Mushroom mixiote is a braise of mushrooms marinated in a sauce of guajillo and ancho chiles, cumin, oregano, thyme, cinnamon, and avocado leaf, wrapped in a mixiote leaf and steamed until tender. It has a beautiful earthy and spicy flavor, that is best served on warm corn tortillas.
Why this Recipe Works
It is a unique way of presenting dinner, wrapped like a gift, tied with a bow of butcher’s twine. The flavors are amazing, it is truly one of the hidden jewels of Mexican cuisines. It is also vegan, gluten-free, and can be made for a crowd.
The word mixiote comes from the Nahuatl word mexiotl which refers to the parchment-like membrane from the maguey leaves that is used to wrap and cook the meat, or in this case the mushrooms. It’s a pre-Hispanic dish consumed mainly in the states of Hidalgo, Estado de Mexico, Tlaxcala, Queretaro, and Puebla which are the main regions the maguey plant is cultivated to make pulque.
Mixiote paper : Mixiote paper is very difficult to find outside of Mexico, so you can use parchment paper to substitute it in this recipe. In fact, there are regulations in place to protect the maguey plant that prohibit the harvest of mixiote leaves because removing the thin membrane from the plant can kill it. However, there are a handful of producers in Mexico that obtain mixiote paper in a sustainable way.
Mushrooms: I recommend you use a mix of meaty mushrooms like portobello, shitake, and oyster mushrooms.
Avocado leaf: Avocado leaves have a flavor very similar to anise, so you can substitute avocado leaf with ¼ teaspoon of crushed anise seed. I get mine from Masienda.
Nopales: Check your local Mexican market or grocery for already cut nopales. In case you can’t find them here’s a tutorial on how to process them.
Step by Step
- Soak chiles in hot water for about 15 minutes.
- Drain the soaked chiles, but reserve some of the water. Blend with the spices and herbs until smooth.
- Simmer the sauce for 5 - 6 minutes.
- Add sauce to cut mushrooms and mix.
5. Add onion and pre-cooked nopales and mix. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
6. Place marinated mushrooms in the center of parchment paper.
7. Use butchers twine to close it and form a packet.
8. Now your mixiote is ready to steam or bake.
Serve right out of the steamer and let each person open their mixiote package. Serve with warm corn tortillas, chopped cilantro, and your favorite salsa.
If you have leftovers you can store them in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container.
I haven’t found a sustainable source of mixiote paper that imports to the US, so you can substitute the mixiote with parchment paper or even banana leaves.
Yes, you can add any other vegetables you like, I recommend green beans, corn, carrots, mushroom, and nopales.
Yes, you can bake them right in their mixiote packets at 325°F for 35-40 minutes or until the contents of the packets are bubbling and the mushrooms are tender.
Mushroom Mixiote Tacos
- 6 sheets Mixiote or parchment paper squares
- 6 Guajillo chiles, dried, de-stemmed, de-seeded
- 4 Ancho chiles, dried, de-stemmed, de-seeded
- 1/2 teaspoon Cumin ground, 1/4 tsp. Cumin seeds
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 1 Clove, whole
- 3 Black peppercorns
- 1 piece Ceylon cinnamon stick, 1 inch
- 1/2 tsp. Oregano, dried
- 1/4 tsp Thyme, fresh, chopped
- 1/2 White Onion
- 1 Avocado leaf, toasted
- 1/4 cup White Vinegar
- 1 lb. Assorted mushrooms, oyster, portobello, shiitake, sliced
- 12 oz. Nopales, diced (2 cups)
- 1/2 Red onion, thinly sliced
- 12 Corn Tortillas
- 1/3 cup Chopped cilantro
- Your favorite Salsa
- Fill a large container or pot with hot water and soak your parchment or mixiote paper.
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil.
- Heat a comal or cast-iron skillet to medium heat and toast them lightly on both sides. Place in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Let soak for 10 min.
- In the meantime, bring a medium pot of water and salt to a boil and drop in the nopales. Boil for 8 - 10 minutes until the nopales are tender. Drain and run cold water over the nopales. Set aside.
- Drain the soaked chiles, but reserve 1 cup of the chile soaking liquid. Place the chiles, cumin, garlic, cloves, peppercorn, cinnamon, thyme, oregano, onion, avocado leaf, vinegar, and 1/2 cup of the chile soaking liquid in the blender and process until smooth. If necessary add the remaining 1/2 cup of chile soaking liquid to get the mixture to the consistency of a purée. Strain.
- Heat a saucepot to medium-low heat and add the chile puree, simmer for 5-6 minutes, adjust seasoning, remove from heat, and let cool.
- In a large bowl, combine the mushrooms, red onion, and nopales. Pour the chile puree on top and mix well to combine. Let marinate in the sauce for 30 min.
- Remove paper from water and lay out the pieces on a cutting board. Divide the mushroom mixture among the 6 pieces of paper, gather the edges of the paper together, and tie with butcher’s twine.
- Setup up your steamer pot, fill the bottom with water, and place the mixiote packets on the steamer rack. Steam for 20 minutes or until the contents of the packets are bubbling and the mushrooms are tender.
- Remove mixiote from the steamer and serve your mixiote on warm corn tortillas and garnish with cilantro and your favorite salsa.
- Serve right out of the steamer and let each person open their mixiote package. Serve with warm corn tortillas, chopped cilantro, and your favorite salsa.
- If you have leftovers you can store them in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container.
- If you can't find avocado leaves, you can substitute them with ¼ teaspoon of crushed anise seed.