Serrano Avocado Salsa For Tacos Al Pastor

*You should know by now that you aren’t going to get a simple recipe from Adán Medrano. This is a quick history and culture lesson that traces the origin of tacos al pastor to a middle eastern tradition. VL


By Adán Medrano, Adán’s Blog (2 minute read)  

Before I describe the salsa, a word about  tacos al pastor, a Middle Eastern culinary tradition, the Turkish, “Döner Kebab,” being one of the more popular iterations.  It becomes Shawarma in other Arab areas and Gyros in Greece.  “Muchas Gracias!” to the Lebanese community for bringing this delicious street food recipe with them when they immigrated to Mexico.

Tacos Al Pastor with rich, rustic avocado and roasted serrano salsa
Tacos Al Pastor with rich, rustic avocado and roasted serrano salsa


Once Mexican culinary hands got a hold of this marinated, rotisseried treat, the dish went through a remarkable transformation. Mexican cooks substituted pork for the traditional lamb (pastor means shepherd), corn tortilla for the pita  bread, and mixed lovely chiles and local Mexican oregano to create the marinade.  A new taco was born, así nacieron los Taco Al pastor!

Every region of Mexico has its distinctive marinade and method, usually including onion and pineapple during the cooking.  In Yucatán they add the local achiote.  Some regions use cumin.

In this blog I’m sharing the green avocado salsa recipe that’s my preference for tacos al pastor.  It’s made by roasting serrano chile and tomatillos.  In a subsequent blog, I’ll share the marinade recipe for the tacos and also how to make them using your oven broiler.

Recipe for Avocado Salsa With Roasted Serrano Chile

1 chile Serrano (remove the seeds if you are not accustomed to high heat.)
1/4 cup white onion
1 clove garlic, unpeeled
4 oz. peeled, washed tomatillos, sliced in half
1 avocado
3/4 tsp salt or to taste
1/4 cup water

1. On a comal (griddle) or cast iron skillet, roast the tomatillos, chile, onions and the unpeeled garlic clove.

2.  In a blender, place the peeled garlic and the other roasted ingredients, along with the salt and 1/4 cup of water.  Blend until the salsa is smooth.
3. Peel and remove the pit from the avocado. Quarter it, add it to the blender and blend until you have a smooth salsa with black flecks.

This is a good salsa for all grilled foods.  ¡Buen provecho!

This recipe was originally published in Adán’s Blog.

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