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10 fish tips from Quality Seafood, plus a recipe for ceviche

Addie Broyles

In today’s food section, we talk fish.

(And crab and lobster and scallops, but mostly fish.)

Carol Huntsberger, who has owned Quality Seafood Market for more than a decade gave us 10 tips on getting out of your planked salmon rut this summer, including why you shouldn’t always grill on a piece of wet wood.

We also rounded up five recipes, ranging from a chef-caliber pistachi-crusted sea bass or an everyday trout almondine.

The recipe who photo carries the package, however, is this sea bass ceviche from Peruvian Martin Morales, author of “Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen: Authentic Recipes for Lomo Saltado, Anticuchos, Tiraditos, Alfajores, and Pisco Cocktails” (Ten Speed Press, $30).

Morales’ ceviche is the signature dish from the signature restaurant that the former iTunes and Disney music executive opened in London’s SoHo neighborhood in 2012. Though titled “Ceviche,” his first book, which comes out this week, covers many Peruvian staples, from alfajores (a caramel shortbread) to seco de cabrito (lamb braised in beer with cilantro), but if the sea bass ceviche at his restaurant is its most popular dish, the sea bass ceviche recipe is its most sought-after formula.

They use sea bass at the restaurant, but any firm-textured white fish would work. Let what’s freshest at the market help you decide, keep it refrigerated until just before using and don’t wait until you get to the end of the recipe to realize that you need a baked (and cooled) sweet potato.

The acidic marinade that “cooks” the fish is called tiger’s milk (also the name of Morales’ record label), and it calls for an amarillo chile paste (aji amarillo) that they make fresh in the restaurant. In Austin, shoppers can find jars of Costa Peruana’s Aji Amarillo Paste at Central Market, Whole Foods Market and other nicer stores. And finally, don’t skimp on the salt, Morales says. High quality fine sea salt will give you the best results.

Sea Bass Ceviche

For the Amarillo Chile Tiger’s Milk:

1/4-inch piece of fresh ginger, cut in half

1 small clove garlic, cut in half

4 roughly chopped cilantro sprigs

juice of 8 limes

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. amarillo chile paste

For the fish:

1 large red onion, very thinly sliced

1 1/3 lb. sea bass fillet (or other white fish), skinned and trimmed

A few cilantro sprigs, leaves finely chopped

1 limo chile, seeded and finely chopped

1 sweet potato, cooked and cut into small cubes

Fine sea salt

Put ginger, garlic, cilantro and lime juice in a bowl. Stir and then leave to infuse for 5 minutes. Strain the mixture through a sieve into another bowl. Add salt and amarillo chile paste and mix well. This will keep for 4 hours in the fridge.

Rinse the onion and then leave it to soak in iced water for 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly, spread out on a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel to remove any excess water and then place in the fridge until needed. This will reduce the strength of the onion and help to keep the slices crisp.

Cut the fish into uniform strips of about 1 1/4-inch-by-3/4-inch. Place in a large bowl, add a good pinch of salt and mix together gently with a metal spoon. The salt will help open the fish’s pores. Leave this for 2 minutes and then pour over the tiger’s milk and combine gently with the spoon. Leave the fish to “cook” in this marinade for 2 minutes.

Add the onion, cilantro, chile and sweet potato to the fish. Mix together gently with the spoon and taste to check that the balance of salt, sour and chile is to your liking. Divide among serving bowls and serve immediately.

— From “Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen: Authentic Recipes for Lomo Saltado, Anticuchos, Tiraditos, Alfajores, and Pisco Cocktails” by Martin Morales (Ten Speed Press, $30)