How to Make Tigres Rellenos: A Delicious Mexican Dish

Tigres Rellenos, also known as Stuffed Tigers, are a popular Mexican dish that combines the flavors of seafood, spices, and a crispy outer shell. This delectable treat is a favorite among locals and tourists alike, and it’s not hard to see why. In this article, we will explore the history of Tigres Rellenos, the ingredients needed to make this dish, and a step-by-step guide on how to prepare it. So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets behind this mouthwatering Mexican delicacy.

The History of Tigres Rellenos

Tigres Rellenos originated in the coastal regions of Mexico, where seafood is abundant and forms an integral part of the local cuisine. The dish is believed to have been created in the early 20th century and has since become a staple in Mexican gastronomy.

The name “Tigres Rellenos” translates to “Stuffed Tigers” in English, which is a reference to the tiger-like appearance of the dish. The crispy outer shell resembles the stripes of a tiger, while the filling represents its meaty interior.

The Ingredients

To make Tigres Rellenos, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 12 large fresh oysters
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped tomato
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying

The Preparation

Now that we have gathered all the necessary ingredients, let’s move on to the step-by-step guide on how to make Tigres Rellenos:

Step 1: Shuck the Oysters

Start by shucking the oysters, carefully removing the top shell while keeping the oyster intact. Place the shucked oysters in a bowl and set them aside.

Step 2: Prepare the Filling

In a separate bowl, combine the bread crumbs and milk. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes until the bread crumbs absorb the milk. Then, add the finely chopped onion, garlic, bell pepper, tomato, cilantro, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, and black pepper. Mix well until all the ingredients are evenly combined.

Step 3: Stuff the Oysters

Take each shucked oyster and generously spoon the filling on top, covering the entire surface. Make sure to press the filling gently to ensure it sticks to the oyster.

Step 4: Coat the Oysters

Place the coated oysters on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let them chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm up.

Step 5: Fry the Tigres Rellenos

In a deep frying pan, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully place the chilled Tigres Rellenos in the pan, filling side down. Fry them for about 3-4 minutes or until the outer shell turns golden brown and crispy. Flip them over and fry for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy

Remove the Tigres Rellenos from the pan and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil. Serve them hot with a squeeze of lime juice and your favorite dipping sauce. Enjoy this delightful Mexican dish!


Q1: Can I use frozen oysters to make Tigres Rellenos?

A1: While fresh oysters are preferred for their flavor and texture, you can use frozen oysters if fresh ones are not available. Just make sure to thaw them properly before shucking and proceed with the recipe as usual.

Q2: What can I use as a substitute for oysters?

A2: If you’re not a fan of oysters or they are not readily available, you can substitute them with cooked shrimp or crab meat. The filling will work well with these seafood options too.

Q3: Can I bake Tigres Rellenos instead of frying them?

A3: Yes, you can bake Tigres Rellenos if you prefer a healthier alternative to frying. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and place the stuffed oysters on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the outer shell is crispy and golden brown.

Q4: How long can I store Tigres Rellenos?

A4: Tigres Rellenos are best enjoyed fresh and hot. However, if you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat them in the oven or toaster oven to maintain their crispiness.

Q5: Are Tigres Rellenos gluten-free?

A5: The traditional recipe for Tigres Rellenos includes bread crumbs, which contain gluten. However, you can easily make them gluten-free by using gluten-free bread crumbs or crushed gluten-free crackers instead.


Tigres Rellenos are a delicious Mexican dish that combines the flavors of seafood, spices, and a crispy outer shell. This article explored the history of Tigres Rellenos, the ingredients needed to make this dish, and provided a step-by-step guide on how to prepare it. Whether you’re a seafood lover or simply looking to try something new, Tigres Rellenos are sure to satisfy your taste buds. So, gather the ingredients, follow the recipe, and enjoy this mouthwatering Mexican delicacy!

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