California Style: Leo’s Halibut Ceviche | Wine Enthusiast
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California Style: Leo’s Halibut Ceviche

Belmond El Encanto’s Executive Chef Leo Andres Ayala puts a California twist on the classic ceviche in his signature Halibut Ceviche. Sourced with local Southern California ingredients like avocado, his fish of choice is halibut infused with cucumber, citrus, and jalapeño for a little kick. The dish is served with made-to-order lemon pepper tortilla chips.


1 pound halibut filet
4 ounces thinly sliced English cucumber
2 ounces thinly sliced jalapeño pepper
½ cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed
½ cup lime juice, fresh squeezed
¾ cup orange juice, fresh squeezed
Salt and crushed black pepper, to taste
Canola oil (enough for frying tortillas)
4 corn tortillas, quartered
Harissa paste, (your favorite recipe or store-bought), to taste
½ of medium sized avocado


Cut the fresh halibut into small strips, set aside in a medium bowl. Add both the cucumber and jalapeño to the halibut. Mix all the juices with the halibut mixture. Taste and add the salt and pepper to your liking, and combine well.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours for mixture to cure.

While the ceviche is curing, heat canola oil in a frying pan to 350 degrees. Add tortillas to the oil and fry for 2–3 minutes on each side, or until chips have reached desired crispness. Season fresh tortilla chips with a pinch of salt.

Once ceviche is sufficiently cured (at least 30 minutes) divide evenly between two dishes with the chips alongside. Spread a thin layer of harissa on the chips, as desired, along with a slice of avocado. Serves 2.

Pair It

Belmond recommends pairing it with the Storm Vineyards’ 2013 Presqu’ile Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc from the Santa Maria Valley. Berries and jalapeño give the wine a sweet and spicy nose, while a juicy fruit quality lingers on the palate for a bold and salty marriage of flavors that highlights the subtle spice and saltiness of the fish.

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