Red Snapper Aguachile
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Perhaps its just me but it seems like recently Aguachile dishes are popping up everywhere! Not that I’m complaining at all! This wonderful Ceviche-style dish from the Sinaloa region in Mexico is one of the best ways you can enjoy raw seafood. There are many different preparations of Aguachile, and each recipe has it’s own unique twist with ingredients and proteins. For this recipe we’re making a phenomenal tasting Red Snapper Aguachile, which can be prepared in just minutes!

So, what exactly is an Aguachile?

Like all ceviche dishes, an Aguachile primarily relies on big, bold, acidic flavors to bring brightness to the dish and ‘cook’ the Fish. An Aguachile exclusively uses Lime Juice as the acid component, which is very typical of Mexican-style raw fish preparations. The acid in the Lime Juice will break down and literally start to cook the Snapper as it marinades

The key component of an Aguachile which differentiates it from other Ceviche recipes is the bright green color. The color comes from a combination of green ingredients, Fresh Cilantro, Cucumber, and Jalapenos. The combination of these flavors, along with the Lime Juice will deliver the most brilliant, vibrant flavors and colors on the plate

It’s no wonder that this famous dish is seeing a huge resurgence in popularity in recent times, with food photography and dishes being ‘Instagrammable’ being a big selling point for dishes and restaurants!

Aguachile fresh ingredients
Fresh, good quality produce will be the key to producing the best Aguachile

You can alternate with Seafood to include in your Aguachile

An Aguachile is so versatile and will work with a multitude of different raw fish. For this recipe we’ve made a beautiful Red Snapper Aguachile. The Red Snapper was just speaking to us at the Fish Monger, and it just had to go into this dish. The meatiness of the Red Snapper means it’s flavor will still shine through the high acid of the sauce, making it a great choice for this recipe

Other popular white fishes that can be used in Aguachile are Kingfish, Yellowtail, Seabass, Halibut, and Tilapia. Really any white fish that veers more to the meatier side will be a good choice for a Fish Aguachile. We would recommend a trip to your local fish store and peruse what they have on offer. It never hurts to have a conversation with the Fish Monger too

Let them know you’re looking at making a raw prepared white fish dish and see what seafood they recommend. Regionality will also be a huge factor too. So, depending on where you are in the world and what time it is, the best choice of fish will likely change. If Red Snapper is available and looks good, we highly recommend you pick up a couple of filets and make this Red Snapper Aguachile for yourself!

Red Snapper in Aguachile
Red Snapper is a great fish to use in Aguachile, but any white fish will work, as will most other Seafoods. It is such a versatile dish

Non-Fish Seafood ingredients used in Aguachile

By far one of the most popular Seafood ingredients to use in Aguachile is Shrimp. It’s wildly popular all over Mexico and traces back to the origins of the dish. So, it’s no surprise that Shrimp is a popular choice as protein for Aguachile

Another popular and delicious choice are Scallops. Scallops have a beautiful natural sweetness to them, which cuts through the acidic flavors of the Aguachile perfectly. Scallops are best prepared by slicing them thinly and then have them sit in the Aguachile sauce for about 15 – 20 minutes before serving

In summary, you really can’t go wrong with Seafood choices for Aguachile. Each type of Seafood will bring its own unique flavors and textures to the dish. Why not experiment with a few different types of Seafood and let us know which you preferred?

Regardless, white fish, and specifically Red Snapper Aguachile will make an amazing tasting appetizer. So, follow our recipe below and you’ll be enjoying this wonderful recipe in no time at all

Red Snapper Aguachile Spicy Salty Sour
Spicy, Salty, Sour are the three flavor profiles in a good Red Snapper Aguachile dish

There are three flavor profiles you’re looking for in a good Aguachile sauce

A good quality Aguachile will have pronounced flavors of both spice, salt, and sour. The combination of all three is extremely important to have a well-rounded, flavorful Aguachile Sauce. Depending on your flavor preferences you can alter the quantity of the ingredients we’ve included in our recipe slightly

For instance, we like our Aguachile on the acidic side, so are recommending you use the juice of 5 limes. We’re scaling back the heat a little bit and avoiding using the seeds of the Jalapeno. So, if you’re looking for a little bit more heat in the dish and slightly less acidity – you can adjust the quantities accordingly

We feel our Red Snapper Aguachile has the perfect amount of ingredients for a well-balanced, light sauce that still packs plenty of flavor and spice. However, every flavor profile is different, so we recommend tasting your sauce once everything is blended and adjust accordingly

We recommend adding the juice of 3 limes to start and avoiding the Jalapeno Seeds. Give the sauce a taste once it’s all been blitzed together to see what you think. If it’s plenty spicy then there’s no need to add the Jalapeno seeds. If the sauce isn’t as vibrant and bold as you’d like, then add more Acid

Don’t be afraid of the acid it’s what makes this Red Snapper Aguachile taste so good!

Sometimes when testing sauce that is high in acid, it may seem overpowering. Remember, this is a sauce that is going to be combined with other ingredients that will ultimately start to mellow out the overall flavor

So, even if the sauce seems a touch on the sour side when tasting it, it’ll very likely still be fine. You need a lot of acid in this dish to start to cook the Snapper, so it is important that the sauce is heavy on the Lime Juice

We’d recommend giving the sauce one last taste after it has been marinating with the Snapper for 20 minutes. If it is still too sour for your palate, add a little bit of water to dilute the flavor. Don’t add too much, we’d recommend about ½ tsp. at once and taste again

Aguachile in Blender
Blend all the ingredients well to create a smooth liquid. This will form the base for your Aguachile sauce

You can use the small Cilantro stems, but avoid the thick, large ones as they will taste bitter

Every part of the Cilantro is edible, from the leaves through to the stems. They are a critical component of the Aguachile as it provides the wonderful bright colors, along with that fresh, tangy Cilantro flavor. You can use all the Cilantro plant in this dish, however, just be careful when adding the Stems

We recommend adding the smaller stems that are immediately attached to the leaves. These are perfectly fine, and in fact add a nice body to the sauce. Avoid using the larger stems however, as they typically have a bitter flavor. They can be used, but the overall flavor of your Aguachile will end up a little on the bitter side, so they’re best to avoid

Recipe Details


2 – 4 people

Prep time

10 minutes

Cooking time

20 minutes

Total time

30 minutes

Red Snapper Aguachile Recipe


  • 2 Red Snapper Filets (approx. 6 oz. each)
  • Juice of 5 Limes
  • 1 cup of Cilantro
  • ½ Cucumber
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 1 Red Chili, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, peeled
  • ¼ Red Onion, finely sliced
  • Salt


  1. Prepare the Snapper Filets by removing any bones with some tweezers and then cut into thin slices with diagonal slices to maximize the surface area. Place the piece into a bowl and set aside
  2. Cut the Cucumber and Jalapeno into large pieces and place into the blender. We recommend removing the Jalapeno seeds unless you want your Red Snapper Aguachile to be very spicy. Also add the Garlic, Lime Juice, ½ tsp of Salt, and Cilantro. You can use the small Cilantro stems, but avoid using the large ones
  3. Blitz all the ingredients on medium for about 2 minutes until a smooth liquid has formed. You may need to pause a few times to push down any ingredients that have stuck to the side of the blender. (make sure you do so when the blender is turned off)
  4. Once smooth, check for seasoning and adjust to your flavor profile then pour liquid into the bowl with the Snapper. Mix well to combine, then refrigerate for 20 minutes
  5. To serve, place the strips of Snapper on a plate, then top with a few more spoonful’s of the Aguachile sauce so they are covered. Sprinkle over the Red Onion, Red Chili, and a few Cilantro leaves and serve immediately

That’s all you need to do to enjoy this tasty Red Snapper Aguachile dish. It’s such an easy dish to make and looks so beautiful on the plate. Give it a go and let us know in the comments below how it tastes

Red Snapper Aguachile 30 minutes
This wonderful Red Snapper Aguachile is ready in under 30 minutes. Easy to make, and delicious!

If you love this dish, we’ve got loads more amazing Seafood Appetizers for you to try. Here’s a few of our all-time favorites:

Happy Cooking!

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