Tiradito with Chilean sea bass, or: how I tried to get over some food guilt.

Chilean sea bass tiradito

Chilean sea bass tiradito

[Ed: I’m trying to write some shorter posts to get me in the habit of writing much more regularly. So we’ll see how this goes.]

Chilean sea bass is not a fish that comes to our kitchen often, mainly because it’s both expensive and generally believed to be horribly overfished. The latter point might not be as troublesome as I had previously thought, though, because apparently measures have been taken to atone for overfishing and there are now viable options that are considered good choices. So I now feel slightly less guilty over succumbing to the temptation of buying Chilean sea bass (that was on sale!) last weekend in order to make this tiradito from The Family Meal.

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Honestly, this method of “cooking” the fish is actually kind of perfect for a splurge fish purchase, because you don’t need to buy much of it, and you really don’t cook it for long at all. Unlike a ceviche that needs time to marinate in citrus juice, the slices of fish start turning opaque the second the lime dressing hits them so you can easily pull this together as an elegant appetizer within an hour’s time. I’m going to experiment some more with this as the weather warms up in the hopes of finding a less-expensive fish that works just as well, because not only is it perfect for an oppressively hot summer evening, but with the cost of limes being what they are I should find some way to make this more economical.

If suddenly the supply in scallions goes awry, I know I’m screwed.

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Chilean Sea Bass Tiradito

Adapted from The Family Meal

Serves 2-4 as an appetizer

  • Half a pound of Chilean sea bass, skinned
  • Juice of two limes
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 1 small bunch of scallions, root ends trimmed, just white and light green parts (save the green tops for another recipe, like say ginger scallion sauce)
  • Finely chopped cilantro to garnish
  • Coarse or flaky sea salt

Thinly slice the fish and arrange on a serving dish, not letting them overlap too much. Let chill for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.

Right before serving, make the dressing: thinly julienne the scallions and set aside. Make the dressing by whisking together the lime juice and the olive oil (add a little salt if desired) until cloudy. Add in the scallions and toss well in the dressing to coat. When ready to serve, take the fish out of the fridge, scatter the scallions over the fish, and then add the rest of the dressing on all of the slices and top with cilantro.

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6 comments
  1. Brianne said:

    I love ceviche, but I’ve always been afraid to make it at home. This sounds wonderful. Way to go with Seafood Watch; I love how easy they make it to source sustainable seafood!

    • Alton Brown’s catfish ceviche is a good place to start as the fish isn’t too pricey, but it can be kind of chewy. This preparation will not result in chewy fish, but it’s more of an indulgence by comparison.

      I love Seafood Watch! I am so picky about the fish I buy anymore because of it, but I think the fish does end up tasting better (or in my head I think it does). Chilean sea bass en croute was one of the options we had to choose from when we got married 5.5 years ago, and in good conscience I couldn’t choose it but we had it at the tasting and it was soooooo good.

  2. Jonny said:

    I was just telling my mother-in-law about the Chilean sea bass, aka the Patagonian toothfish, being unsustainable the other day. (Her eyes glazed over and she didn’t care, not an uncommon response from her regardless of the subject, in all fairness.) Drumfish or tilefish are good substitutes white fish wise in raw preparations. Had some of the former a coupla months ago in a ceviche at Rick Bayless’ Frontera Grill while in Chicago for work. At any rate, I do love a tiradito, not just the food but that it’s another fascinating example of what happens when cultures meet. We haven’t been yet but Jose Garces’ Chifa restaurant here in Philly is on our list for that very reason.

    • Thanks for the suggestion of drumfish or tilefish–I want to find a really good fishmonger so I can get my hands on them and not just depend on Fairway/Stew Leonard’s for seafood purchases, you know?

    • It would go quite well with a good white wine spritzer. :)

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