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Aug 23, 2002 05:21 PM


  • t

At a Mexican seafood restaurant some years ago in Tucson I had a dish that was some kind fish filet baked with cheese and a mild green sauce. It was called a filete culichi and camarones culichi were also available. I have never been able to locate a recipe whether through cookbooks or the internet. I have also never seen or heard mentioned here any such dish at a mexican restaurant. Any ideas? Thanks,

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  1. Hi Thomas,
    Didn't see this post earlier. The residents/natives of the city of Culiacan in the state of Sinaloa (about 1/2 million inhabitants) call themselves "culichi". "Culichi" on a U.S. menu item simply means "Culiacan style", which may mean just about anything the restaurant owner thinks is typically "culichi" and may not necessarily refer to a specific "canonic" "formal" recipe (although your "topped with cheese and mild green sauce" might be a start towards a definition). Someone correct me here if I'm wrong and if fish "culichi style" has in fact, an old, distinctive and very specific tradition and form. Sinaloa has a long and magnificent coastline on the Gulf of California with splendid estuaries and bays. The fish cookery of Sinaloa highlights the extraordinary quality of the seafood by emphasizing simplicity and freshness. I am guessing that there are many expatriate "culichis" in Arizona as Arizona is due north, beyond the state of Sonora...I am not aware of any restaurant here in Chicago presenting "culichi" cooking: if you find one, please let me know...


    7 Replies
    1. re: RST

      Actually, after typing the above, I thought of going into Google to check on this. There are actually dozens of websites (including those of restaurants in AZ) with references to fish or shrimp/culichi style. Type "culichi" or "culichi + filete". A search using "culichi + filete" yields a website (it's the third down) called with a recipe (in Spanish) for a dish that is very similar to the one you described (baked, unspecified fish, topped with a green-poblano chile-sauce and cheese). The recipe is simple enough to follow (even in Spanish) but I would be glad to translate if you need me to.


      1. re: RST

        Thanks, I searched but could not find a recipe on google. Will try again. Thomas

        1. re: Thomas

          I'll check back in case you don't see the site I'm referring to and in case you are not sure about some of the words in that recipe.

          1. re: RST

            I found it, thanks again. I speak fluent spanish so no troubles with the recipe.

            1. re: Thomas

              Have fun! It sounds like a delicious dish!
              Have you considered your fish? Perhaps it should be one with a bolder flavor...? I would imagine that deep sea (gulf) fish would be used in Culiacan...?

        2. re: RST

          Do you still have this recipe?? I ate shrimp culichi at Mariscoe's in Tucson this past week and it was awesome. Looking to make something similar.

          1. re: Helen

            Anyone have this recipe handy, I am struggling to find it also.

      2. Ingredientes:

        ● 4 filetes de pescado en trozos (su preferencia)
        ● 5 chiles poblanos
        ● 3 dientes de ajo
        ● 1/2 cebolla blanca
        ● 3 cucharadas de consomé
        ● Sal y pimienta
        ● 1 lata de media crema
        ● 1/4 de queso monterrey
        ● 1 taza de leche
        ● Aceite de oliva
        ● Mantequilla
        ● Harina

        1. Hi Thomas, It was hard to find but Recipezaar has a Filete de Culichi recipe...

          Filete De Culichi (Tilapia W Mushrooms in Poblano Cream Sauce
          )Recipe #281791 | 1 hour | 30 min prep | add private note

          By: SoozieQ
          Jan 26, 2008

          This is a my take on a special dish that our favorite Mexican restaurant in our town - 3 Margaritas - makes for my husband and me. It is not on the menu, but since we love fish they made this for us once and now we get it often, as do our friends. We expect this to be on the menu someday soon. It is tender Tilapia sautéed with garlic butter, topped with mushrooms and smothered in a special Poblano Cream sauce and it is YUMMY! You could replace the tilapia with anything - another kind of fish, chicken, whatever... and it would still be great! Serve with rice and beans on the side and fresh flour tortillas for dipping!
          SERVES 4 (change servings and units)

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          Poblano Sauce
          1 tablespoon olive oil
          2 poblano peppers
          1/2 small onion, diced
          1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
          2 teaspoons minced garlic
          1/2 teaspoon cumin
          1/2 teaspoon salt
          3 cups chicken stock
          3 tablespoons heavy cream
          3 tablespoons butter
          2 garlic cloves, finely minced
          salt and pepper
          4 (5-6 ounce) tilapia fillets
          1 lb fresh mushroom, sliced
          1/2 lb grated monterey jack cheese (about 2 cups)
          1Preheat Broiler.
          2Poblano Sauce: Prepare Poblano chilies by roasting under broiler until they are fully blistered.
          3Remove chilies from broiler and turn off oven.
          4Put chilies in a brown paper bag to steam for 10 minutes. Allow to cool, then peel and remove seeds and stems. Cut peppers and put into medium sized bowl.
          5In a saucepan combine oil, Poblano peppers, onions, cilantro leaves, garlic and seasoning. sauté over high heat, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Stir in stock, bring to a boil, and boil vigorously, 18 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, stir in heavy cream, and simmer 2 minutes. Transfer sauce to blender or food processor and puree until smooth. For a smoother sauce, you can strain sauce as well.
          6Tilapia: Melt in a butter large heavy skillet. Add garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds. Season tilapia filets with salt and pepper and add to pan. Cook over moderately high heat until browned, 3 minutes per side.
          7Remove tilapia filets from the pan leaving the garlic butter and arrange tilapia in a baking dish just large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add mushrooms to skillet. Cover and sauté for about 15 minutes.
          8When mushrooms are close to done, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
          9Pour mushrooms over tilapia. Pour sauce over tilapia and mushrooms. Sprinkle cheese over the top.
          10Bake for about 10 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and tilapia is cooked through.
          11Serve with rice and refried beans on the side and flour tortillas for dipping.