Mo-Chica's Arroz con Mariscos

The Arroz con Mariscos from Ricardo Zarate's new Mo-Chica is the kind of comfort food that inspires late night cravings for another bowlful. The vibrant red onions, mound of shellfish, and Peruvian corn kernels -- which add color and crunch to the dish -- makes it tough to hold off on diving into the dish when it's placed in front of you.Taking photos before diving in is torturous to say the least.

The meal is one of the favorites at Mo-Chica, Zarate's popular Peruvian restaurant, which is moving from its old location in Mercado La Paloma near the USC campus and into the growing 7th Street restaurant row downtown, joining Mas Malo, Bottega Louie and SugarFISH. After Zarate opened the original Mo-Chica in the summer of 2009, he quickly went on to be named one of Food & Wine Best New Chefs, before being stationed at the helm of Test Kitchen, opening Picca, and now creating this new home for Mo-Chica. (The original Mercado La Paloma location is now closed and will reopen as a new concept later this summer.)

To mark the occasion, Zarate shares his recipe for Arroz Con Mariscos. Gather up the ingredients, crack open a bottle of Pisco, and cook up a big pot of the Peruvian seafood paella. The recipe below serves one, so expand it to your belly's content!

Arroz Con Mariscos

4 oz white rice (steamed)
4 oz fish stock
1 tsp red onion (minced)
pinch of garlic paste
1 tsp aji Amarillo puree
1 tsp tomato paste
1 tbsp salsa madre
pinch of cumin (ground)
pinch of oregano (dry)
pinch of black pepper (ground)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 oz scallops
1 oz squid
1 oz shrimp (without the shell)
.7 oz clams (blanched)
.7 oz mussels (blanched)
canola oil
cilantro, chopped

Over medium heat, drizzle canola oil in a frying pan. Add red onions, garlic paste, Amarillo paste, and salsa madre. Saute for a minute, until the onions sweat. Add fish stock and bring to a simmer. Add white rice. Cook the rice until the broth is fully absorbed. Gingerly fold in the seafood (shrimp, scallops, squid, clams, mussels) until fully incorporated. Add additional fish broth if needed.

Once the desired consistency is achieved, transfer the contents into a bowl. Top with chopped cilantro and season with salt.

Salsa Criolla

2 tbsp red onion, finely sliced
1 tsp tomato, diced into small cubes
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp extra virgin olive pil
Pinch of fresh garlic, finely chopped
Pinch of cilantro, finely chopped
To taste black pepper, crushed
To taste kosher salt

The corn is toasted at 450 degrees until the corn starts to pop.

Fold in a bowl, the red onion, tomato, cilantro, and garlic with lime juice and oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the corn.

Photos by Julie Wolfson

Mo-Chica
3655 S Grand Ave, 213.747.2141

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