Ancestral flavors shine in the Mexican shrimp appetizer at this Decatur restaurant

Dish of the Week: Agua chile de camarón at Tortuga y Chango

Tortuga y Chango’s agua chile de camarón is an emblematic dish of Sinaloan cuisine in Mexico — comparable to ceviche — in which shrimp are tossed in chile water, with lime juice and salt, which marinates and tenderizes them. Then, they are cooked quickly.

The shrimp at this mezcal bar are sliced thinly and doused in a mixture of cucumber, onion, cilantro, serrano chiles, lime juice and salt. The slick and snappy shrimp then are dressed in more lime, chiles and layered with cucumber, onion and cilantro, atop a crispy tostada. Slivers of avocado balance the spiciness and add creaminess, while the cucumber acts as a cooling agent.

The dish is lustrous and bright, yet it feels comfy and rustic, with layers of ancestral flavors. Break off sections of tostada, scooping an ample serving, and dip into the added bowl of verdant chile sauce.

Agua chile de camarón is zesty, a little spicy and pairs perfectly with any of the long list of agave distillates on the menu.

Tortuga y Chango. 910 W. College Ave., Decatur. 404-257-6232, tortugaychango.com