Marco's Shrimp Aguachile

Aquachile (literally, "chile water") is similar to ceviche, but it gets poured over the raw seafood like a sauce and eaten right away instead of marinating for an hour or more. Use the best-quality, freshest seafood for this dish.

Recipe courtesy of Chuck's Week Off: Mexico
Show: Chuck's Week Off Episode: Mexico City
TOTAL TIME: 15 min
Prep: 10 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 5 min
YIELD: 4 servings


  • 1 teaspoon/5 ml kosher salt
  • 5 cactus leaves (nopales)
  • Aguachile
  • 8 choconostle, peeled
  • Juice of 4 limes
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and diced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 16 large shrimp, shelled, deveined and sliced in half lengthwise
    • Pomegranate seeds
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    Cook's Notes: Choconostle is a small, acidic and slightly sweet fruit shaped like a lychee. You can substitute with Asian pears, mango or honeydew. You can also skip it completely and add herbs like cilantro, chives and parsley.

    Cactus leaves tastes like cucumbers and lime. If you cannot find it, you can still serve the shrimp aguachile without the cactus leaves.

    For the grilled cactus leaves: Heat a cast-iron pan over high heat. Put the salt directly on the pan and grill the cactus leaves until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Dice 1 cactus leaf and reserve for garnish.

    For the aguachile: In a blender, blend the choconostle, lime juice, cucumber and chile to a coarse puree. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

    To assemble the dish, divide the cactus leaves among 4 plates. Lay the shrimp on the cactus leaves and top with the aguachile. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and diced grilled cactus leaves.

    Warning: Consumption of raw or undercooked shellfish may substantially increase the risk of foodborne illness.

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