By Chef Ella Freyinger

May 2021

Serves 4

The lesser known agua chile, here in the states, is the sultry sister of the bright and tangy green agua chiles most of us know. Deeply flavored and balanced acidity are what draw me to the agua chile negros that I’ve come to know over my last few trips to Mexico. Make this stunner to start a meal or on its own for a perfect light lunch.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE SALSA NEGRO
  • 2 tbsp raw unsalted peanuts
  • 8 chiles de árbol
  • 1 guajillo chili
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • FOR ASSEMBLY
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 ¼ pound peeled and deveined shrimp
  • Tortillas

Steps

  • FOR THE SALSA NEGRO
  • Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles and chop into small pieces, about ¼ inch.
  • Add sesame seeds, cumin seeds, garlic and oil into a medium saucepan. Heat over medium- high heat and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the garlic is lightly golden. Remove from the heat and cool for 10 minutes. Add chiles, vinegar, soy sauce and oregano. Allow to cool for 30 minutes.
  • Add the mixture to a food processor and pulse until the mixture is combined and still coarse.
  • FOR ASSEMBLY
  • Add the shrimp to a bowl and cover with lime juice, reserving 2 tbsp. Let sit for 20 minutes and then strain.
  • Toss shrimp with ¼ cup of their salsa negro and the reserved 2 tbsp of lime juice. Season with salt to taste.
  • Transfer to a platter and serve with tortillas.
  • Enjoy!