Ají amarillo paste is crucial to many Peruvian dishes, including classics like Chicken in Chile Sauce (also known as ají de gallina) and Peruvian Rice and Lentils, or tacu tacu. The chile paste also lends its mild, slightly fruity heat to this beautiful, summery salad of grilled mahimahi, creamy avocado, red onion, crisp cabbage, and crunchy tortilla chips—think of it as the love child between ceviche and fish tacos.
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 to 3 teaspoons bottled ají amarillo or ají mirasol paste (sometimes labeled “crema”)
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 lb skinless mahimahi fillet (3/4 to 1 inch thick), cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 firm-ripe 6- to 8-oz avocados
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- 1 fresh jalapeño, very thinly sliced, including seeds
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage (1/2 lb)
EQUIPMENT:6 (12-inch) skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes if wooden
ACCOMPANIMENTS:tortilla chips; lime wedges
Whisk together juices, ají amarillo paste, and 1/2 tsp salt until salt has dissolved, then whisk in oil.
Toss fish with 3 Tbsp dressing and 1/2 tsp salt and marinate at room temperature 15 minutes.
Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium-high heat for gas); see “Grilling Procedure.”
Thread fish onto skewers, leaving a small space between pieces.
Oil grill rack, then grill fish, covered, turning once, until opaque and just cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes total.
Halve, pit, and peel avocados, then cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Toss avocado, onion, jalapeño, and cilantro with half of remaining dressing.
Divide cabbage among 4 plates and top with avocado salad. Remove fish from skewers and serve over salad. Drizzle with remaining dressing.
COOKS’ NOTE: Mahimahi can be cooked in a hot lightly oiled grill pan, in batches if necessary.