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1 pound fresh, skinless snapper, bass, halibut, or other ocean fish fillets, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice

1 medium white onion, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

2 medium-large tomatoes (about 1 pound), chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

Fresh hot green chilies (2 to 3 serranos or 1 to 2 jalapenos), stemmed, seeded and finely chopped

1/3 cup chopped cilantro, plus a few leaves for garnish

1/3 cup chopped pitted green olives (manzanillos for a typical Mexican flavor)

1 to 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (optional)


3 tablespoons fresh orange juice or 1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 large or 2 small ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced

Tostadas, tortilla chips or saltine crackers, for serving

In a 1 1/2-quart glass or stainless steel bowl, combine the fish, lime juice and onion. Use enough juice to cover the fish and allow it to float freely; too little juice means unevenly “cooked” fish. Cover and refrigerate for about 4 hours, until a cube of fish no longer looks raw when broken open. Drain in a colander.

In a large bowl, mix together the tomatoes, green chilies, cilantro, olives and optional olive oil. Stir in the fish and season with salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon. Add the orange juice or sugar. Cover and refrigerate if not serving immediately. Just before serving, gently stir in the diced avocado.


Working ahead: The fish may be marinated a day in advance; after about 4 hours, when the fish is “cooked” drain it so that it won’t become too tangy. For the freshest flavor, add the flavorings to the fish no more than a couple of hours before serving.

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