp in half (lengthwise) and remove any veins or tails.  Place in a shallow serving dish in one layer if possible. Squeeze with enough lime to cover the shrimp- which will cook the shrimp, turning them slightly pink. Sprinkle with a little salt. Turn shrimp over as needed to cook both sides in the lime juice – this will take about 20 minutes.

2. Thinly slice the red onion, place it in a bowl and season generously with salt. Pour just enough water to cover the onions. Optional: Add a splash of white vinegar to enhance and bring out the red color of the onion.

3. Make the Aguachile Marinade: Place the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, for a full minute, scraping down sides as necessary. If you have excess lime juice marinating the shrimp you can use some of this in the blender to make your ½ cup.

4. Pour the aguachile marinade over the shrimp and toss to coat. Drain the onions and scatter them over top, mixing them in slightly. Add cucumber or radishes if you like. Refrigerate 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. This is best served cold!

5. When ready to serve, taste ( I like to taste on a tortilla chip) adjusting the salt. Add avocado sloes to the top, scatter with fresh cilantro over and an optional drizzle of olive oil.

6. Serve with tortilla chips or mini tostadas on the side.
Enjoy one of my favorite Mexican dishes!!!

Feel free to sub thinly sliced raw scallops for the shrimp! ( ¼ inch- inch thick)
TIP: Limes have different acidity levels. I always try to pick limes that are ripe ( less acidic) and slightly soft to the touch. Or I let them ripen for a few days on the counter before using. Before using roll them on the counter pressing down hard with your palm to get them even more juicy!
If raw shrimp makes you squeamish, feel free to try this with cooked frozen shrimp (thawed). It is not “real”authentic Aguachile -but it will give you an idea of the flavor and perhaps embolden you, the next time to use raw shrimp. 😉  Cut them in half the same way, as they are easier to eat and pile on a chip.
The acid in the lime truly cooks the shrimp and you can witness this,  with the color change.

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