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“The menu at Extra Virgin consists of shared plates. It started off as all Spanish food, but morphed because I wanted to include dishes from other parts of the world, too. You see ceviche served on tostadas a lot, but I wanted to do something that was easier to eat. I figured that if you can make chips out of taro root, you can make taco shells. They’re crispy but not starchy, and the flavor is really nutty. The sauce we use in the ceviche is our take on mojo, a citrus-based marinade that’s popular in Mexico and South America. We add aji amarillo, which is a bright yellow Peruvian chili paste that’s spicy and fruity, then jicama for crunch and avocado for creaminess. Overall, the dish is full of bright flavors.”
Who Michael Smith, chef/owner
Where Extra Virgin
3 tablespoons each fresh lemon, lime, and orange juice
1 teaspoon aji amarillo paste
1 cup chopped sushi-grade tuna
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ cup peeled, diced jicama
¼ cup each chopped cilantro and scallions
1 avocado, diced
½ teaspoon minced jalapeño pepper
1 large taro root
1. Whisk juices together with aji amarillo paste. Set aside. Coat tuna with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add sauce. Stir in jicama, cilantro, scallions, avocado, and jalapeños. Refrigerate.
2. Cut taro root into 12 thin slices. Cut into circles with a large round cookie cutter. Using a taco shell press or the underside of a large spoon, fry in 350-degree vegetable oil until crispy and golden brown, about 45 seconds. Set on paper towels, season with salt, then cool. Fill with ceviche.
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