In the extensive Mexican seas in the two oceans and in the inland lakes and lagoons there are many species of fish, shellfish, molluscs and other fruits that allow for varied and delicious dishes, many of them with a charming exotic touch.

We invite you to get to know our selection with the best typical dishes of the Mexican coast, making a pleasant gastronomic journey along the coast of the entire country.


1. Fish in chumul

In the coastal area of ​​Chiapas, fish in chumul is called fish that is wrapped in a banana leaf and cooked underground, according to the traditional recipe, although modernity has led to other cooking methods. The most used variety is sea bass or sea bass, a fish highly appreciated for its high culinary value.

The fish is chopped into slices and these are seasoned with salt and pepper and placed on banana leaves. On each slice, put two slices of tomato, one of onion, a sprig of epazote, a clove of finely chopped garlic and a teaspoon of oil. It is then closed with the leaf and tied for steam cooking.

2. Turula toast

The people of Chiapas call tostadas turulas those they make with dried shrimp. Sun-drying shrimp considerably reduces their size but intensifies their flavor so much that, in Asian cuisine, they are used as a condiment.

It is a very simple recipe in which dried shrimp are available. The small crustaceans are mixed with a minced tomato, onion, serrano chili and cilantro, thinner slices of cucumber and lemon juice (4 fruits for 100 grams of shrimp). It is served on tortilla chips.

3. Macabyl pancakes

The macabil is a freshwater fish from Chiapas similar to the piranha, which weighs an average of 3 kilos. The recipe for macabil pancakes includes 1kg of fish pulp, one tomato, two jalapeños, three lemons, 100 grams of mayonnaise and vegetable oil.

Blend the chilies, tomato and onion and mix with the macabil pulp and mayonnaise until you have a uniform mass. Pancakes are made with the dough and fried in oil, trying to brown them on both sides. They put lemon and pico de gallo.


4. Dried fish tamale from the isthmus

The Isthmus region is one of the eight into which Oaxaca is administratively divided and is also called the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. It has a vigorous musical, festive, clothing and gastronomic culture.

In the cuisine of the Isthmus, the dried fish tamale stands out. It is a delicacy for which a stew in lard of rehydrated and shredded dried fish is used, plus toasted and ground pumpkin seeds, jalapeño peppers, tomato, onion and salt.

5. Stone broth

This Oaxacan dish is with fish and shrimp, but not from the sea, but from the river. The freshwater shrimp is not as esteemed as the marine one, although it allows excellent chupes, cocktails and ceviches to be made, especially in locations far from the sea.

The stone broth of Oaxaca is of pre-Hispanic origin and the recipe is a luxury. In a large jícara, add water, slices of tomato, onion and green chili, crushed garlic and holy herb leaves, plus shrimp and pieces of fish. The exotic cooking is done by dropping some red-hot stones inside the jícara.


6. Fish to size

Among the main typical dishes of the Mexican coast is the fish in size, which is iconic of Acapulco. It originated on the Barra Vieja beach, where the fishermen roasted the fish by threading it through the mouth on rods that they placed at the same height (size) as the embers.

The current preparation is with fish, especially red snapper, opened in a butterfly style and bathed in a marinade made with chilies (dried pulla, guajillo, pasilla and costeño), garlic, onion, marjoram, pepper, cumin, chopped chocolate and other ingredients. The piece is grilled on a double grid.

7. Octopus in love

Another classic from Acapulco and the coast of Guerrero is this octopus cocktail, called “enamorado” because of the aphrodisiac properties of the mollusk. As always when preparing octopus, before boiling it you have to “scare” it, that is, put it in boiling water for 5 seconds, repeating the operation four or five times.

Once boiled, it is cut into small cubes and mixed with a sauce prepared with mayonnaise, tomatoes and serrano peppers without seeds and cut into cubes, plus white onion, red onion and chopped cilantro. It is eaten with corn toast, seasoned with lemon and hot sauce.

8. Cuatete broth

It is a typical broth from the Costa Chica de Guerrero that receives the name of “rompecatres” for its aphrodisiac properties. This coastal viagra has as its main ingredients shrimp and cuatete (American catfish), a very popular catfish in North and Central America.

The hearty broth contains whole shrimp (unpeeled and with heads), as well as garlic, white onion, epazote, deveined guajillo chilies, salt and pepper to taste. It is thickened with corn dough and served with chopped purple onion and green chili and lemon slices.


9. Shrimp ceviche

The main coastal city of Michoacán is Lázaro Cárdenas and on its beaches they prepare tasty shrimp ceviches, empanadas and fish a la carte, a recipe they adopted from their neighbor Guerrero.

For the shrimp ceviche, just like for the fish ceviche, you have to make sure that it is fresh, since it is cooked with lemon juice and not with heat. Peeled, cleaned and diced shrimp should be marinated in plenty of citrus juice for at least 45 minutes.

10. Charal tamales

Lake Pátzcuaro is of great archaeological, historical and recreational importance in Michoacán, as well as a traditional source of food, especially for people with fewer resources.

A common dish in the Pátzcuaro area is charal tamales, prepared with this small fish that is almost exclusive to Mexican lakes. Another lacustrine delicacy, the famous white fish from Lake Pátzcuaro ( Chirostoma estor ), is no longer as common as before due to the decrease in its population.


11. Colima style ceviche

Mexico has 17 states with a maritime coastline and all of them have their own ceviche. Colima is the federal entity with the shortest coastline (142 km), but in Manzanillo, its great beach destination, and in other excellent beaches in the state, you can enjoy its exquisite cuisine.

The Colima-style ceviche is prepared with fish and shellfish and includes onion, chilies, and tomato, as is usual in this dish. Its particularity is that it is made with ground fish and has finely grated carrots.

12. Shrimp a la diabla Colima style

Diabla shrimp are popular throughout the Mexican coast and there are Nayarit, Guerrero, Sinaloa, Colima and Veracruz style recipes. Their common characteristic is the itching that makes chili peppers “see the devil”, especially the tree chili.

Although in Mexico it is customary to include two, three or four chiles in the recipe (mirasol, serrano, jalapeño, de arbol), many people in Colima prepare it only with the dried arbol, which provides enough heat to ensure a good view of the devil. .


13. Pregnant Fish and Shrimp

The name of these dishes is a deformation of “asado en vara”, which is the method used in cooking. Shrimp and fish are sold on their sticks in Puerto Vallarta and other Jalisco beaches. Fish sticks are made mainly with pieces of marlin and dogfish.

They are marinated in a dressing based on roasted tomato, garlic, onion, pasilla chili, spices and orange juice, and then roasted. Street vendors on the beaches carry their supplies of salt, lime, mayonnaise, and chili for the final sauce.

14. michi broth

Lake fish also have their place in the Mexican diet and michi broth is a traditional dish from the Jalisco city of Ocotlán, bordering Lake Chapala to the south. The Nahua word “michi” is equivalent to “fish”.

The michi broth is prepared with species caught in the lake (such as tilapia and catfish) with a dressing of chili peppers (serrano and chipotle), green tomato and tomato. The main vegetables added are pumpkin, potato and chayote.


15. Shaken Fish

The most representative dish of Nayarit coastal cuisine is the shaken fish, originally from the island of Mexcaltitán. The preferred species for the recipe is the red snapper, due to the flavor and softness of its meat.

The first thing is to make a paste by blending chiles (ancho and guajillo), onion, garlic, achiote, orange juice, salt, pepper and cumin. A few cross-sectional cuts are made to the whole and clean fish and it is spread abundantly with the paste. Finally, the piece is placed on the shaker (grid) and grilled.

16. Cockroach Shrimp

This dish may not be very appealing because of the name, but it is a delicious way to eat the delicate crustacean. It was invented on the Nayarit coast and is very popular throughout the Mexican Pacific coast.

Headless, shell-on shrimp are marinated in a mixture of lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Maggy sauce, garlic, and onion rings. Next, they are passed through flour and fried in hot oil until golden brown on both sides. They are accompanied with hot tortillas and red sauce.

17. Oyster soup

The oyster is a bivalve mollusc very similar to the oyster that grows excellently in Nayarit, especially in Boca de Camichín. It is a very versatile product in the kitchen, as it can be eaten fresh and used as the main ingredient in stews, vinaigrettes and other preparations.

The oyster soup is a Nayarita classic. A sauce is first prepared with olive oil, garlic, onion, parsley, vinegar and salt. Sufficient water is then added for the amount of oysters and, finally, the clean mollusks are put until it boils for several minutes, seasoned with salt and pepper.


18. Governor Tacos

This dish was made for the first time at the Los Arcos restaurant, Mazatlán, to entertain the governor of the state of Sinaloa, Francisco Labastida Ochoa, with a special creation by the chef.

The mixture of shrimp, machaca, cheese and other ingredients pleased the president so much that, when asking what the tacos were called and not finding an answer because it was an invention of the moment, he himself proposed the name Governor. They are now popular throughout Mexico.

19. Chiles stuffed with crab

Crab meat has a delicious flavor, is high in protein and has a very low proportion of fat. In addition, this crustacean, also called blue crab (although it turns red when cooked), is among the 10 fishery products with the highest volume of capture in Mexico.

A wonderful gastronomic combination of land and sea is what they do in Sinaloa by stuffing fresh poblano peppers with the tasty and delicate pulp of the crab. The preparation has tomato, onion, garlic and spices. The stuffed chilies are fried in oil or butter.

Baja California Sur

20. Stuffed Clams

Baja California Sur is the Mexican state with the longest coastline (2,131 km) and its Pacific and Sea of ​​Cortez coasts are home to countless marine species. One of the typical dishes of the South Californian coast is made with the chocolate clam, an appreciated mollusk from the Gulf of California that owes its name to its chocolate-like color.

The clams are removed from the shells and mixed with a minced serrano pepper, güero pepper, onion, tomato and cilantro, plus butter, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and lemon. The shells are stuffed, wrapped in aluminum foil and grilled over charcoal.

21. Lobster in butter

One of the culinary specialties of the South Californian coast is lobster and the state is the main producer of the red species, with an annual catch of more than 1,300 tons, part of which is exported to North America, Europe and Asia.

Another advantage of lobster fishing in Baja California is that the activity is totally artisanal, which does not harm the environment. In the restaurants of the cities and beaches of BCS, lobster in butter is a classic, accompanied by beans and rice.

Lower California

22. Puerto Nuevo style lobster

It is an iconic dish of Baja Californian culinary art invented by the wives of the fishermen of Puerto Nuevo, a coastal town located 25 km south of Rosarito. Currently more than 100,000 copies a year are served to residents of Baja California and tourists visiting the state.

The lobster is cut in half, cleaned, salted and fried in hot butter on both sides. It is sauced with a dressing based on golden chiles de arbol and is eaten with white rice, beans and tortillas.

23. Fish tacos

In the Baja Californian city of Ensenada you can get delicacies such as abalone chorizo, sea urchin tostadas, machaca with egg and shrimp cocktails, but the dish that symbolizes the town is fish tacos.

The tradition began in the 1960s, when a fisherman-cook named Zeferino Mancillas added an offering of tacos to his traditional menu of fried fish with sides. The success of the popular chef was to weather the fish in the tacos and sauce them with pico de gallo.

24. Green ceviche

This ceviche is prepared with green tomato, cilantro and serrano chili, ingredients that give the dish its characteristic greenish color. It is made with white fish, such as red snapper or grouper, marinated in lemon juice and salt and pepper, adding diced tomato and finely chopped chili and cilantro.

It is served on a base of lettuce strips, plus avocado slices and chopped green olives, which maintain the attractive and fresh greenness of the dish. The shrimp one is also amazing.


25. Loggerhead

In Sonora, Sinaloa and the Baja California Peninsula, an exotic loggerhead turtle soup is prepared. This turtle, also called loggerhead and big-headed, is a vulnerable species and given the danger it is in, the region’s creative cooks have found a surprising substitute for the recipe: the manta ray.

The cahuamanta or caguamanta is a delicious manta ray preparation that can also contain shrimp. It is made into soups and taco fillings and is popular in the Sonoran cities of Hermosillo and Ciudad Obregón, as well as in Mazatlán (Sinaloa), where the dish originated.

26. Pissed off

The cachoreada is a tortilla with a stew of crab, octopus, snail, the huge shrimp from the Gulf of California and callus de hacha, a mollusk also known as a fan shell that grows very well in the Sea of ​​Cortez.

In Hermosillo, the cachoreada de Mariscos El Lipe (Calle Olivares 71A, between Navarrete and Herrerías) is famous. This spectacular Sonoran dish has a spicy sauce dressing and lots of lemon. It is widely consumed during Lent and Easter.


27. Tampico style crab salad

In the Tamaulipas city of Tampico, on the border with Veracruz, they prepare a delicious crab salad, whose main ingredients, apart from the crab meat, are jalapeño pepper, tomato, onion, garlic, carrot, cilantro and parsley.

First the garlic and onion are fried in a mixture of butter and olive oil and then a mincemeat made with the other vegetables is added. Season with salt and pepper to taste and when the sauce is ready, add the crab pulp and cook for 10 more minutes. It is eaten with toast and lemon.

28. Tamaulipas Fish Tacos

For these Tamaulipas-style tacos, white fish fillets cut into strips are marinated in tequila, pepper, salt and a few drops of Tabasco sauce. The strips are then dipped first in a mixture of beaten egg and Dijon mustard and then in breadcrumbs or breadcrumbs and fried until crisp.

Apart, tomato, onion and serrano pepper are fried and a little tequila is added, waiting a few minutes for the alcohol to evaporate. Prepare a sauce in the blender with mayonnaise, heavy cream and chipotle chili and assemble the tacos, dressing with the two sauces.


29. Veracruz style fish

This recipe is one of the first to symbolize the gastronomic link between Spain and the New World. The Spaniards brought garlic, onion, oregano, olives, and capers on their ships, and the coasts of Veracruz were overflowing with snapper, grouper, and sea bass.

Other ingredients of the sauce provided by the natives were the xictomatl (which would later be called tomato) and the güero peppers. For the preparation, the fish fillets are browned in butter (taking care not to dry them out) and bathed in the delicious vegetable dressing.

30. Rice lying down

Another culinary emblem of the state of Veracruz, especially the city of Alvarado, is this rice with shellfish and other seafood that practically has to be “knocked down” (removed) from the stove at the right time so that it is just right.

There are no limitations on the sea creatures in the recipe, which are left to the cook’s decision. A very complete one can have shrimp, squid, octopus, clams and crab. The chefs at Alvarado prepare gigantic rice dishes on festive occasions.

31. Come back to life

Come back to life is a broth of crustaceans and molluscs that is prepared on the Mexican coast, especially during Christian Lent, and that has its particular signature in each region, although the main ingredients are shrimp (shelled and peeled), prawns , oysters, clams, octopus, crab, squid and snails.

The detail that makes Veracruz come back to life unique is a sea urchin broth that is added to the preparation and that, according to connoisseurs, is several times more powerful than Viagra, with the advantage of being completely natural. Revelers point out that it’s also great for hangovers.


32. Tabasco style snook

Tabasco gastronomy is one of the most exotic in Mexico and it highlights the presence of corn, native vegetables, seafood and wild animals from the jungle. They are great eaters of fish and shellfish, especially sea bass, mullet, mojarra, pompano, tenguayaca, shrimp and crab, without forgetting the alligator gar, the emblematic species of the state.

Tabasco-style sea bass is a delicacy in which clean fish is stuffed with octopus, shrimp and squid, bathed in their black ink. It is seasoned with a mixture of sour orange juice and salt and baked wrapped in aluminum foil.

33. Roasted alligator gar with amashito chili sauce

The alligator gar is a freshwater fish that likes to frequent marshes and coastal brackish waters, where it is often caught. Its main habitat is the Gulf of Mexico and it is the most representative species of Tabasco.

In this recipe, the alligator gar seasoned with salt and pepper is grilled over a wood fire. It is sauced with a dressing based on roasted and sliced ​​purple onion heads and roasted and ground amashito chilies, plus lemon and pepper.


34. Coconut Shrimp

Shrimp is one of the pillars of Campeche coastal cuisine and the tasty crustacean is prepared in various ways. One of them is the coconut, taking advantage of the coconut palms that grow on the coast. Its great companion is applesauce.

Although it is not known where the coconut shrimp recipe originated and it was probably not in Campeche, it has become one of the culinary symbols of the state. It is common to find the dish in Seybaplaya, Isla Aguada, Playa Bonita, Isla Arena, Playa Sebancuy and other great beaches in Campeche.

35. Campeche style pickled fish

Pickled fish, particularly pompano, is another of the delicious typical dishes of the Tabasco coast. The first thing to do is season some pompano fillets and seal them on both sides in a frying pan with hot oil.

For the marinade, fry the garlic and onion in a saucepan and add pickled güero chiles, red bell pepper in sticks, bay leaves and Tabasco pepper, oregano, cumin, cinnamon and cloves. Finally, orange and lemon juice, more vinegar and the fish fillets are added to finish cooking.


36. Tikinxic style fish

Along the 340 km of coastline of the state of Yucatan (facing the Gulf of Mexico) there are towns, cities and beach towns, such as Progreso de Castro, Puerto Chicxulub, San Crisanto, Puerto Chuburná and Chelem, where you can enjoy delicious seafood dishes. .

One of the flagship dishes of the state is Tikinxic fish, in which a whole piece is marinated in an achiote-based sauce and cooked in the typical Yucatan earthen oven, wrapped in banana leaves.

37. Yucatecan ceviche

Yucatan ceviches have the special charm that the lemons that grow on the peninsula give them, which are sweeter than those from other places. They are consumed as an appetizer, snack and main dish.

An even more original variant is ceviche al xtabentún, to which is added a shot of this pre-Hispanic Mayan liquor prepared with xtabentún flowers and honey. Try it in Progreso, Celestún, Ría Lagartos and other Yucatecan coastal towns.

38. Stuffed cheese

Although this Yucatan dish is made from terrestrial ingredients, it originated from a maritime accident. A Dutch ship ran aground off the Yucatan coast with a load of Edam cheeses and the locals invented this recipe that became famous throughout the state.

A cavity is opened in the cheese, which is filled with minced pork, raisins, boiled egg, capers, olives, sweet chili and spices, then covered and steamed. It is seasoned with kol (which is a white sauce based on corn flour) and red chili and tomato sauce.

Quintana Roo

39. Snail ceviche

For this recipe, which is classic in Quintana Roo, the raw meat of the mollusk is first hit with stones to soften it and then it is chopped into small pieces. Next, dice onion and tomato and mix with the snail in a bowl.

Next, chop and add green pepper and habanero pepper and add coriander leaves and oregano powder. Bathe the preparation with enough lemon juice and let it marinate for 45 minutes. Finally, season with salt and pepper, stirring well.

40. Dogfish empanadas

The dogfish is a marine species in its own right ( Galeorhinus galeus ) that can reach 2 meters in length and 45 kilos in weight and is also the name given to small sharks in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.

In Mexico, the dogfish bread prepared in Campeche and the dogfish empanadas from Quintana Roo and other coastal states are well known. To make the filling for the corn empanadas, the fish is parboiled, shredded and stewed with onion, garlic, tomato, chiles, epazote and spices.

Examples of recipes for typical coastal dishes

The typical Mexican gastronomy of the coast is headed by an infinity of ceviches (of fish, shellfish, snails and other salt and fresh water products), a great variety of grilled fish (fish in size, zarandeado fish, roasted pejelagarto) and good number of rice dishes, broths, stews and barbecues that use the wide assortment of crustaceans and molluscs that live in the seas of Mexico.

Here are some videos with typical recipes from the Mexican coast:

Sinaloa style shrimp ceviche:

Shaken fish, culinary symbol of Nayarit:

Arroz a la tumbada, a typical dish from Veracruz:

Which of these typical dishes of the Mexican coast is your favorite? Share the post with your friends on social networks so that they also know which are the most delicious dishes in each coastal state of Mexico.


See also:

  • Read our article about the 30 most delicious typical Mexican food dishes
  • Get to know the 15 best dishes of traditional Mexican cuisine that you must try
  • These are the 30 typical foods of Guadalajara that you have to try

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