Green Herb Ceviche with Cucumber

Green Herb Ceviche with Cucumber
Staff Writer

Susie Cushner


Chef Rick Bayless makes this light and refreshing ceviche recipe that will work wonderfully as an appetizer for an alfresco dinner party or a Sunday afternoon barbecue. 


For the herb seasoning

  • 1/2  head garlic, cloves broken apart
  • 2 or 3 fresh serrano chiles
  • medium bunch cilantro, thick bottom stems cut off (1 cup packed)
  • small bunch flat-leaf parsley, thick bottom stems cut off (1 cup packed)
  • 1/2  olive oil
  • Salt

For the ceviche

  • 1/4  fresh lime juice, plus more if needed
  • 1 1/2  sashimi-quality skinless, boneless fish fillets, such as Alaskan halibut or ahi tuna, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • small pickling cucumbers or Persian (baby) cucumbers, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Salt, if needed
  • ripe large avocados, pitted, flesh scooped from skin and cut into cubes
  • Lettuce leaves, preferably butter lettuce, for garnish


For the herb seasoning

Set a dry skillet over medium heat. Lay in the unpeeled garlic cloves and chiles. Roast, turning frequently, until they are soft and blotchy brown in spots, about 10 minutes for the chiles and 15 minutes for the garlic. Cool until easy to handle, and then slip the skins off the garlic, pull the stems off the chiles, and roughly chop (no need to remove the seeds). Put them in a food processor along with the cilantro, parsley, oil, and 2 generous teaspoons salt. Process until nearly smooth (it will be pasty). Scrape the mixture into a storage container and refrigerate until serving time.

For the ceviche

In a large bowl, whisk together the lime juice and 1/2 cup of the herb seasoning. (Cover and refrigerate the remainder for another preparation.) Add the fish and cucumber, and stir to combine. To blend the flavors, cover and refrigerate for 1/2 hour (for best results, no more than 1 hour). Taste and season with a little more lime juice or salt if needed, then gently stir in the avocado (save a little for garnish if you want). Serve on plates or in martini glasses lined with lettuce leaves. 

Ceviche Shopping Tip

A fresh fish should not smell fishy nor have milky, opaque eyes; it should have bright red gills, firm flesh, and a tight anal cavity.

Ceviche Cooking Tip

Whole fish should be stored upright in ice in the refrigerator.

Ceviche Wine Pairing

Most white wines (especially albariño) and rosé with most fish dishes. Muscadet, sancerre, or New Zealand sauvignon blanc with cold fish dishes; chardonnay, pinot gris/grigio, or pinot blanc with grilled or roasted fish; sauvignon blanc or gewürztraminer with baked fish; grüner veltliner with fish pâté; vintage or non-vintage champagne or sparkling wine with light fish dishes; fino or manzanilla with small fried fish; junmai, junmai-ginjo, or junmai-daiginjo with teriyaki fish.