5 Elements of Andrew Zarzosa's Aguachile

By Kendyl Kearly | Will Blunt


Kendyl Kearly
Will Blunt
Chef Andrew Zarzosa of The Betsy Hotel
Chef Andrew Zarzosa of The Betsy Hotel

Raw fish with clean flavors was definitely a theme during the making of this Miami issue, but the aguachile (full recipe here) at The Betsy Hotel stood out for its balance and the texture of the cured local grouper. “Ceviche is so popular in Miami and sushi too, so I wanted to introduce them to something different for raw fish,” Executive Chef Andrew Zarzosa says. The local ingredients made a stunning presentation—and color palette.    


Zarzosa softens the texture of the meaty black grouper, caught right off the Florida coast, by curing it in kombu, sake, and rice bran oil.


The crunchy Japanese cucumbers are compressed in a vacuum seal with the same sake used to cure the grouper. Zarzosa likes Onda 48; the Junmai Daiginjo is known for its sweet earthiness.

Pickled Onions

Red onions and arbol chiles are steeped overnight in apple cider vinegar to add acidity. 

Tomato Water

Clear and speckled with red, the lime-infused tomato water is poured tableside and brings all the components together. 


“All the vegetables and produce come from Harpke Family Farm and Swank Farm,” Zarzosa says. “I was excited to get micro produce from our farms like the huacatay.” With notes resembling tarragon and carrot tops, the huacatay catches dewdrops of finger lime.

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