Ahi Ceviche

Source: Micki Seibel, June 2012

Source: Micki Seibel, June 2012

What is Ceviche?

Ceviche is a Peruvian method of “cooking” fish by marinating it in citrus. The citric acid creates the same chemical reaction as cooking but without heat. The tricky part of making ceviche is properly timing the marinating to not overcook or undercook your fish. Slice that fish a little smaller one time or a little bigger the next, and you change the time that it needs to marinate. Tricky, for sure.

To get around the timing issue, I use ahi tuna as it’s edible raw. In fact, ahi is better served raw. Hence, this recipe is essentially an ahi tartar using a lime dressing to re-create the flavor of ceviche. Adding a dash of Asian fusion with the use of ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil, you end up with truly San Franciscan cuisine (that is where I’m from after all).

Best of all, it’s simple and relatively fast to make. Most of your prep time is spent cutting ahi and juicing and zesting limes.

Cook Time

Prep time: 
Ready in: 
Yields: Serves 4-6 as an appetizer or 3 as a main dish


  • 1 lb ahi tuna, sashimi grade
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 avocado, cut into 1/2
  • 2 limes
  • olive oil, 1/2 the amount that the limes make in juice
  • 1 1/2″ fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • flatbread or corn chips


  1. Cut the ahi into 1/2″ square pieces and place into a non-reactive bowl. (Yes, this is the most time consuming part of the whole recipe.)
  2. Add the cilantro and avocado and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl (or better, a martini shaker) whisk together the juice of the limes, the zest of the limes, the olive oil, ginger, sesame oil, and soy sauce.
  4. When you are ready to serve, add the dressing to the ahi-cilantro-avocado mixture and serve immediately.

How Not to Screw It Up

A few tips and tricks that I’ve discovered that will make this even easier:

  1. Use a very sharp knife to cut the Ahi. If you have anything less than a sharp knife, you will mangle the fish and damage the clean texture.
  2. If you have a Martini shaker in the house, it’s a great way to mix the ingredients for the dressing. Throw them all in the shaker and shake. Lots more fun than whisking.
  3. For serving, I’ve found it easiest to put the servings of ahi on each plate and add a handful of Terra chips or flatbread on the side.
  4. If you use Terra Chips for serving, the Terra Blues work the best. The are relatively large, and the intense blue color looks great on the plate.

To Make a Vegetarian Version

Substituting tofu for the ahi, you can make a vegan version of this same ceviche. The prep time is a little longer as the tofu will need to be pressed of excess water and requires an hour to marinate in the ceviche dressing to absorb the flavors. The complete instructions are found here: