Catalina Cooking: Fresh yellowtail ceviche three ways

Yellowtail creviche. Courtesy photo

So when the Roah boys (The Father and Older two Brothers…Not the teenage Roah’s) call you on Tuesday and say lets fly to La Paz and get some Dorado Friday and you say NO I can’t …

You just wait for the catch! They nailed three larger Yellowtail and a Pargo (which I stuffed and grilled whole for another week) and I met them at the house when they arrived home. Right away with very fresh fish you think RAW … period. So I was so happy to have so much fresh filet that I did it raw four ways. All classic, easy and really really good.

Classic Baja, Chilean (Daughter Caitlin lives in Chile and we had a version there), Tahitian, and Hawaiian. The best is to cube your fish first and chill it. With trimmings make some spicy yellowtail sushi for passed appetizers and the other trimmings chop, bag and freeze for chum.

10# Fresh Yellowtail Filet

2 Dozen Limes juiced

1 Large Sweet onion dice the size of your pinky nail

4 Serrano minced

3 Roma Tomatos diced

1 Red Bell Pepper Minced

2 Shallots minced

1 T minced fresh ginger

1 Bunch Green Onion fine sliced

1 Bunch Cilantro chopped

1 Bunch Chives Minced

1 T Fresh Lime Zest minced

Can Coconut Milk


Fish Sauce

Merkin or Chipotle Powder

Sea Salt

Ground Black Pepper

2 T Sesame Oil

Soy Sauce


More Lime Juice

Divide the Yellowtail in three bowls and pour over each the juice of the limes. Should be enough lime juice to cover. If not up the lime count. Let that sit on ice for about 20 minutes.

Baja. Toss together with the fish, the onion, 2 T minced Serrano, Tomato about 1/4 cup Catsup, 5-6 blasts of Tabasco, few cranks of black pepper and sea salt. Stir this around a bit and toss in the cilantro. Squeeze a couple more limes in and adjust seasonings to your favorite. I always remember when surfing in Baja it always seemed to be great. Of course served with Saltines …

Bora Bora. Take the Coconut milk, chives, bell pepper, ginger, shallots 1 T Serrano’s, Sesame Oil, a few shots of Fish Sauce and mix with the fish. Add a few cranks of black pepper and about a tablespoon of soy. Once again, adjust the seasonings to your taste. Great served with Grilled torn flour tortillas like a mini taco.

Valparaíso Mix the sesame oil, green onions, lime juice and toss together. Season with sea salt and the Merkin. Serve this with chips or whole corn tortillas on the over rack at 350 for about six minutes or until crisp.

These are some that I like to do. No rules, no ego, no mistakes. Just fun fresh caught fish.

Capt. Vaughn Allen was a private chef and butler for the ultra rich and famous most of his life. Vaughn was recently called out of retirement to cook the intimate celebration dinner for Sir Ringo Starr and his close friends. Vaughn is a businessman, scuba instructor and most recently a yacht broker in Redondo Beach. You can contact him at


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