Must-Try Dishes In Mazatlán, According To Chef Rick Martinez

You might know famed chef Rick Martinez from one of his Youtube shows, his podcast, or maybe you've picked up "Mi Cocina," his New York Times-bestselling cookbook that hit shelves last year. The cookbook celebrates Mexico's rich culinary traditions by walking you through foods from Mexico City and over 150 other cities across the country. Martinez talked with Tasting Table about the book, and we had to ask for his food recommendations in Mazatlán, the coastal town in Mexico where he resides with his dog Choco. What did he tell us you must try if you find yourself in the town? It's all about the shrimp, apparently.

In fact, Martinez told us that the shrimp found off the coast of Mazatlán are some of the best he's ever tasted. It makes sense because these shrimp are larger than other species. Known as wild Mexican shrimp, they taste less salty due to their low-salt environment. They're caught off the Pacific Coast of Mexico and are perfect for the wide variety of fresh spices used in Mexican cuisine because they absorb flavors well. Now we know why Martinez says two of the specific dishes you need to try from Mazatlán are aguachile and tacos gobernador — because they both use fresh shrimp.

Must-eat shrimp dishes in Mazatlán

In case you haven't heard of aguachile and tacos gobernador, we'll break them down for you, because we trust any food that Martinez says we should try. Aguachile is actually an ancient marinating method for seafood. It originated on the coast of Sinaloa, but now you'll find the dish across Mexico. These days, the traditional dish consists of fresh shrimp with herbs like cilantro, cucumber, chiles, and red onion marinated in lime juice. The acid of the lime juice cooks the raw shrimp, similar to ceviche. Sometimes there's also avocado and it's served with tostadas or tortilla chips.

When it comes to the delicious tacos gobernador (which translates to governor's tacos), shrimp is also the star of the dish. These tacos also originated in Sinaloa and are filled with shrimp sautéed in butter with onions and bell peppers. They're stuffed in corn tortillas with lots of Oaxaca or Chihuahua cheese, almost making the dish a cross between tacos and quesadillas. Traditionally, they're served with fresh lime wedges and a variety of salsas and hot sauces. Are you hungry yet? Don't worry if you can't travel to Mazatlán anytime soon, because Martinez has recipes for both of these dishes in his cookbook.