Baja California Sur might be best known for its laid back charm and abundance of natural
beauty. But anyone considering a visit to this scenic stretch of Mexico will also be
in for a treat discovering the local food.
As is the case throughout the country, cuisine varies quite a bit by region. Baja California Sur is no exception. The area takes full advantage of its abundant locally grown produce and fresh-caught seafood. Interestingly, rather than the ubiquitous corn tortilla used throughout Mexico, scratch-made flour tortillas are the tortilla of choice here. But no matter which way your palate leans, you won’t have trouble sating your appetite and discovering local variations on your favourites in Baja California Sur.
From hole-in-the-wall taco joints to fine dining establishments, there are options to suit
a range of different cravings and budgets. Take your pick of everything from perfectly crispy fish tacos to home-baked bread and pastries. And of course, seafood straight from the surrounding waters is a menu staple whether you’re at a beachside cantina or high-end eatery.
Any mention of the region’s seafood would not be complete without highlighting the famous
chocolata clams. Named for the rich cocoa colour of their shells, these clams are hard to find anywhere else. Chefs prepare them in a variety of ways and you can find them on most menus, especially in Loreto. Some are cooked simply with butter and garlic, while others might feature white wine, cheese and even ham. No two places seem to prepare the clams in the same way. A great excuse to try this mouth-watering dish at several different spots!
Other dishes popular in Baja include machaca, spiced and dehydrated beef that’s shredded, pounded until tender and then used in burritos or as a breakfast dish scrambled with eggs and served with tortillas. You’re also likely to find plenty of ceviche, local lobster prepared in butter, shrimp tostadas and of course, Baja fish tacos.
Many people come to Baja California Sur for the stunning scenery and wide range of outdoor activities. But most discover that the region’s fresh, locally sourced food is as much a draw too.
Bring Baja California Sur’s local flavours to your table
Whether you’re looking to whet your appetite for a trip to Baja California Sur or you’re looking to re-capture the magic afterwards, try these two recipes in your own kitchen to bring a bit of Baja California Sur to your table.
Recipe: Grilled Octopus
- 1 octopus (500g)
For the marinade:
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 garlic glove, minced
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp clarified butter
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp dried coriander leaves (cilantro)
- pepper to taste
Ingredients for plating:
- Mexican pickled serrano peppers
- 1 pearl onion, thinly sliced in rings
- radish, thinly sliced
- cherry tomatoes
- edible roses
- Boil the octopus for 50 minutes, then transfer into a bowl with cold water and ice.
- Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl, mix well.
- Marinate the cooked octopus for a minimum of 2 hours.
- Place the octopus on the grill, re-dipping into the marinade every couple of minutes so that it does not dry out. Grill for a few minutes until it has a nice char.
- Slice and plate your octopus. Decorate with the pickled serrano peppers, pearl onion rings, radish, cherry tomatoes and edible roses.
This dish is usually accompanied with sweet potato puree, a touch of honey, star anise, and pitaya (the emblematic dragon fruit of Baja California Sur) sauce.
Recipe: Zarandeado Fish
- 1 kg whole snapper or red snapper
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lemon
For the marinade:
- 100 g mayonnaise
- 50 g mustard
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 3 tsps Huichol hot sauce
- 1 tbsp melted garlic butter
- Cut the fish butterfly style, squeeze over the lemon and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl or a sealable bag. Place the fish in the marinade and let sit for at least one hour.
- Grill the fish in a grill basket over low heat, around 15 minutes on each side, depending on how hot your grill gets. The fish is ready when a fork or wooden toothpick is easy to slide into the meatiest part of the fish.
- Serve piping hot straight from the grill with your favourite sides.
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