Pepinos Locos is one of many “crazy” creations that are sold at Mexican food stands. Each stand has their own version.
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Similar to Tostilocos, it includes a mixture of flavors and textures all stuffed into a hollow cucumber cup.
Sweet. Sour. Spicy. Crunchy. All of it goes.
Get creative when you make it at home. Here’s a start to get your creative juices flowing.
Table of Contents
Cucumbers – When choosing, look for skin that is not wrinkly.
Chamoy – Any flavor chamoy will work for this recipe. It’ll act like glue for Tajin.
Tajin – If you like it spicier, use ground chile de arbol.
Jicama – Cubed into small pieces to fit the cucumber cups easily.
Japanese Peanuts – These are crunchy peanuts that are so delicious.
Gummy Worms – You can also use gummy bears or sour candy.
Hot Sauce – Valentina, Cholula, Tapatio, or use whatever you prefer.
Lime Juice – In Mexico, it is common to use key limes. Regular limes or lemons are fine to use.
- Peel the skin of the cucumber.
- Discard the skin.
Look for crisp cucumbers, that are firm. Old ones will fall apart easily.
For parties, you can make the cups a day ahead.
- Remove the ends and slice into three large pieces.
- Remove the fleshy seeds, creating a “cup.”
Discard the fleshy interior.
A melon baller or a small spoon work great for this task.
Do not go all the way through when making the fresh cucumber cups.
Leave about half an inch on the bottom.
- Dip the rim of the cucumber cup in chamoy salsa.
- Then dip the cup in the Tajin.
- Make sure to go all the way around, covering all the chamoy.
Tajin is a chile-lime seasoning. It’s tangy and slightly spicy.
The cool fresh cucumbers will tame down some of the heat.
Can’t find Tajin? Use chile powder instead.
- Fill the cups with layers of jicama, Japanese style peanuts, squeeze of lime, and hot sauce.
- Repeat until the cup is full.
This pepinos locos recipe is spicy because of the hot sauce and the Tajin. Omit if you are not a spicy food fan.
You might see people put Clamato juice (or tomato juice) into the cups. Even a splash of beer or tequila.
Empty out packages chaka chaka or tangy tamarind candies on top of spicy potato chips.
Tamarind candy (or pulparindo candies), fresh fruits like mango cubes or pineapple, or pig skins (or cueritos) all make great additions.
Let your imagination run wild when making your pepino locos.
They will get soggy. Instead, store everything separately.
More Mexican Antojitos:
To a serving platter, add corn chips to a plate along with the pepinos locos and any ingredients that didn’t make it inside the cups. Add more salsa and lime juice.
This loco craze is part of the Mexican party culture. It’s supposed to be messy but delicious!
HUNGRY FOR MORE?
- Peel the cucumbers.
- Cut off the ends.
- Cut into three pieces roughly of the same size.
- Using a melon baller, remove the fleshy interior.
- Do not go all the way through.
- Leave about 1 inch on the bottom to make the "cup."
- Add some of the jicama, peanuts, hot sauce, and lime.
- Repeat until the cups are full.
- Top with gummy worms.
- Drizzle more hot sauce and lime all over.
VariationsEmpty out packages chaka chaka or tangy tamarind candies on top of spicy potato chips. Tamarind candy (or pulparindo candies), fresh fruits like mango cubes or pineapple, or pig skins (or cueritos) all make great additions. You might see people put Clamato juice (or tomato juice) into the cups. Even a splash of beer or tequila.
StoringThey will get soggy. Instead, store everything separately.
Maggie Unzueta is the writer/blogger, photographer, recipe developer, videographer, and creator of In Mama Maggie's Kitchen. She has been developing easy and authentic Mexican food, Mexican-inspired recipes, and traveling tips since 2010. From family recipes to her extensive travels throughout Mexico, she brings traditional Mexican flavors from South of the Border and into your kitchen. Maggie has been featured in notable culinary websites and other media outlets. For more details, check out her About page.