Gallery: Behind the Scenes with Javier Plascencia Cooking Octopus and Cow Udder in Tijuana

Octopus and Udder
Octopus and Udder
One of Mision 19's most iconic and popular items is the octopus and udder dish (listed as grilled octopus on the menu). Local octopus is sous-vided, marinated, and grilled, along with cow udder, cherry tomatoes, fingerling potatoes, and fresh garbanzo beans.
Octopus Marinade
Octopus Marinade
An earthy mix of pimento and serrano peppers, garlic, cilantro, and extra virgin olive oil from the Guadalupe Valley coats the octopus, sinking into the flesh and imbuing it with flavor.
Plancha
Plancha
The octopus gets grilled on the hot plancha (or flattop), until it's crisp on the outside.
Octopus, Ready
Octopus, Ready
The finished octopus is flecked with tasty bits of char, a key flavor component of this dish and many others at Mision 19.
Potatoes and Tomatoes
Potatoes and Tomatoes
Fingerling potatoes get browned up in some extra virgin olive oil and garlic, and are joined by fresh garbanzo beans, plus cherry tomatoes from a local farm near Ensenada. The tomatoes cook down, releasing their juices. Before removing the pan from the heat, a few cubes of butter are added to thicken the sauce.
Cow Udder
Cow Udder
The cow udder, or "ubre", is grilled. This cut is a bit like the beef equivalent of pork belly. It's rich and fatty, and when grilled, the exterior crisps up nicely.
Dressing the Octopus
Dressing the Octopus
The grilled octopus gets a drizzle of habanero oil next to the fermented black garlic.
Spooning on the Sauce
Spooning on the Sauce
The potatoes and tomatoes go on next, followed by spoons of the thickened sauce.
Seasoning
Seasoning
The dish is finished with crumbled pistachios and a pinch of fennel pollen.
Final Touches
Final Touches
Tiny purple chive flowers and sprigs of cilantro go on last.
Torching the Salsify
Torching the Salsify
A segment of peeled salsify root is seasoned and torched to get it good and charred.
Torching the Beets
Torching the Beets
Par-baked beets are also torched, crisping up the exterior and covering it with tasty bits of blackened char.
Dressing the Salad
Dressing the Salad
The torched beets and salsify go in a squat canning jar and are topped with finely diced cured cactus petals and flor de mayo beans.
Huitlacoche and Oil
Huitlacoche and Oil
Huitlacoche sand and a drizzle of local olive oil go on last.
Smoking
Smoking
The salad gets a quick hit of smoke from the smoke machine. After smoking, the lid on the jar is clasped shut, trapping the smoke inside.
The Scent of Smoke
The Scent of Smoke
When you flip the top of the vessel at your table, the smoke is released into the air, right under your nose.
Cheese Sauce
Cheese Sauce
A rich, fondue-like cheese sauce is poured over the salad table-side, completing the dish. That little vessel had some extremely intense flavors, from the luxurious cheese sauce to the charred veggies, but mostly from the huitlacoche sand, which imparted salty, musty flavors, making the dish taste like it was tinged with truffles.
Tuna prep
Tuna prep
Local yellowfin tuna is cut into cubes.
Bone Marrow
Bone Marrow
The bone marrow get heated up on the stove, and seasoned with a bit of lemon.
Seasoning the Tuna
Seasoning the Tuna
The cubes of tuna are cooked ceviche-style in a yellow chile pepper sauce, with habanero, onion, mushrooms, and cilantro. This dish is inspired by a yellow pepper and scallion sauce that Chinese immigrants to the area popularized among Mexican locals.
Placing the Tuna
Placing the Tuna
The tender cubes of yellowtail are placed on the roasted bone marrow, which sits on a vessel full of salt.
Avocado Meringue
Avocado Meringue
Refreshing avocado meringue gets piped on top of the tuna.
Accoutrements
Accoutrements
The fish is topped with sea beans, amaranth, burnt chile powder (made from serrano and habanero chiles), and crunchy sourdough croutons.
Ready to Eat
Ready to Eat
The completed dish is one of Plascencia's elevated surf and turf options, featuring an unusual combination of seafood and meat elements.