Maya Prawns with Chipotle Mezcal Sauce

Bring the taste of Tulum to your kitchen with this colorful recipe. Vegetables and grilled prawns are topped with chipotle chile and mezcal sauce in this dish from Tulum's Hartwood restaurant.

Maya Prawns with Chipotle Mezcal Sauce


  • 2 bunches beet greens, washed well

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 carrot, peeled and julienned

  • 1 bunch scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths

  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic

  • 1 cup Chipotle Mezcal Sauce (recipe follows)

  • 2 pounds Maya prawns or extra-large head-on shrimp (U10 or U12), shells slit down the back but left on, veins removed

  • Olive oil

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon chile powder

  • 1 cup thinly sliced cucumbers

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes

  • 3 mandarin oranges or clementines, suprêmed


  • 1 cup chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar

  • 1/4 cup mezcal

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt


  1. Remove the stems from 1 bunch of beet greens. Put the greens in a bowl, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the sugar and 1 tablespoon of the salt, and massage into the greens. Let sit for about 30 minutes, or until wilted.

  2. Drain the greens and place in a clean large bowl. Add the carrot, scallions, garlic, and ¾ cup of the chipotle mezcal sauce and mix well. Transfer to a nonreactive container, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

  3. Prepare a grill for high heat. (Prawns should be cooked quickly, so you need to have the embers going.)

  4. Put the prawns in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and the chile powder, and mix well. Oil the grill grate and grill the prawns until the flesh is just opaque and nice grill marks have formed, about 1 minute per side. Remove from the heat and let cool.

  5. While the prawns cool, put the cucumbers in a small bowl and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons salt. Let sit for about 10 minutes.

  6. Remove the stems from the second bunch of beet greens and put the greens in a large bowl. Add wilted beet greens and mix well.

  7. Divide the cucumber among six plates. Arrange the beet greens on top of the cucumber and scatter the radishes and mandarin oranges over them. Place the prawns on top and drizzle with the olive oil and the remaining ¼ cup of sauce. Serves 6.

  8. Make Sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth, adding more water if needed. Makes about 2 cups.

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