Salt & Wind Travel

Aguachile Verde | Sinaloa Aguachile Shrimp

The trip to Tijuana was phenomenal: I stuffed myself with street food and it’s when I had my first aguachile recipe shrimp taste.

The group who headed to Baja California was a motley food crew with a food journalist, a few artisans, and a chef and we were in search of bold flavors and a good time. Because the regions of Baja California and nearby Sinaloa are known for authentic Mexican recipes that include raw fish and fresh seafood dishes, we ate lots of Mexican Shrimp cocktail and some aguachile recipe shrimp aka aguachile de camarón.

We started out at the Mariscos El Paisa street stand to get a taste of Sinaloa aguachile, a style of aguachile Verde that’s made by tossing shrimp in a chile water for a flavorful Mexican appetizer that has a vibrant green color.

Aguachile Recipe Shrimp

Why You’ll Love This Aguachile Recipe Shrimp?

Now, I’m not the master coctelero that these guys were, so by now means, is this their exact aguachile recipe shrimp. But, I recreated my favorite parts of the dish to make this shrimp aguachile recipe and it’s going to edge out ceviche for this summer’s go-to party snack.

Though tacos are top of mind when you think of archetypal Mexican street food, you’ll find tons of seafood dishes served by street vendors while traveling near the coast including specialties like this aguachile recipe shrimp. This raw seafood dish uber-popular because it’s tasty, easy to make, and can be served as a lighter main dish or as an appetizer.

But also it’s said to be a go-to for many a Sinaloan cuando está crudo or when they have a hangover. The more time we spend in Mexico, the earlier we find ourselves ordering aguachile recipe shrimp, though we have yet to test its validity as a hangover cure! We make this delicious aguachile recipe during the summertime when we want a chic but easy-to-make dish.

Recipe Ingredients

The ingredients you’ll need to make this aguachile recipe shrimp are: 

  • Uncooked, unpeeled shrimp (about 20)
  • Kosher salt
  • (3-inch) corn tortillas
  • Canola, grapeseed, or coconut oil
  • Freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • Fresh cilantro 
  • Serrano chiles
  • Cold Water
  • Red onion
  • Cucumbers
  • Avocado

How To Make This Recipe

Here are the main steps to make this aguachile recipe shrimp:

  • Prepare The Butterflied Shrimp: Use a sharp knife to split the 1 pound of peeled shrimp half lengthwise and discard any veins.
  • Salt The Shrimp: Scatter the salt over the shrimp then refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
  • Bake The Crispy Tostadas: Brush the tortillas with oil and bake until golden and crisp.
  • Make The Green Chile Sauce: Combine the serrano peppers, lime juice, water, and cilantro with a pinch of salt in a blender or food processor and blend until thoroughly blended. Toss the shrimp with marinade and return to refrigerator to sit a few more hours.
  • Serve The Aguachile: Stir in the cucumbers and then serve with tostadas and avocado.

What To Serve With This Recipe

You could simple serve this aguachile recipe shrimp with a classic margarita or cold beer and have a perfect appetizer. But here are some other recipes that will round it out for more of a meal:

Aguachile Verde

Frequently Asked Questions

At first glance, aguachile (pronounced “ah-gwah-chee-lay”) looks like ceviche, but there are a few key differences. Before we get into those, let’s talk about its origin. 

Aguachile is a raw marinated seafood dish that is said to originate in the western Mexican state of Sinaloa. Best known for the beach town, Mazatlán, Sinaloa has a unique position that means its coastline crosses from the Sea of Cortez into the Pacific Ocean. And that means that seafood is a major player in classic Sinaloa foods. 

There is a long-standing friendly food rivalry between Sinaloa and the neighboring state of Nayarit as to who has better seafood dishes. Both regions have seriously delicious classic recipes, but aguachile is among the most popular of the local recipes.

If you look up the definition of aguachile, you’ll often see it called a ceviche, which I get because, like most ceviches, it’s raw seafood that gets tossed with citrus juice. But, while most ceviche recipes let the seafood sit in the citrus so that it “cooks,” aguachile is served as soon as it’s assembled.

As the name suggests, aguachile (translating to “chili water”) is supposed to be spicy. Traditionally, this is made with teeny but very spicy chiltepin peppers, but they can be hard to find.

As we said above, the difference between the two dishes is mostly in the preparation and “cooking” time. While ceviche marinates for anywhere from a half hour to multiple hours, aguachile is tossed in the fiery chili water and served immediately. 

So long as the shrimp or seafood used is super fresh and from a reliable source and the cook preparing the dish follows proper HAACP standards, then, yes, it is safe to eat. The exception is for anyone with a compromised immune system, children, and older people, who are most susceptible to foodborne illnesses. We have never had an issue eating aguachile, but don’t eat it if you are in doubt. 

Mexican aguachile is served on a plate with tostadas or tortilla chips on the side, and you either dip the chips into the aguachile or pile it on the tostadas and eat i. Many people also add their favorite hot sauce — for seafood, we opt for Huichol or Valentina. Unlike a seafood tostada or ceviche that you might find stateside, aguachile doesn’t have mayo or any other creamy sauces. 

Okay, now it’s time to stock up on these Mexican pantry ingredients, then try your hand at baking this, and then share your creation with us by tagging @saltandwind and #swsociety on social

Aguachile Recipe Shrimp

{Aguachile Verde} Sinaloa-Style Aguachile Recipe Shrimp

On my last trip to Tijuana I stopped and tried every aguachile I came across and I recreated my favorite parts of the ones tried to make this {Aguachile Verde} Sinaloa-Style Chile Lime Marinated Shrimp recipe.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 158 kcal


For The Shrimp:

  • 1 pound uncooked, unpeeled shrimp (about 20)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For The Corn Tostadas:

  • 8 (3-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon canola, grapeseed, or coconut oil

For The Aguachile Marinade:

  • 1 cup freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves and stems
  • 2 serrano chiles ends trimmed and seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 red onion trimmed and sliced paper thin

For Serving:

  • 2 Japanese cucumbers trimmed and sliced paper thin
  • 1 medium firm-ripe avocado pitted and thinly sliced


  • Prepare The Butterflied Shrimp: Use a sharp knife to split the 1 pound of peeled shrimp half lengthwise and discard any veins. Transfer to a deep plate or shallow bowl, sprinkle all over with the 1 teaspoon salt, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for the first time for at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours.
  • Bake The Crispy Tostadas: Meanwhile, heat the oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Brush both sides of 8 to 12 tortillas with 1 tablespoon of the oil and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden and crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.
  • Make The Aguachile: Meanwhile, combine the 2 serrano chiles, 1 cup fresh lime juice, 1/2 cup water, and 1 bunch cilantro with a pinch of salt in a blender or food processor and blend until thoroughly blended. Toss the shrimp with chili-lime marinade and thee 1/2 thinly sliced onion and return to refrigerator for a second time for another 2 hours. Mix in the 2 thinly sliced cucumbers, season once more with salt and serve right away with tostadas and thinly sliced avocado.



Serving: 1servingCalories: 158kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 12gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 823mgPotassium: 460mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 386IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 70mgIron: 1mg
Keyword easy shrimp appetizer, mexican street food
Tried this recipe?Mention @saltandwind or tag #swsociety!

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