How to cook the chorizo at my local mexican market

I happen to be lucky that although I live in white-break Menlo Park, California, we have a wonderful mexican “supermarket” ( more like a super-bodega ) around the corner from my house. The taco bar is “uruapan style”, what I know is the best order is Carnitas, and they have a double-sized pan because everyone orders that.

The butcher is the real star of the place ( other than location, 3 minute walk ). They’re cutting meat normally, they have little bags of authentic mole paste above the counter, and I’ve had them grind me some molida de rez fresh from steak when they’re low… wonderful.

Their chorizo, however, has always mystified me.

It’s in sausage form, it’s hanging from a rack, and if you try to peel the casing from it, it all goes south. Most of the meat sticks to the casing.

When I eat the casing, it seems to melt in my mouth. Defenatly not plastic. Even doesn’t seem like paper.

Today’s NYT food section has a “what to eat this year” and they propose a recipe of Chorizo ( spanish ) and lentils ( and a lot of chard, and my mexican market, for all its glory of a butchery, has nothing remotely like chard, but I’ve got some rather worn kale I was about to throw away ). Given the cold weather ( omg, lows of 40 and highs of only 60!!! ), and my GF loves lentils and who doesn’t love chorizo, I give it a wing. Even better, the chorizo at the market is on sale!

My best guess, today, was just to cut the chorizo down a bit, throw it in the dutch oven, and see what happens.


What kind of casing, and preparation, is most likely from my local market?

If I’m supposed to remove the casing, how?


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Mexian chorizo is usually soft and sold uncooked. You cut it open and then squeeze out the insides in your pan and cook it. You don’t eat the casing. Our favorite prep is to cook the chorizo, add diced potatoes, continue cooking until the potatoes are brown and cooked through, then add eggs and scramble it all together. You can eat as is or wrap in a flour tortilla with cheese for a breakfast burrito.

Spanish chorizo is different from mexican chorizo. The Spanish one is a cured style sausage that you slice up and cook.


Mexican style chorizo is very fatty, maybe over 50%. When you heat it, it will melt. I have eaten eggs cooked with chorizo, and had chorizo cooked with ground beef with tortillas.

I think of Mexican chorizo a seasoning, vs a sausage. They are not similar to Italian style sausage, chorizo is seasoned fat.


Thanks - my question is not when to use it, but how - how does one deal with the casing.

When you buy chorizo from a butcher, you can by it more or less dried. They often have a bunch of them on the drying rack, and you can ask for more fresh or more dry ( when I went in they only had one left ).

I will try @boogiebaby 's idea of squeezing, I’m a little skeptical but can give it a shot.


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I’ve never seen dry Mexican chorizo before. Mexican chorizo is a fresh sausage. It’s very soft in texture.


As the casing appears to be edible, why not simply cook it in the casing as you might with any other sausage. We don’t have Mexican chorizo in the UK, only the Spanish ones - both cooked and uncooked. I’ve never had any problem skinning the uncooked version prior to, say, frying - which is something I do sometimes.

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Often recipes ask to remove casing because it is tough and good to eat on other (spanish style) chorizo that is cured/dry/aged.
For the fresh chorizo with tasty casing you like i see no reason to bother to remove it for the recipe you mention in original post.

Another idea- if peeling off casing is not easy maybe try putting in freezer half hour or so and then try removing casing? could be easier if meat is more solid…

All of the fresh Mexican chorizo I’ve cooked with is very fatty. I squeeze it from the casing, cook and then remove the masses of grease. I don’t think it would be very appealing as a cooked sausage in it’s casing.


For both Mexican and Salvadoren~o Chorizo, i retain the casing, and do a 2-step cooking process.

I simply throw the individual sausages onto my outdoor gas grill for 12 minutes or so, get the casings to singe & blister a bit in the process.

Then chop them up on my cutting board, and toss onto my hot comal (w/ a bit of diced Mexican onion that’s also been on the grill) for a couple more minutes. This gives the meat also some nice semi-crisp texture.

Then, it’s now beautiful taco filling.

any Leftovers go into chorizo egg scramble the next AM.


Do you prick the sausages before putting them on the grill?

I do not.

However, since they come ‘tethered’ like links, i do cut them into individual links before starting cooking.

they do not seem to build-up pressure inside the casings, like many euro-style sausages do. not sure what accounts for that…

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FWIW I always use the squeeze it out of the casing method…

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As a follow up to my post!

Apparently one normally buys Chorizo Mojado, or wet, which can be cooked like usual sausage, or squeezed out.

The dry stuff, Secco, is just different. I still don’t know how to eat that.

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Have you cooked SF Bay Area fresh chorizo in the casing?

Yep. Just like a regular sausage. And I’ve squeezed it out. It’s all good if I get the fresh stuff.

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I’ve never seen Mexican chorizo in a casing, except for a couple of times in what was very obviously a plastic tube, for ease of portioning out.

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