Ahi tuna ceviche gets a kick from tequila in this margarita-inspired appetizer recipe. Great for Cinco de Mayo or a summertime dinner party!
After almost 17 years of marriage, chances are you can predict your spouse’s actions even better than they can. So, when my husband first headed out to the Seattle area last year to interview for a job and to scope out different neighborhoods and schools, it didn’t surprise me that he honed in on an awesome Tex Mex restaurant within 24 hours of stepping on Washington soil. Not one little bit! The man has a built-in radar for burritos, mole sauces and salsas. Me? Sushi. Him? Burritos.
It’s really no wonder that we ended up buying a house only five minutes from the restaurant or that it was the sight of our first date in our new hometown. Top shelf tequilas, mini street tacos, awesome salsa and a bartender that shakes up a mean margarita!
One thing I’ve learned since the time of my “do it on the cheap” university days, is that it’s worth the extra $2 to order your margarita with top shelf tequila, and our new date place has a huge selection. Before I was steered in the right direction by a spirits lover in our old neighborhood, I avoided tequila like the plague because I thought it tasted like paint thinner. The wicked hangover from the cheap-o stuff didn’t help, either.
But the top shelf stuff? Subtle, smooth, slightly sweet in some cases. Actually drinkable!
In honor of Margarita Week (be sure to check out the other recipes there, too!), the brain child of Kate of ¡Hola! Jalapeño, I pulled out a bottle of tequila (not exactly a $100 bottle, but still good) and poured a splash into a mixture of lime juice, olive oil and agave nectar. Sweet, tangy and a little bit boozy, the marinade works beautifully in this ahi tuna ceviche.
If you’re not familiar with ceviche, it’s a dish made with raw fish that is cured in citrus juices. Lime or lemon juices in essence cook the fish by changing the proteins in a process called denaturation, which is also what occurs when cooked with heat. It’s actually pretty amazing to watch the process. Once the fish is combined with the acid of the citrus juices, it takes no more than 15 to 20 minutes for the fish to change color.
In this ahi tuna ceviche recipe, I used sushi-grade ahi tuna, mixed it with the marinade, avocado, minced jalapeño pepper and cilantro. A dollop of hot sauce, chopped tomato or even a splash of tomato juice would also be fantastic in this recipe!
- ¾ lb. sushi-grade ahi tuna, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp (1 fluid oz.) good quality tequila
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp agave nectar
- ½ jalapeno, seeded & minced
- ½ avocado, chopped
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp minced cilantro
- ½ tsp kosher salt, or to taste
- 4 butter lettuce or Boston bibb lettuce leaves
- Place the ahi tuna in a medium bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, tequila, olive oil and agave. Pour the mixture over the ahi tuna and stir to coat. Gently stir in the jalapeno, avocado, green onion, cilantro and salt.
- Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, stirring 1 to 2 times. Season to taste.
- Serve in lettuce leaves.
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