• serves 4

Xochi (so-chee), from Xochitl, Goddess of the Flowers, meaning to bloom or catch fire, is the award-winning restaurant from Chef Hugo Ortega and the H Town Restaurant Group culinary team.  Xochi celebrates the culinary and indigenous richness of Oaxaca, Mexico and its varied geographic regions and preservation of primitive customs with an unrivaled menu of Oaxaca-inspired food and drink. 

 Xochi celebrates the flavors of Oaxaca with a creative edge as seen through the creative lens of James Beard Award-winning Chef Hugo, executive pastry chef Ruben Ortega and Beverage Director Sean Beck. The menu features a wide variety of housemade masas incorporating many types an colors of corn, an endless variety of moles, housemade chocolate and ribbons of cheese (called quesillo) wrapped into balls, imported Oaxacan, coffee, grasshoppers, tlayudas (huge tortillas, fire-roasted with toppings), beans cooked with avocado leaves, and many other very distinctive and diverse Oaxacan-inspired dishes. Their stellar bar program has an extensive offering of mezcals, tequilas and Mexican craft beers.

 This recipe is for one of the most popular dishes at Xochi, which has been on the menu since opening.  Enjoy!



Rolled Grilled Skirt Steak

  • 2 lb. skirt steak, divided into 8-oz. portions
  • 2 fresh hoja santa leaves, stems removed and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup adobo sauce (recipe follows)

Adobo (makes 1 cup)

  • 5 dry guajillo peppers, seeds removed
  • 3 dry puya peppers, seeds removed
  • 2 dry chile de árbol peppers
  • 1/8 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 2 allspice seeds
  • 1/8 tsp dry oregano
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt as needed

Barbacoa sauce (makes 3 cups)

  • 5 guajillo peppers, seeds removed
  • 5 dry de árbol peppers, seeds removed
  • 2 large roma tomatoes
  • 2 large tomatillos
  • 3-1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/8 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1/8 tsp dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup sliced white onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • salt as needed

Roasted Carrots

  • 12 baby rainbow carrots
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Grilled Creamy Potatoes

  • 12 small creamy potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-1/4 tbsp kosher salt


Rolled Grilled Skirt Steak

Lay steak on work surface. Holding sharp knife parallel to work surface and starting on the long side, slice flank steak in half to opposite long side, without cutting all the way through; open the steak like a book. Flatten slightly to an even thickness, and marinate with adobo sauce. Place hoja santa leaves longwise over the meat, and roll up. The grain of the meat will be running from left to right. Tie steak with cotton twine at 2-inch intervals to secure. Rub each with approximately 1 tablespoon of adobo sauce and marinate for 30 minutes.

 Preheat the grill, and lightly oil grill grate. Grill until nicely browned on all sides, approximately 10 – 14 minutes depending on desired temperature. Brush steak with olive oil and transfer to a platter, let rest for 5 minutes. Remove the twine and cut into 1-inch slices. Serve warm with hot barbacoa sauce, roasted potatoes and carrots.



Pre-heat a skillet over medium heat. Add peppers toast them for about one minute, moving around the pan and being careful not to burn them. Remove from heat and rinse with hot water. Place in a container and cover with hot water, and soak for 5 minutes.

 Pre-heat a skillet over medium heat, add spices and toast to golden brown. Remove peppers from soaking water place in the blender and blend with the remaining ingredients to a smooth consistency.  Put in a container set aside.   Note: adobo can be made one day in advance.


Barbacoa Sauce

Pre-heat a skillet over medium heat. Add peppers toast them for about one minute, moving around the pan and being careful not to burn them. Preheat a cast-iron skillet to medium heat, add tomatoes and tomatillos, and roast, until skins become black and show blisters, turning to blacken all sides.  Remove from pan and allow to cool, and remove skin from the tomatoes.

 Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add 1-1/2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the sesame seeds, cumin and thyme and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the sesame seeds are slightly browned. Add the toasted peppers, tomatoes and tomatillos and mix well.  Add water, cover and simmer for 10 minutes over low heat. Let stand covered for 15 minutes. Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a saucepot over medium heat, add blended mixture and drop heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir occasionally to avoid sticking on the bottom of the pot.


Roasted Carrots

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, place carrots on a sheet pan, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until tender.


Grilled Creamy Potatoes

Place potatoes in a sauce pot and cover with cold water, add 1 Tbsp. of salt and bring to a boil.  Cook for approximately 10 minutes; drain and set aside until ready to finish them on the grill. When ready to grill,  toss with vegetable oil and a pinch of salt, place on the grill and cook until hot and grill marks appear.

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1777 Walker St
Houston, TX 77010  |  Map

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