Cooking with IPA: Ahi Tuna Aguachile

A well-chosen IPA adds a tropical splash to this simple yet delicious riff on aguachile using sushi-grade tuna.

Christopher Cina Mar 4, 2023 - 3 min read

Cooking with IPA: Ahi Tuna Aguachile Primary Image

Photo: Christopher Cina

Serves: 2

Marinated Vegetables

  • 1 jalapeño, roasted, seeded, and finely minced
  • 2 Tbs (30 ml) red onion, finely minced
  • ¼ cup (59 ml) cucumber, seeds removed, finely minced
  • 2 Tbs (30 ml) red bell pepper, seeds removed, finely minced
  • 2 Tbs (30 ml) cilantro stems, finely minced
  • 1 Tbs (15 ml) mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 2 Tbs (30 ml) olive oil

Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Allow to marinate for 1 hour.

IPA Sauce

  • ¾ cup (177 ml) cucumber, chopped
  • ¼ cup (59 ml) cilantro leaves
  • 1 Tbs (15 ml) shallot, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/3 cup (78 ml) IPA
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Pinch black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Adjust the seasoning as needed.

  • 6 oz (170 g) sushi-grade ahi tuna
  • Marinated Vegetables
  • ½ cup (118 ml) IPA Sauce
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil

To assemble the aguachile, cut the raw tuna into slices about ¼" (6 mm) thick. Divide the slices between two plates that have deep rims. Place spoonsful of marinated vegetables in various locations among the tuna slices on each plate. Pour the IPA sauce on the side of each plate and allow it to run around the tuna slices, but the tuna should not be submerged. Season with sea salt and black pepper and garnish with a teaspoon of olive oil on each plate.

Beer Tasting Notes: Watch the sweetness and bitterness in the IPA you choose for this recipe—too sweet and the IPA will weigh the sauce down, too bitter and the combination of lime acidity and IPA bitterness will produce an edge that overshadows the tuna. Instead, look for one of today’s modern West Coast IPAs—light malt, gentle bitterness, subtle tropical-fruit notes, and a fresh thiol edge that lends a crispness to complement the cucumber, cilantro, and shallot of the sauce.

Beer Suggestions: Try a new-school cold IPA such as Wayfinder Original Cold IPA (Portland, Oregon), a contemporary West Coast IPA such as Green Cheek Happily Deceased (Costa Mesa, California), Firestone Walker Hopnosis (Paso Robles, California), or even a hop-forward pale ale such as Half Acre Daisy Cutter (Chicago).