Culinary Cabo – Enjoy our Local Fish and Seafood
By Alex Navarro
Welcome to Los Cabos, you are in for a seafood feast! Cabo is the perfect place to eat seafood, so let me tell you a little bit about some of my favorite sea food dishes that you can find here.
Ceviche - Ceviche is considered a National heritage food in Perú and has its roots from Polynesia, and the southern Pacific coast of America. Ceviche can be made many different ways, but it is usually made from marinated fish and vegetables, but sometimes it can be made from shrimp or octopus, and even have mango in it. The fish is always marinated in lime to cook and can be diced in medium or small squares or sometimes ground. It is usually made with white fish, and one of the very special ceviches is made from Sierra (mackerel). The marinated fish is mixed with vegetables and spices like cilantro, parsley, red or white onion, tomatoes and cucumber, and it is served with corn tostadas or salted crackers. This is a very refreshing and revitalizing dish for a hot day. It is served chilled.
Fish burritos - Here in Baja and in northern Mexico we have what are said to be the best flour tortillas, so I highly recommend you trying some smoked marlin burritos. They are usually made with onion, tomato and bell peppers. These are a great option for any outing as they keep well and are easy to pack and carry. You can find burritos in many stands and little convenience stores all over Cabo.
Sashimi - Cabo is renowned for its amazing sushi restaurants. You will find the freshest options of sashimi which is raw fish served in thin slices or diced cubes accompanied by wasabi and soy sauce. Here, you will for sure find the very popular Hamachi (Yellowtail) and of course tuna and many other fish for sashimi. In Mexico there are a lot of sushi fusion dishes, so you will also encounter these great choices to choose from. Some have jalapeño peppers or other chiles and taste really good.
Fish and Shrimp Tacos- These are the all-time traditional food in Cabo. You can find them everywhere and in many different presentations. Some are on the grill, breaded or battered in special recipes and in flour or corn tortillas. Then you can add an almost limitless amount of salsas and veggies like tomatoes, grilled onions, avocado or guacamole, cabbage, etc. Always available at a good price and for sure a must this vacation.
Aguachile - This is a traditional dish of northern pacific Mexico, and is made from thinly sliced cooked or raw shrimp, marinated in lime juice and covered with hot chili peppers, sliced onions, cucumbers and salt. Aguachile is very popular with the locals of Los Cabos. It can be eaten with tostadas or crackers. It is served chilled.
Pescado Empapelado- This is one of my favorite dishes. A fish fillet or full headless fish is placed on top of aluminum paper and topped with onions, carrots, squash, epazote (wormseed), olive oil or butter, salt and pepper and queso asadero (ranch string cheese), and then sealed and cooked on a grill. This a super juicy way to cook a fish. I like to add lime when ready to eat, and then make some tacos with it.
Pescado Zarandeado - The fish typically is split in half from head to tail, leaving in the bones and skin. It is superficially cut a few times in diamond shapes on the meat side and marinated in a special sauce like BBQ sauce with salt, pepper and garlic. It is then grilled to a perfect outer crisp and usually served with a side of rice and vegetables. You will find this delicious and abundant dish on most seafood restaurant menus. The other top fish dishes you will find on such menus are Pescado a la Diabla, Pescado al Mojo de Ajo, and Pescado Empanizado, which are fish bathed in red chili sauce, fish fried with garlic, and breaded fish fillet.
Caldo de Camarón - This is a very traditional dish especially during Christmas season. It is spicy shrimp soup that is made with spicy shrimp broth filled with either cooked and peeled shrimp or dried shrimp. It is always served very hot (temperature wise) and completely filled with shrimp. Some people like me like to add a lot of lime juice before eating.
Coctel de Mariscos- Very similar to Ceviche is the very popular Coctel de Mariscos (seafood cocktail). It is made with a lot of seafood like diced fish, shrimp, octopus, clams, scallops,diced onion, cucumber, and placed in a tall thick glass with lime, clam and tomato juices and salt. People here love these on Sundays after partying a lot because they revive you. They are also usually served with tostadas and crackers. It is served chilled.
Filete de Pescado con Pure de Papa- Usually a plate served at fine dining restaurants. This dish is a must try if on the menu because we have some amazing tasting fish here in Baja that are perfect for this dish like Pez Gallo (Rooster Fish), Pargo (Snapper), Tuna, Cabrilla (Sea Bass), Dorado (Mahi Mahi), Pez Fuerte (Strong Fish), Botete (Puffer Fish), Huachinango (Red Snapper), Perico (Parrot Fish), Jurel (Yellowtail), Pez Espada (Sword Fish), etc. This dish is served with a side of smashed potatoes and veggies like carrots, broccoli and asparagus.
Camarones al Coco- Another fine dining experience, these are deep fried shrimp battered or breaded in coconut and accompanied by a spicy mango sauce to dip in. It was one of the dishes that made me fall in love with Cabo a long time ago.
And finally, and not to forget, and one of my favorite things about Los Cabos is eating fresh clams and oysters straight from the shell. Of course you can find these at most restaurants, but my favorite spot to get them are at the little stands under highway bridges or on the side of the road all over Cabo. I like Almejas (clams) and Ostiones (oysters) the most natural way by just adding lime and sea salt.I hope you enjoy your vacation very much and I am sure you will have some great meals while you are here. We have amazing ingredients here in Cabo, and we are blessed to be able to share this with our guests.