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Taste of the Tropics: Mexican and Caribbean Cuisine

by Organic Spa Magazine

With the weather warming up north, it’s finally time for lighter caribbean cuisine, which means a taste of the tropics. These delicious recipes—from beautiful resorts with easy climates—will bring a bit of spice to your table.
Casa Velas, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
At Casa Velas, a luxurious boutique hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, the Mexican fusion menu brings together healthy local flavors, in an intimate–yet laid-back–setting. This is a signature dish.
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“Emiliano” Tuna Crusted with Dry Chili Seeds and Fresh Herbs served with Avocado Aguachile (Mexican Ceviche)

  • 1/10 lb fresh tuna
  • 3 ¾ tsp Italian parsley
  • ½ tbsp fresh thyme
  • 4 tbsp dry chili seeds
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/5 tsp salt
  • 1/5 tsp black pepper
  • 3 1/3 tsp coriander sprouts
  • 2 2/3 tsp roasted habanero chile
  • 1/2 tsp tanned red onion

For the Avocado Aguachile

  • 3 ¾ tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 2/3 whole avocado
  • 1/2 tbsp coriander
  • 1/3 tbsp serrano chili
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1/3 tbsp black pepper

Cut and shape tuna into 2 cubes of equal size. Season tuna with salt and black pepper and a touch of olive oil, then roll cubes over dry chili seeds and finely chopped herb, encrusting all sides of the tuna. Sear all sides of tuna in a pan, then let sit.
For the Avocado Aguachile, blend the lemon juice, avocado pulp, fresh coriander, salt, black pepper and serrano chili. Serve the Avocado Aguachile over a plate and place the tuna cubes on top.
Decorate with coriander sprouts and place the red onions and roasted habanero in a miniature spoon and enjoy!
South Seas Island Resort (Captiva Island, FL)
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At South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island, off the Gulf Coast of Florida, it’s no surprise that the menu at the low-key Harbourside Bar & Grill features fresh local seafood and dishes that take their inspiration from tropical islands. Here is a crowd-pleaser.
South Seas Half Jerked Chicken

  • 1/2 chicken marinated in jerk seasoning
  • 3 small tri colored sweett bell peppers
  • 1 oz (28 g) Caribbean slaw
  • 2 oz (56.7 g) jerk seasoning
  • 2 pieces fried tostones
  • 3 pieces ripe plantains fried
  • green onions for garnish
  • 1 half chicken thawed, rinsed and marinated in south seas authentic jerk seasoning overnight
  • 2 tri colored sweet peppers


  1. Pour the marinade into a bowl then add the chicken and massage it into the meat, making sure you get it underneath the skin. Cover and leave to marinate for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
  1. Light a barbecue and allow it to cool to a medium heat – you should be able to hold your hand over the grill for 4 seconds without getting singed. Add the chicken and sear on both sides, then move to the edges of the barbecue, put the lid on the barbecue and cook for about 25 minutes, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through.

Alternatively, preheat the oven to 180C and then cook the chicken in a roasting tray covered with foil for about an hour, until cooked through. Heat a griddle pan on a high heat, and then sear the legs on both sides until charred and crisp. Serve with two fried tostones, two ripe plantains, three lightly charred sweet peppers and Caribbean slaw.

 Connect with Rona Berg @ronaberg

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