notes from the mexican kitchen

Mexicali Sweet-Sour Duck

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Stephen Sandoval, one of the restaurant’s opening line cooks, is now a chef at Leña Brava. Stephen grew up in San Diego, and his father owned a car wash in Tijuana.  The first dish Stephen has on the Leña menu is a sense memory of duck hunting with his dad in Mexicali.  They would bring their catch to a local Chinese restaurant and because of the mixing of cultures in Baja California, the duck would be served glazed sweet n’ sour, with fresh salsa and pico de gallo. That’s the inspiration for our new dish at Leña Brava, “Mexicali Sweet-Sour Duck.” We welcome Chef Stephen and look forward to more stories of Baja cuisine – one plate at a time.


  1. Hello!

    I have a question that has nothing to do with today’s post…Just caught an episode of Mexico-One plate at a time, “Off the beaten path in Playa del Carmen! His daughter made a ‘sauce’ in the food processor! I did not understand when she mentioned what she was preparing but the ingredients were roasted garlic, olive oil, lime juice & salt! In trying to find the recipe on your site I believe I’ve come close with ‘Garlic Mojo’?? Except that the directions were quite different as far as using the food processor compared to a potato masher, plus the garlic wasn’t roasted beforehand like she had done but in the oven at 325* along with the other ingredients!

    If you’re still with me — could you help me out with exactly what I watched her prepare, please?? Also, once I get the right recipe () can you share what ways you use the sauce!?!

    Thank You!~Dona Morrison

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