Like all raw fish dishes, this luxuriously textured ceviche from Puerto Vallarta requires the freshest fish at the market. Almost any saltwater fish will do, and the appetizer is best with a mixture of two seafood varieties for superb taste and texture.
- 1 pound very fresh fish. Choose 2 varieties with different textures, such as 1/2 pound halibut, snapper or bass combines well with 1/2 pound yellowtail, tuna, shrimp or scallops
- 1/2 cup lime juice (12 limes) made from Mexican limes (a.k.a. Key limes) if possible
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
- 3 stemmed jalapeño or serrano chiles, finely chopped (do not seed)
- 2 red ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
- ½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
- ¼ teaspoon sea or kosher salt
- 8 grinds of black pepper
- 2 avocados, ripe but not soft, diced into ½ inch cubes
- 1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated, washed and dried
- 1 bag bought or homemade salted, corn tortilla chips
- 1 bottle Mexican hot sauce, such as Cholula or Tapatío.
- Cut the seafood into ½ inch cubes and put into a non-aluminum bowl. Pour the lime juice over and stir gently. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator, depending on the density of the fish, until barely translucent when a piece is cut open.
- Drain the fish in a large strainer and discard juices. Return to the bowl. Note: The fish can be refrigerated an additional 30 minutes after the juice is drained off, just keep tightly covered with plastic wrap.
- Mix in the onion, half the chopped chiles, tomatoes, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Gently fold in the avocados. Taste for seasoning, adding more chiles as desired.
- To serve: Center an attractive lettuce leaf on each plate.