If you love ceviche, then Mexico's aguachile is for you. Traditionally made with raw shrimp, lime juice, chilies, cucumber, and onion, it's served immediately while still totally raw, unlike most other ceviche recipes. In this variation, sweet raw scallops are tossed with lime juice, jalapeño chilies, cucumber, and red onion, then served with tostadas and avocado (and if you like, beer or tequila).
Note: Most scallops are treated with a chemical to help them retain moisture before being sold. When buying scallops, look for never-frozen "dry" scallops that are sold as-is from the ocean. If they are un-labeled, look for the telltale milky white liquid: if the scallops have any liquid pooled around them, they are wet scallops and you should pass them over. If dry scallops are unavailable, any sashimi-grade fish can be used in their place.
- Yield:Serves 4 to 6 as a snack or appetizer
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:20 minutes plus 1 to 2 hours salting time
- 1 pound very fresh dry-packed sea scallops, sliced horizontally into 1/4 inch thick rounds (see note)
- Sea or kosher salt
- 2 medium jalapeño peppers, stemmed and seeded and roughly chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup diced seeded cucumber plus 3/4 cup seeded and thinly sliced cucumber half-moons, divided
- 4 tablespoons fresh juice from 4 limes
- 1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- Tostadas and avocado, for serving
Arrange scallops in an even layer on a large plate and sprinkle all over with salt. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours.
Meanwhile, blend jalapeños with water in a blender or with an immersion blender until thoroughly blended. Add diced cucumber and blend until pureed. Add lime juice and cilantro and blend until cilantro is finely chopped. Season with salt and pepper.
In a mixing bowl, toss scallops with jalapeño-lime marinade, onion, and remaining cucumber half-moons. Season once more with salt and pepper and serve right away with tostadas and avocado.