Thursday, October 13, 2016

You can salsa with wild shrimp at Whole Foods Market, Rosa Mexicano

Wild-caught shrimp from Whole Foods Market in Paramus cook in minutes in Whole Foods' 365 Everyday Value Thick & Chunky Salsa, below.

Editor's note: Amid a flood of low-quality farmed shrimp from Vietnam and other countries, two reliable sources for wild-caught shrimp are Whole Foods Market in Paramus and Rosa Mexicano, a fine-dining restaurant in Hackensack.


When you feel like treating yourself to jumbo wild shrimp for Sunday dinner, they may not always be on sale.

We buy wild-caught Gulf Shrimp (16 to 20 per pound) from Whole Foods Market in Paramus, only a few miles from our home.

When on sale, they usually are $14.99, but on Sunday, I had to pay full price, $19.99 a pound.

They were worth it, though. For one thing, the fish counter workers will devein the shrimp for you.

About 1.5 pounds of shelled and deveined shrimp -- turned once -- cooked in minutes in Whole Foods' Thick & Chunky Salsa ($2.69 for a 16-ounce jar).

There were enough crunchy shrimp to feed three with leftovers (for about $10 a person). 

The medium-spicy salsa also served as a sauce for our side dish, yellow rice prepared with organic mixed vegetables.

Behind the biggest fresh seafood counter in North Jersey, a Whole Foods employee deveined my wild-caught shrimp.

Another worker said she adds fresh ice to the display every 30 minutes to replace melted ice. Whole Foods Market is in Bergen Town Center off of Forest Avenue in Paramus (201-226-1244).

At Rosa Mexicano in Hackensack, Veracruz-style Alambre de Camarones are grilled wild jumbo shrimp, marinated in garlic vinaigrette, with grilled onions and serrano chiles served with achiote rice and salsa verde picante ($22).

Wild shrimp at Rosa Mexicano

I immediately said yes when a friend invited me to lunch at Rosa Mexicano, the Hackensack restaurant where authentic dishes are made from scratch.

The kitchen turns out its own salsas and mole sauces, and wonderful, thick corn tortillas are made in one of the nicest dining rooms in Bergen County, decorated with Mexican pottery, textiles, sconces and other items.

The first Rosa Mexicano opened in Manhattan in 1984, and today, the menu in Hackensack offers a $23 lunch to celebrate the restaurant's 30-plus years at that location.

The fixed-price lunch includes sharing one of three starters, including Rosa Mexicano's signature guacamole, prepared at your table; a choice of any entree (normally $16 to $23), and a shared dessert, Churros or a cake called Tres Leches.

Neither of us had room for dessert.

Warm corn tortillas are perfect for wrapping guacamole, refried beans and other food. Extras are available for the asking.

Guacamole en Molcajete (avocado, jalapeno, tomato, onion and cilantro) is served with warm tortilla chips and salsa ($14.50).

I had the Alambre de Camarones, and my friend ordered Chicken Enchiladas smothered in a rich Mole Poblano ($17).

Side dishes included achiote rice, above, and refried black beans, below.

Rosa Mexicano is in the Shops at Riverside, 390 Hackensack Ave., Hackensack (201-489-0151).


  1. Mr. Sasson :

    I've been following your blog for awhile now, thanks for the informative posts. I live in Bergen County so I shop at all of your favourite stores: Shop Rite, Costco, H-Mart, etc.

    I bought the same shrimp from WF the past weekend for around $10/lbs. It's on sale for $12.99, and there's a $5 off of $25 shrimp purchase coupon on WF's mobile app. The sale lasts through 11/8.

    Thanks again for a great and educational blog

    1. Thanks for the great tip, Amy. I got the app for my phone, and see the coupon for the shrimp. All the best.


Please try to stay on topic.