Mexican Aguachile

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Aguachile is a cold dish that is a perfect summer lunch for the upcoming hot days. It’s healthy and fresh, full of strong flavors and contrast textures.

Aguachile could be translated as “chile water” and it gives you a huge hint on the presentation of this recipe.

It’s lime marinated shrimp in a watery sauce of peppers/chile. It’s accompanied by cucumber, purple onions, and avocado. It resembles a lot a Peruvian shrimp ceviche but the technique -and of course flavor- is different. This is more refreshing and, in Mexico, aguachile is often consumed at the beach.

Chile Water

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How to make an authentic aguachile?

A great aguachile must be fresh and for that, it’s highly recommended to use the freshest shrimp that you can find. You can also use high quality frozen shrimp but it’s not my favorite option. If you use frozen shrimp, let it defrost completely. As soon as it’s defrosted, you need to start preparing the aguachile.

These shrimps will be soaked in lime juice to “cook” them with the acid. This is the same technique that is used when making ceviche.

Another thing that a good Mexican aguachile has is different textures like purple onions and cucumbers that give you a nice crunch in every bite.

The spicy factor is made of two types of chile/pepper: chile serrano and chile habanero.

The habanero pepper is one of the spiciest peppers out there so I will reduce the amount to 1 small habanero pepper —- or ½ regular size. Also, make sure to clean and deseed the pepper before using it. The spiciest part of a pepper/chile is in the seeds, so be careful. This habanero will be thinly cut into teeny tiny pieces.

On the other hand, serrano peppers have a gentle heat and for that reason, I will use 2 to create the emblematic “chile water”.

This is the most representative part of an authentic Mexican aguachile. It’s the golden liquid where all our ingredients will be submerged. It’s the core of the flavor.

To make this “water” you need to blend the lime juice, where previously we macerated the shrimp to “cook” them, with coriander, garlic, and the serrano peppers. This will create a green and watery sauce where the rest of the ingredients will be added.

5 from 1 vote
Mexican Aguachile
Prep Time
15 mins
Fridge time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
Aguachile is a cold dish that is a perfect summer lunch for the upcoming hot days. It’s healthy and fresh, full of strong flavors and contrast textures.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: mexican aguachile
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 463 kcal
  • 400 gr peeled and deveined shrimps
  • 6 limes
  • 1 purple onion
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 small habanero pepper
  • 2 serrano peppers
  • 1 handful coriander
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt
  1. Clean, peel and devein your shrimps.
  2. Squeeze the juice out of the limes and let the shrimps macerate in for 30 minutes to 1 hour inside the fridge.

  3. Strain the shrimps and reserve the lime juice. The shrimps will be used later.
  4. Blend the lime juice with the serrano peppers (cleaned and deseed), the coriander, and the garlic cloves.
  5. Cut the cucumber, the purple onions, and the avocado into thin slices. Also, cut the habanero pepper into teeny tiny pieces.
  6. Pour the lemon mixture in a big bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and serve.
Nutrition Facts
Mexican Aguachile
Amount Per Serving
Calories 463 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 4.2g26%
Carbohydrates 43.9g15%
Fiber 15g63%
Sugar 10.2g11%
Protein 41g82%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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