Aguachile de Salmón

Aguachile de Salmón
Aguachile de Salmón

Aguachile is just one of many styles of Mexican ceviche. Hailing from the State of Sinaloa, it is traditionally made with raw shrimp, cucumber, onion, lime juice, and fresh chile peppers.

The name “chile-water” comes from the method of mashing chiles with water to make the salsa. Often served as a snack or appetizer, it is usually accompanied by avocado and tostadas.

Here, this vibrant, tangy, refreshing appetizer is made with sushi-grade Southeast Alaska Coho Salmon. Coho’s pleasant mild flavor benefits from lots of jazzy toppings. Coho is a wonderful species of salmon for aguachile – the flavor is enhanced by the salsa and olive oil, the texture pairs great with crispy tostadas, it’s not too fishy, and has broad appeal. (We save expensive King salmon for special meals, and save deep-red Sockeye species for beautiful sashimi). Coho is simply perfect here…

Aguachile de Salmón Coho Recipe

Aguachile Salsa:

  • 1/2 c. lime juice
  • 1 c. cilantro (with stems) packed
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 or 2 chopped jalapeños
  • 2 T. water
  • salt to taste

Puree all ingredients in a blender. Refrigerate until ready to compose the plate.

Aguachile de Salmón


  • onion, very thinly sliced
  • radish, very thinly sliced
  • persian or small cucumber, thinly sliced
  • grape tomatoes, quartered
  • avocado, diced
  • queso fresco, crumbled
  • cilantro sprigs


  • a portion of sushi-grade salmon (this was 10 oz. before trimming)
  • aguachile salsa
  • good tasting olive oil
  • flaky salt

Prepare the salmon by removing skin and pin bones then slicing against the grain into slightly smaller than sushi-size pieces.

I find the flesh of raw coho to be softer and more delicate than that of king or sockeye, so it is more difficult to cut into perfect raw slices. But no worries for this dish, as the fish is covered with a colorful topping so the presentation always looks great.

Pour chilled aguachile salsa onto a shallow rimmed platter. Arrange cold slices of salmon in a single layer. Drizzle olive oil over the fish then season with flaky sea salt. Garnish with onion, radish, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, queso fresco, and cilantro. Sprinkle a bit more sea salt. Serve immediately.

On the side:

  • crispy fire-toasted corn tostadas
  • queso fresco
  • sliced lime

Aguachile de Salmón


While it still had a bit of a kick, this aguachile was prepared on the milder side. For more heat – add a serrano chile to the salsa, add sliced chiles to the topping, or sprinkle with chile flakes.

Of course, Mexican beer makes the perfect pairing. A Cactus Ginger Margarita wouldn’t be bad either. ¡Salúd!

More Raw Salmon

Sockeye Salmon Crudo

Salmon Sashimi, How to Make a Dry Ice Display

More Ceviche

Bay Shrimp Ceviche, Baja Style

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