“A little heat brings all of the flavors to the surface in whatever you are cooking. With tiraditos, either quickly blast the fish slices with a cooking torch, or heat the back of a spoon over a gas burner and move it quickly over the top of the slices to barely cook the outer edges of the fish. Using a cooking torch really is easier, and you don’t have the trouble of the spoon sometimes sticking to the fish. The center of each fish slice should be rare, with a sushi-like texture.” – Ricardo Zarate
Recipe courtesy of Lima-born Los Angeles based chef and restaurateur Chef Ricardo Zarate. Click here to purchase your own copy of Ricardo Zarate’s cookbook: The Fire of Peru: Recipes and Stories from My Peruvian Kitchenreproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
- 8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices firm white-fleshed fish such as corvina, striped bass, yellowtail, paiche, or halibut from a center-cut fillet
- 1/2 teaspoon pureed garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon pureed ginger
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- About 1/2 cup ají amarillo–lime sauce (recipe follows), well chilled
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- A few teaspoons wasabi tobiko or finely diced fresh cilantro stems
Ají Amarillo- Lime Sauce (makes about 1 cup)
- 1/3 cup aji amarillo, or as needed
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Begin with the ají amarillo-lime sauce. Whisk together all the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- Next, neatly arrange the fish slices side by side on one large or four small plates with about 1/2 inch of space between each. If you are using a large, round serving platter, you can arrange the fish in a circle, like the rays of the sun, or use a long, rectangular plate and arrange the fish down the middle.
- In a small ramekin, use your index finger or the back of a small spoon to mix together the garlic and ginger purees. Make a single swipe on the top side of each slice of fish with your finger, dipping it lightly back in the paste every time
- Swirl together the sesame and olive oils in a small ramekin and drizzle about 1/2 teaspoon on top of each slice of fish. If using a cooking torch, quickly sear each slice of fish for no more than 2 to 3 seconds each with the torch. The fish should barely begin to turn white on the top. Or, heat a large, stainless-steel spoon directly over the flame of a gas burner until scalding hot. (Choose an older spoon that you aren’t attached to, in case it bends or chars.) Quickly move the back of the hot spoon over the surface of a slice of fish, moving the spoon continuously so it doesn’t stick to the fish. Reheat the spoon and repeat with the remaining slices of fish.
- Drizzle the aji amarillo–lime sauce on top of the fish, using about a scant tablespoon per slice, followed by the soy sauce. Sprinkle the wasabi tobiko on top. Serve immediately.