How To Master the Art of Cooking an Authentic Mexican Meal at Home

How To Master the Art of Cooking an Authentic Mexican Meal at Home

Introduction to Authentic Mexican Cuisine

Mexican cuisine is often associated with spicy flavors, bold colors, and vibrant ingredients. Some of the most famous dishes such as tacos, burritos, and enchiladas have crossed borders to become popular around the world. However, many lesser-known yet delicious meals are waiting to be discovered. In this "How to" article, you will discover the essential ingredients, cooking techniques, and flavors that make up authentic Mexican cuisine.

Essential Ingredients

Mexican cuisine is an amalgamation of Spanish and indigenous culinary traditions. The ingredients used in Mexican cuisine vary according to the region, but some common ones include:

  • Corn: Corn is a staple ingredient in Mexico and is used to make tortillas, tamales, and other dishes.

  • Chillies: Chillies are used to add flavor, color, and heat to Mexican cuisine. Some popular varieties include jalapeño, poblano, habanero, and chipotle.

  • Herbs and Spices: Cilantro, oregano, and cumin are some of the common herbs and spices used in Mexican cuisine.

  • Meats: Chicken, beef, and pork are commonly used in Mexican cuisine. Seafood, particularly shrimp, is also popular in coastal areas.

  • Vegetables: Tomatoes, onions, garlic, and avocados are some of the key vegetables used in Mexican cuisine.

Cooking Techniques

Mexican cuisine involves many cooking techniques, some of which are:

  • Grilling: Grilling is a popular cooking method for meats in Mexico. The meat is often marinated in a spice mix before being grilled over an open flame.

  • Frying: Fried dishes such as chimichangas and chiles rellenos are also popular in Mexican cuisine.

  • Stewing: Stews such as pozole or birria are slow-cooked and often made with a mix of meat, chillies, and hominy.

  • Steaming: Tamales are made by wrapping masa (corn dough) around a filling and steaming them.

Flavor Profiles

Mexican cuisine is all about balancing flavors, and to achieve this, many recipes use a combination of sweet, salty, sour, and spicy flavors. Some popular flavor combinations include:

  • Sweet and Spicy: Dishes such as mole or chiles en nogada are made with a blend of sweet and spicy flavors.

  • Acidic: Citrus fruits such as lime or lemon are often used to balance the richness of dishes like guacamole or ceviche.

  • Umami: Umami-rich ingredients such as tomatoes or soy sauce are also used to add depth of flavor to dishes.

Recipes to try at home

Now that you are familiar with the essential ingredients, cooking techniques, and flavor profiles of authentic Mexican cuisine, it's time to put your knowledge into practice. Here are two traditional Mexican recipes that you can try at home:

Pico de Gallo


  • 4 Roma Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 Jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Salt to taste


  1. Cut tomatoes, onion, and jalapeño into small dice.
  2. Combine the tomatoes, onions, and jalapeño in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Add the lime juice and salt to taste.
  4. Mix well and let rest for 10-15 minutes for flavors to meld.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips or as a side dish.

Chicken Tinga Tacos


  • 1 lbs Chicken breast, boneless, and skinless
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium Onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Chipotle powder
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 12 corn tortillas


  1. In a large pot, add chicken breast and enough water to cover. Add half of the onion and one garlic clove.
  2. Bring the water to a boil and cook chicken until no longer pink for about 20 mins.
  3. Remove chicken from the pot and shred the chicken using two forks.
  4. Heat olive oil in a pan and add remaining onion and garlic.
  5. Cook until onion is translucent.
  6. Add chopped tomatoes, paprika, chipotle powder, and shredded chicken.
  7. Add a cup of chicken broth and let the mixture simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Warm the tortillas according to the package instructions.
  9. Add the chicken tinga to the tortillas.
  10. Serve with your favorite toppings such as shredded lettuce, cilantro, and diced avocado.


Mexican cuisine is a rich and flavorful cuisine that is worth exploring. From essential ingredients such as corn and chillies to cooking techniques like grilling and stewing, the cuisine is a delicious combination of flavors and cultures. With these recipes to try at home, you can bring the flavors of Mexico right into your kitchen.