Rick Stein – The Road to Mexico: Episode seven, Oaxaca to Yucatán Peninsula

3rd Jan 2018

Rick Stein The Road to Mexico: Episode seven

Rick’s journey begins to draw to a close as he heads east from Oaxaca to the Yucatán Peninsula – a place once frequented by real pirates of the Caribbean, including our own Sir Francis Drake.

First up, Rick savours an authentic Cuban spit roast pig BBQ, before going to sample Campeche’s most famous dish, octopus. Cooked down with garlic, chilli and paprika until sweet and tender. Back in Padstow Rick demos how to make coconut prawns with papaya sauce. It’s a popular dish served in the Yucatán peninsula, often served with apple sauce, but far less frequently with a papaya and habanero dipping sauce – which Rick much prefers. King prawns are coated in batter before being dipped into a mix of plain flour, panko breadcrumbs and desiccated coconut and then fried in corn oil. Served with zingy dipping sauce they make a great starter.

Next stop is the beach at Campeche, where Rick met some local fisherman to hear the stories of the sea and learn a super simple by delicious recipe for fish soup. It’s a dish they make on their boats using fish straight from their nets cooked in a stock of water, onions, garlic and peppers – served with a spicy, citrus salsa. As luck would have it, it’s a special day in Campeche, the 500th anniversary celebration mass of the arrival of the Spanish in Yucatán, which means parties and fireworks for Rick to experience. A very local affair.

The following day Rick sets off to explore the magnificent ruins of the Mayan city of Uxmal. Considered one of the most impressive cities of the Maya world, it features carvings, terraces and imposing pyramids. On route he stops in a small village, Pomuch, to visit a tortilleria to discover how fresh tortillas are made. Once in Uxmal, Rick pays a visit to see Don Hernan and his wife Azaria in a traditional Mayan house in Santa Elena. Whilst there, they cooked Rick a homely dish of tortillas with boiled eggs and a Mexican version of hummus – made with pumpkin seeds, ripe tomatoes, chives and coriander.

Following his Mayan experience, Rick’s back in Padstow to knock up a popular dish from Yucatán, Pan de cazon (sardines in tortillas with spicy tomato sauce). In Mexico it’s served with dogfish, but Rick notes that the few times he tried it, it tasted more like tinned sardines, hence the change for the recipe. The fish is sandwiched between crisp corn tortillas and covered in a slightly spicy tomato sauce before serving with re-fried beans and of course, sliced avocado.

If you’ve been inspired by Rick’s Mexican adventures, come along to our cookery school in Padstow to learn some of the techniques and dishes, including char-grilled beef tacos with spring onions and guacamole, deep fried bream with hot salsa, and prawn panuchos with avocado and re-fried beans. And of course you can buy a signed copy of the book here.

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8 Responses

  1. Laura Alvarez McCoubrey says:

    Rick, we have been living in England for 30 years, (my husband Derek is English). Wewere very happy to see your programs about Mexico. Very honest presentation “GRACIAS” .
    I have cooked Mexican food all these years, your recipes will improve mine. But if you would like to come to our home for a Mexican breakfast please come with Jill, “Mi Casa es su Casa”, My version of “Huevos Motuleños” I think they are better than the chef in Campeche. Thanks again!

  2. Jason M Rodgers says:

    Rick, food and travel are in my top 5 things I love. My other 3 are fishing eating and photography(in no particular order) I was a chef for over 25 yrs and now a photographer, I still do 95% of the cooking at home and I do love Mexican food. Your recent series (and book) has truly inspired me, not only to cook more but to visit Mexico. I also enjoy reading, having almost finish “The old man and the sea” and going to Cuba in April to do a spot of fishing (and eating and photography) are there any books you can recommend? I know you mentioned one in your Mexico series but I can’t remember what it was, I might have to watch it all over again on catchup. Where to next Rick? Might you need a photographer/chef/fisherman?

  3. Dr C D Daniel says:

    Absolutely enjoyed the series and has inspired me to look at cooking some Mexican dishes. Just wanted to pick up on the use of lime for processing corn. This process of using an alkali has been known by native Americans for thousands of years but not the immigrants who arrived in the Americas and those who took up growing corn around the world because it is such a productive crop. The outcome was a disease known as Pellagra due to the lack of the vitamin niacin (B3). It was not until 1915 that the Pellagra hospital was established in South Carolina to identify the condition. You can read more on wikipedia but Pellagra became a world wide issue as the consumption of corn grew.

  4. Trevor Broughton says:

    I watched the final Mexico programme with interest and enjoyment and noted your comments about a bucket list. A few months ago for the fun of it I did an unbucket list in which I hope you may find some interest.


    We have all heard of bucket lists, i.e. those things to do before you die, but what about the things you haven’t done, don’t want to do or have no real intention of doing? Things which other people might regard as normal or do without thinking on a day to day basis. Things for which there is little rationale other than personal preference for not doing, foibles almost. These can form an UNBUCKET list, or another name if you can think of one better.

    Feel free to comment, add your own, share or ignore.

    In no particular order here are some of mine;
    I have never….

    1)…. been to any of the following parties; dinner, cocktail, fancy dress, themed, bring a bottle, wine tasting, fondue or any of the other so called fashionable or trendy ones.
    To have done so would imply I had some form of social life.
    Incidentally I don’t ever recall drinking a cocktail either.

    2)…. placed a bet in a betting shop, gambled in a casino or played bingo in a hall.
    I always feel it’s a waste of time and money. I’ve only been in a betting shop about ten or so times in my life and they were when delivering telephone directories as an apprentice.
    Incidentally, when in Las Vegas and it took ten minutes to find the street through the hotel casino I still wasn’t tempted to do a slot or two.

    3)…. been skiing or done any winter sport for that matter.
    Why pay to go somewhere to be cold? The odd time sledging on Beverley Westwood does not count.

    4)…. sung karaoke.
    With my voice? Besides I can make enough of an exhibition of myself without outside help. See also no1.

    5)…. Appeared on stage as an adult.
    See nos 1&4

    6a)…. eaten oysters.
    Why eat something you don’t even chew or taste?
    6b)…. eaten jellied eels.
    Ugh! Even the thought is repellant.
    6c)….eaten whelks.
    See above.
    I like crabs, cockles and mussels though

    7)…. been on a cruise (sea or river).
    Never fancied it, it all seems a bit hierarchical and posey for my taste.

    8)…. excitedly run onto a pitch at the end of an event or game.
    There’s not enough self control these days.

    9)…. ridden a horse, or indeed any animal for that matter.
    Never got around to it, besides its a long way down to the ground from up there.

    10)…. been to a night/strip/exotic dance/pole dance club or been on a stag night/weekend/trip.
    See nos. 1, 4 &8.

    11)….never belonged to any clubs or societies (other than Telephones Recreation Club which doesn’t really count as it was only to play football and cricket for the company teams).
    See nos. 1, 4 &8.

    12)….done a bungee jump.
    Why? You just have to be hoisted back up anyway.

    This is by no means an exhaustive list, there are lots of other things. Lots.
    From this list it could be inferred that I’ve never done anything, but I have.
    No honestly, I have. Really!

  5. Dave Wright says:

    Just to say, We really enjoyed the series on California (which have visited many times) and Mexico which is on our list of places to go, mexican food is my favourite to cook, I wanted to let you know i grow my own Tomatillo plants from seed every year(you get them online over here easily) and are so simple to grow they go mad and i collect a lot from each plant and freeze a lot too,Much better than the tinned ones on your programme!, Looking forward to trying a few recipes from your book too which my wife bought me for Christmas, It’s shame there are not many good mexican restaraunts in the UK as most seem to serve microwaved style rice with bland Burritos as that is what most people think this food is.

  6. Marijke Hebbes says:

    Dear Rick, we love your Road to Mexico program. And my husband loves the music which is played in the background of these programs. Can you perhaps tell us who is playing/making this music? Looking forward to hear from you, kind regards, Marijke

  7. Dorothy says:

    !Hola Rico¡
    I’ve got one easy question regading your recipes in your ‘The Road To Mexco’…
    Your FRIJOL CON PUERCO recipe requires black or pinto beans. Are these tinned or dried?
    Muchas gracias….

  8. emma holt says:

    Thanks so much Rick for an excellent and very inspirational series. You convinced me and subsequently persuaded my husband to take a trip to Oaxaca, Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta – absolutely amazing

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