Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Dorilocos: Tostilocos with Doritos
I was hooked, line and sinker. I have a huge affinity for antojitos, literally "little cravings" or Mexican street food. Except my cravings certainly aren't little by any stretch of the imagination. I've waxed poetic about downtown Los Angeles and the influence of Mexican street food with my L.A. Street Dog post. The same coworker that inspired this recipe was the catalyst for my chile mango candies when she brought in vero mango lollipops. I even used Mexican chocolate and dried chiles for my Christmas gift of caramels.
Now the Doritos are amazingly delicious served the way my coworker introduced me, with lime juice and Valentina hot sauce. But the idea that was planted in my head was something a little more epic: tostilocos with Doritos, or as I named them, Dorilocos.
Tostilocos are a newer antojitos to hit the street food scene. Tostilocos were spawned in border towns like Tijuana around the 1990s, a crazy mixture of salty, sweet, and sour. It's one of those dishes that on paper sound ridiculous, only making sense when you try it yourself. Cucumber, jicama, pickled pork skin (called cueritos), Japanese-style peanuts, hot sauce, chamoy sauce, and even tamarind chewy candies are poured on top of Tostitos chips for a dish that is aptly named loco or "crazy." Here in Orange County, you can find tostilocos at fruit juice shops, or even at swap meets.
I couldn't help but be intrigued by tostilocos for two reasons: the chamoy sauce and the Japanese-style peanuts.
Chamoy sauce, which is a salty-sour zingy bright-red sauce that compliments sweets and fresh fruit in Mexican cuisine. This sauce, historically, is said to have come from either the Japanese umeboshi, or pickled Japanese apricot, or see mui, the dried salted plum that the Chinese consumed. I find it absolutely fascinating that a Mexican condiment is rooted in Asian cuisine historically. Yes, I am a food geek.
So now that you know that chamoy has links to Asia, you won't find it too shocking that the Japanese-style peanuts are eaten as a snack in Mexico. You know the type, those peanuts covered in a soy-flavored wheat shell sold in places like Sprouts but also the gas station? You also see them in rice cracker mixes with the wasabi peas. The shocking part: those puppies aren't from Japan, and while you might see them in a snack mix there, they aren't native. You're more likely to find plain salted peanuts with rice crackers. They were actually invented by a Japanese immigrant to Mexico, and go by the name of cacahuates japonés. Please read this great article for more information about the delicious Japanese-style peanut.
It just boggles my mind that as a kid my grandmother would bring home rice crackers (arare or kakimochi) with wasabi peas and Japanese-style peanuts, and I was eating something Japanese-Mexican-American.
This recipe for Dorilocos is not really set on quantities. Feel free to add more or less as your tastes dictate. I guarantee that no one slinging tostilocos on the street uses measuring cups. My version doesn't have pickled pork skins or taramind candies, but feel free to experiment with those as well.
1 individual-sized bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos
(I like the roughly 2 ounce size, the "Big Grab")
1/8-1/4 cup cucumber, peeled and diced
1/8-1/4 cup jicama, peeled and diced
1/8-1/4 cup Japanese-style peanuts
1/2 of a lime
Valentina hot sauce (or your fave hot sauce)
Feel free to dice up the whole of your cucumber and jicama, and place it in your fridge so you're ready to make more Dorilocos after you become addicted.
Cut open the Doritos bag on the side, rather than the top. Pour over the cucumber, jicama, and peanuts. Squirt in a generous amount (to taste) of hot sauce and chamoy. Shake the bag or stir the contents gently to coat. Serve with lime to squeeze lime juice over the whole concoction.
Optionally, you can assemble this on a place, which sometimes I think is easier for sharing.
L.A. Street Dog
Chile Mango Candies
Mexican Chocolate Chile Caramels