This is Leonelly’s recipe for soy-marinated chiles. She served these made with jalapeños, but said they were best made with guero chiles. Could the use of soy sauce be a further indication of the Japanese influence on the cuisine of the Baja? Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.
Cooking meats in the pibil method dates back to Pre-Columbian times and variations of these dishes can be found in just every restaurant that features local cuisine throughout the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. This method of cooking is done in a pit lined with stones called a pibil which were the center of the Mayan community. This is a easier variation that can be done on the grill or in a smoker, and doesn’t require digging a pit in your back yard. Achiote paste is made with annatto seeds, which is used both a spice and an orange coloring agent. I prefer using the paste, rather that the seeds which are as easy to grind as steel ball bearings. Güero chiles are substituted for the usual xcatic chiles which are impossible to find outside of the area. Banana leaves can be found in Asian markets, but you can also use aluminum foil. Pibils are traditionally served with pickled red onions.
This sweet and sour fish sauce dip is made spicy with chopped chilies and garlic, while fresh-squeezed lime or lemon gives it a sour edge. Called nuoc cham or nuoc mam cham in Vietnamese, it is the ubiquitous condiment of the Vietnamese table. Drizzle it over grilled meat set atop thin rice noodles tossed with shredded vegetables for refreshing fare, perfect for summer.