Aguachile with totopos and sangrita

Scallops, chilli, tomatoes and plenty of tequila whats not to love about Thomasina Miers Mexican aguachile? Serve with fried tortilla chunks (totopos) and a little sangrita
By Thomasina Miers
Aguachile with totopos and sangrita
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 1 hr marinade
  • Effort: easy


For the aguachile

  • 400 g scallops, preferably hand-dived
  • 4 limes, juiced or approx 200ml juice
  • 1 green chilli, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt
  • 2 1/2 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 1/2 large cucumber, or 1 small
  • 2 tbsp tequila, preferably good quality
  • 1 banana shallot, or 4 baby ones, finely chopped
  • 14 cherry tomatoes, quartered

To garnish

  • 1 avocado, diced
  • handful chervil, roughly chopped
  • handful coriander, roughy chopped

For the totopos

  • stale tortillas
  • vegetable oil, for frying

For the sangrita

  • 1 litres tomato juice
  • 2 oranges, juiced, or approx 200ml juice
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 50 ml grenadine
  • 25 ml tabasco
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp sea salt
  • tequila, to serve

Tips and Suggestions

The tequila gives aguachile an incredible flavour, so seek out a good bottle. You can decorate your glasses with salt; run a lime wedge along the rim to get it wet, then dip in a plate of salt to create an authentic salted rim.


For the aguachile

1. Clean the scallops by slicing off the tough muscles that run along one side and discarding the roe. Dice the seafood into 1cm cubes.

2. Pour the lime juice into an upright food blender, adding half the chilli, the fish sauce, salt, sugar and a 5cm chunk of the cucumber.

3. Blitz the whole lot, pour in the tequila and taste for seasoning. Depending on the heat of your chilli, you may want to add the rest to the blender, or even add another one. If you are using a Thai green chilli, half may be enough. You are looking for an extremely hot marinade though, albeit one that you can actually taste. Add more fish sauce, salt or sugar if you think it needs it.

4. Add the shallot to the mixture together with the cherry tomatoes and the scallops.

5. Cut the rest of the cucumber in half lengthways, scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon, cut into slices about ½ cm thick and add to the marinade. Put in the fridge for between 30 minutes to 1 hour.

6. When you are ready to eat, stir most of the garnish herbs into the aguachile. Ladle small amounts of it into small bowls (glass ones look very pretty).

For the totopos

7. Cut stale tortillas into sixths and fry in veg oil until crisp and golden. Drain from oil and sprinkle with salt.

For the sangrita

8. Stir all the ingredients together over ice and chill in the fridge.

9. Serve the aguachile topped with the avocado and a scattering more of the herbs, alongside the totopos (or slices of buttered, granary bread) and the sangrita in small tequila glasses alongside small glasses of tequila.

Ready for a Mexican feast? For more ideas, see our favourite Central American recipes

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