Cooking with Seawater at Coco Maya

Cooking with seawater is less common in California than in other parts of the world and one thing that distinguishes the Yucatan-influenced cuisine at Coco Maya. Because of its minerals and trace elements, simmering with seawater offers a umami quality. Coco Maya captures the element of the ocean by making its own “Sea Water” to compliment the smoke and char layered throughout Coco Maya’s incredible menu. 

Coco Maya Sea Water is a dashi or sorts using dried kelp, red algae, and seaweed steeped into a broth. This broth is used to create and enhance nearly every element of the menu including sauces, brines, and poaching liquid. Popular on the menu as a share plate are the Potato Tostones. Tostones are twice fried green plantains that are popular throughout the Caribbean, especially in Puerto Rico. Coco Maya serves Russian banana fingerling potatoes cooked in sea water, that are then smashed and fried and served with a sauce spoon of a delightful Caribbean Green Goddess.

The Yucatan-inspired elevated dining restaurant offers a variety of plant-based small plates and proteins cooked over coals in the Josper, which is at the heart of Coco Maya’s kitchen. A Josper is an elegant grill and oven hybrid, a legend in the world of charcoal gastronomy. Chef Ricardo Heredia can achieve the highest quality grilling over charcoal, having the flavor of the grill and controlled even cooking temperature of the oven. All the flavors of the Yucatan are locked in. 

Coco Maya’s menu is guided by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, a leader in the global sustainable seafood movement. Seafood Watch assesses most of the seafood in the US and Canadian markets, offering recommendations specific to the West Coast, which Coco Maya follows. 

1660 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

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