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Half Ceviche, Half Michelada: Here’s How to Make ‘the Best Micheviche Out There’

Welcome to L.A. Taco's first-ever Ceviche Week, Presented by Tecate! Every day this week, we will bring you features celebrating L.A.'s Ceviche Life because for every great taco in this fine city, there is a great tostada not too far behind. In the perpetual summer that is Los Angeles, there is no better beer that accompanies mariscos than an ice-cold Tecate or Tecate Light. ¡Salud!

[dropcap size=big]J[/dropcap]onathan Melendez, the owner of Toma Micheladas, has turned a lifelong obsession with mariscos into his life’s work.

Each day the 33-year-old sells elaborate micheladas, miche mixes, homemade sauces, and tamarind-chile rim rubs, as well as sporadic Sinaloan specialties like empanadas de machaca, straight from his Northridge kitchen to customers through direct Instagram messages.

But it’s the pristine callo de hacha (scallop-like pen shell clams), patas de mula (blood clams), octopus, and fresh shrimp adorning his numerous miche, ceviche, aguachile, and tostada recipes that bring around an enthusiastic weekend crowd of clients.

“From the first time I tasted mariscos, I was obsessed,” Melendez tells L.A. Taco of the recipes his Sinaloan mom and grandma made. “Honestly, I’d eat mariscos every day of the week if I could.”

As a teen, the Chatsworth local ate extensively through the Valley’s rich scene of mariscos spots, but he could never quite find the exact taste he was seeking. “It was always, ‘add this, add this, more lime, more hot sauce,’” he recalls. “They would be so annoyed. So finally I started putting my stuff together and came up with my own thing.”

Once these efforts gained the approval and praise of his Culiacán-bred brood, Melendez launched Toma. While ordinarily quite humble, he bursts with pride when it comes to his creations, which fall under his own original style more than any regional devotion.

“I think it’s the best out there, honestly,” he says. “I’ll stand by that.”

Since we’ve been talking about mariscos all week on L.A. Taco, we thought it was only fair to pass you the ultimate satisfaction of making your own creation today to please friends and family.

So we asked Melendez to hand over his recipe for the eye-catching and undeniably delicious Micheviches he makes at Toma.

You’ll naturally need the freshest shrimp you can get your hands on. But beyond stellar components, Melendez encourages all home chefs to prepare the recipe with as much passion and attention as they can summon.

“Never cut corners,” Melendez says. “The quality always has to be there. But it’s really the love that you put into it that makes it great. You can have all the best products and ingredients, but if you just throw it together, it’s not going to be the same as it is when you really want to put it together.”

Here’s the recipe. The rest is up to you.

TOMA Michelada’s Micheviche

You’ll Need:

2 lbs shrimp, deveined and rinsed, cut into small pieces

2 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lime juice

1 /12 cups chopped cucumber, seeded

1 1/2 cups tomatoes, chopped and seeded

1 1/2 cups red onion, chopped

2 ounces cilantro, chopped, stems removed

1-2 whole jalapeños

1 teaspoon garlic powder

12 ounces of Tecate

8 oz. of Miche mix

Sea salt and pepper (to taste)

2 oz. Salsa Verde Tostito Chips

Pinch of chiltepin chile (optional)

4 ounces Toma seafood sauce (a Maggi black sauce may be used instead)

2 tablespoons Toma house hot sauce (or the hot sauces of your preference)

Toma powder blend (optional)

Steps:

1) Place chopped shrimp in a large bowl. Pour 1 cup of fresh-squeezed lime juice, cover & let sit for 30 minutes. Allow more time refrigerated if needed.

2) Blend 1 1/2 cups of lime juice with 1-2 jalapeños.

3) After 30 minutes remove from the refrigerator. Add in your chopped vegetables, onion/garlic powder, and mix.

4) Add 1 1/2 Cups of blended lime juice. Mix in 3 ounces of Toma Seafood Sauce. Add chiltepin mix well.

5) Serve chilled- drizzle with Toma house hot sauce, remaining Toma seafood sauce, and sprinkle with Toma house blend rimming powder.

We hope you're enjoying Ceviche Week, presented by Tecate! Check back each day this week for more ceviche stories from Los Angeles!

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