Black Bass
Aguachile is an incredibly fun, non-cooking recipe to serve fresh seafood. As
its name indicates, its spicy water is made from chiles. Aguachile can also be
considered the Mexican version of Ceviche, however, the methods used to
"cure" the seafood with citric is slightly different and requires less time. Raw
shrimp or scallops are traditionally used for this recipe that originates from the
north pacific coast of Mexico.

I am in love with Mexican cuisine and all its ingredients, although I always keep it
mild-medium when it comes to heat. Jalapeño is my hot pepper of choice, which
is about two steps down from the most used chile, serrano.

This easy recipe is one that I serve often for private dinner parties. It is always
a hit. I recommend that when making recipes that require raw ingredients, like
fish, you use only the best quality possible from a trustworthy responsible
source. I have been a member of Sitka Salmon Shares for quite some time now
which means I get wild-caught fish that is harvested sustainably, flash-frozen,
and delivered to my door. In this case, I used black bass, but any firm white fish
would work.

4 as an appetizer

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh lime juice
3 oz. wild-caught black bass
1 cup fish stock  
1 jalapeño, seeded
1 tomatillo
1 cup cilantro, leaves and stems
Salt to taste

1 small seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
1 radish, thinly sliced
Micro herbs and edible flowers to garnish (optional)

Before you start, place your serving plate in the freezer, the preparation will
only take a few minutes.

Start by pickling the onions, add thinly sliced onions in a small bowl and cover
with 1/4 cup of lime juice, season with a pinch of salt and let it sit until you are
ready to serve.  

Next, thinly slice the black bass, sprinkle a heavy pinch of salt over the fish and
stir to combine. Add enough lime juice to cover the fish, about 1/4 cup, and set
aside to cure for 4 to 5 minutes while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Make the aguachile: In a blender combine fish stock, seeded jalapeño, tomatillo,
lime juice from the fish plus the remaining lime juice, and cilantro. Season with
salt to taste. Blend on high until you have a smooth liquid. Taste for seasoning
and adjust if necessary.

Strain using a fine mesh.
Plate and serve: Get the plate from the freezer and arrange the fish in a single
layer. Add enough aguachile to generously cover the fish. Top with pickled
onions. Arrange cucumber and radish slices between fish slices. Garnish with
microgreens and/or edible flowers. Serve immediately. Enjoy with tortilla chips.

Cook’s Note: If you might end up with more aguachile than needed for this
recipe, it can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days and used as an extra
added flavor on any recipes that call for stock. The fish should be eaten the
same day it is prepared.
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