Black Grouper Aguachile

Adapted by
May 2021
Yield: 2 servings


Tomato Water:
One 100-gram heirloom tomatoes , roughly chopped
Kosher salt
100 milliliters lime juice
Pickled Onions:
25 grams julienned red onion
125 milliliters apple cider vinegar
Chile Arbol Sauce:
50 grams arbol chiles, deseeded
125 milliliters apple cider vinegar
Cured Grouper:
Two 100-gram sheets kombu
Junmai daiginjo sake
100 milliliters rice bran oil
100 grams black grouper, sliced thinly into 10 pieces
Compressed Cucumber:
1 Japanese cucumber, sliced with a mandoline
140 milliliters Junmai daiginjo sake
Zest of 1 lime
To Assemble and Serve:
1 radish
Finger limes
30 sprigs sprouting huacatay


For the Tomato Water

Place kombu in a deep, nonreactive container. In a separate mixing bowl, season tomatoes with kosher salt. Transfer tomatoes to a cheesecloth-lined chinois and sit it on top of the deep container with kombu. Let sit 24 to 32 hours to collect tomato water. Season tomato water with salt and lime juice.

For the Pickled Onions

In a nonreactive container, combine onions and vinegar. Let onions soak overnight.

For the Chile Arbol Sauce

In a nonreactive container, combine chiles and vinegar. Let soak overnight. The next day, transfer chiles and vinegar to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil then continue to cook 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to a Vitamix blender and blend until you reach the consistency of a hot sauce. Season with salt. 

For the Cured Grouper

Lay out kombu sheets and brush with sake and oil. Lay the 10 slices of grouper onto one sheet. Place the other sheet of kombu on top so both sake-brushed sides are touching the fish. Wrap in plastic and place in the cooler to cure for about 1 hour.

For the Compressed Cucumber

Place cucumber, sake, and lime zest into a vacuum bag and seal until air-tight.

To Assemble and Serve

Place radishes in ice water and set aside. Arrange five slices of Cured Grouper per serving plate. Season with Chile Arbol Sauce, finger lime, and salt. Arrange Compressed Cucumbers, radishes, and Pickled Onions over the top of the fish. Place the huacatay around the radishes. Finish tableside with a pour of Tomato Water.