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Aug 11, 2009 10:59 AM


I was eating at a Mexican restaurant the other day and they had a special on "pollo encebollado con rajas". What does "raja" mean in this context? In my experience, "raja" is a piece/pedazo/etc. of something, so I was thinking, ¿rajas de qué?

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  1. usually strips of roasted peppers. - jalapenos o poblanos.

    1. 'encebollado' is 'with onions'. Rajas is most likely roasted poblano strips. So I'd expect chicken with lots of sliced onion and poblano.

      Often rajas are cooked in a cream sauce, though I wouldn't take it as given in this case.

      2 Replies
      1. re: paulj

        Right, encebollado is standard usage. I learned Spanish in the Andean region, and raja(in the sense that I knew it there) made no sense to me. Must be an idiosyncratic Mexican thing.

        I had seen a reference online to "rajas con crema" and figured it might be chiles of some sort, but wanted to know for sure.

        1. re: Naco

          Literally just "strips." Not necessarily of chiles, but that's what it usually signifies down here near the border.

      2. Rajas, as I understand it means "rags" as in shreds or pieces of something - usually bell peppers or chiles.

        1. yes when you hear rajas in a mexican kitchen.. its the most tipical stripped roasted chile (usually poblano or chilaca or both) you can have it just lilke that preferably deveined, in a tortilla with grated cheese...
          or you can cook them withe some onions, adding latter cheese and sour cream...
          this reciepe you can enhace with squash flower, mushrooms, corn or indeed roast chiken

          how do i know... im Mexican .. i know

          1. On the Gulf Coast (Tamaulipas), rajas = roasted poblanos cut into strips and mixed with melted cheese....SOOO good! There's a dish my mom's family makes called "Arroz con Rajas"....White rice (cooked with chicken broth, onion, and garlic), with the roasted poblanos, crema (like a sour cream/creme fraiche), and cheese layered on top and then baked until bubbly on top. Delicious!