Mexicanizing four international dishes
In México we adapt everything to our taste!
Grab that chili, guacamole, chips, and beans to enjoy these Mexican versions of famous international and popular dishes!
1.- Suchi Roll
Yes, here in Mexico we usually call “Suchi” that traditional Japanese Sushi, because we even like to change the name of the dish! Maybe you think that you have never tasted a Mexican sushi, but I bet you are wrong (And no, we are not talking about a tamale cut in round pieces).
At any Mexican sushi restaurant, you will find a “creme cheese with cucumber roll,” these two ingredients are very hard to find in Japan. It was the creativity of Mexicans that popularized this delicious combination. We even super-sized the traditional sushi roll up to 20 centimeters (0.6 feet) why? Well, blame our burritos!We were not the ones that screamed “add avocado to that California Roll!” but we were the ones that spiced up this dish with ingredients like spicy chili peppers, nopales, coriander and even our Chicano salsa blend of mayonnaise, chipotle and garlic!
If you want to prepare your own Mexican style roll to try this delicious combination:
Instead of using seaweed, cook some poblano chili peppers and remove the skin while toasting them directly in the fire. Once they are prepared and without the skin, cut them in half and extend them to form a sheet.
Prepare the traditional sushi rice by boiling it in water until it is well cooked and sicky. Cook some bacon and put the layers on your makisu (Japanese wooden mat to make the sushi roll) then put the chili pepper sheet on them with some surimi (artificial Japanese crab sticks) or shrimps on top. Toast a few red peppers and put them next to the crab or shrimps. Use the makisu to make your roll. You can use toothpicks to secure the roll. You can place it in the oven or fry the final turn. Once it is well cooked or browned, cut in in circular pieces and serve. You can substitute the chili peppers with a Chicano blend of chipotle, mayonnaise and garlic.
Our pizza combinations are so unique that we had to call the Mexican version “pizza” and it sounds perfect! Because it encapsulates our humor and love for adapting everything to our culture. Maybe when we saw the first pizza, we thought “It looks like a big tortilla” and that cheese and meat inevitably reminded us of our quesadillas! So we added some smashed beans, chili, chorizo and the picza was born.
The cheese in our picza must be traditional, so we usually add some Oaxaca cheese, Asadero cheese or fresh Ranchero cheese that all Mexican moms love. Instead of pepperoni or salami, our favorite toppings are chorizo, chili peppers, cow or pork meat, coriander and even tortilla!
We even have our own twist on the traditional Hawaiian pizza. Our version has pineapple too, but also seasoned pork meat marinated with a unique blend of spices from Yucatán called “Pastor styled meat.” This spicy and crunchy beef is usually served in tacos, but here in Mexico we turned every taco combination into a pizza, so come and enjoy these delicious treats!
3.- Wiener Schnitzel, the dish that turned into a torta
The “torta” or bun sandwich was a gift from Europe to Mexico that every Mexican kid cherishes at every recess break. This Mexican lunch was born from a German dish called Wiener Schnitzel that has breaded and fried cow meat with butter. It is served with rice and chips.
In Mexico a breaded and fried meat is called a “milanesa,” and we use every meat like chicken, pork, and how to prepare it. The bun we use to make the torta sandwich is usually called a “telera,” but we cause smaller versions of it called “bolillos” too. To make a torta we cut the bun in half and spread some butter and mayonnaise in both halves. We add some smashed beans, cheese (Again Oaxaca or Asadero variety) and the breaded and fried meat… but this is just step one!
We flip the bread halves and put them in the frying pan to cook the cheese. If you want to cook it Mexican “urban DJ” style, then place the milanesa in other frying pan and press it with a spatula while you press one of the bread halves in another pan with your hand to accelerate the cooking process. Then we add some red rice (soft rice prepared with tomato sauce) or plain white rice over the milanesa meat. Then we put inside the buns some pickled chili peppers, french fries, caramelized onion, chipotle and avocado.
You think the spirit of the Weiner Schnitzel lives inside a torta? We do too! This is the best and most delicious tribute to this German dish, and we can´t have enough of it!
4.- Get your kibi, kibi!
At the southern Mexican beaches is common to hear the familiar chant of “kibi, kibi! Get your kibi!” and every time we listen to it, we rush to buy this unique dishes fusion of Saudi Arabia and Mexican cuisine.
The name comes from the Lebanese word Kibbeh that deformed to Kipé, and we now call it Kibi. This little ball of joy was born from the falafel, a traditional oriental dish that is made with fried chickpea and flab beans mixed with onions, coriander, and garlic. It served inside a pita bread with lettuce, tomato, salt, and pepper. Usually, acid yogurt is used as a dressing for this dish.
But our Mexican beach kibi is more like a wheat croquette with ground cow meat. Some versions of it include “Queso Bola” (Edam cheese) and habanero chili peppers to spice it up. In the Mexican state of Yucatan, it is served with a white cabbage salad and a purple onion with habanero pepper salsa with a bit of sour orange.
The next time you visit the Mexican Caribbean don´t forget to look for the local “kibero” (kibi salesman) to taste this little Mexican treat.
By now you must be craving for some Mexican food! You can find the best Mexican and international dishes at Xcaret and Xel-Há Parks. Do you have a Mexican version of another popular dish? Share it with us!
Poet and wirter, inspired by pizza and dinosaurs (pizzasaurs,maybe?). Hopes to be a fossil at Xplor