Rib Eye Aguachile with Ponzu Sauce
Claudette Zepeda uses a reverse-sear technique for this steak served with a salty, umami ponzu sauce. She tops the steak with a fresh tomatillo, onion, cucumber, and cilantro salad that balances the richness of the meat. If you can't find a pre-cut 28-ounce ribeye, ask your butcher to cut one. Be sure to stock up on charcoal and have three (3-inch) hardwood oak wood chunks on hand to make the most of this recipe. The flavors of this dish are inspired by the pantry of northern Mexico, where Chinese, Japanese, and Korean ingredients are common because people from those countries were in Tijuana. "Mexico is a complex melting pot of people, where the story stops being about why we're so different and starts being about why we're so similar," Zepeda notes. "Chinese laborers built the city of Tijuana; Japanese immigrants established the entire seafood industry in Ensenada. These are the stories that inspire me."