This is my easy go-to recipe for a mouthwatering salmon tiradito with passion fruit aji sauce. Tiradito is a Peruvian dish consisting of thin slices of raw fish (sashimi quality) covered with a sauce that usually has a mix of both acidic and spicy flavors.Jump to Recipe
Unlike most ceviche dishes, tiradito is consumed at the moment when it is prepared. Essentially it is not allowed to marinate or “cook” the way ceviche uses lime juice to cook the fish or seafood. Tiradito is a fusion between ceviche and sashimi. It also reminds me of an Italian fish crudo but with that spicy Peruvian flavor.
There are many variations of tiradito, some use a classic white fish like corvina with a leche de tigre style sauce or spicy lime sauce. It can also be made with fresh raw tuna and the sauce or topping can include Peruvian Asian fusion flavors like ginger, cilantro, garlic, and lime juice. You can also use a creamier sauce using aji amarillo, a mildly spicy Peruvian yellow pepper, or the Peruvian rocoto red pepper.
My variation of the tiradito features sashimi-quality salmon and is topped with a spicy passion fruit aji sauce, lime pickled onions, and chopped cilantro. The lime pickled onions are not a traditional topping for tiradito, but I love the contrast that they add to the dish.
Tips and recommendations for making the best Peruvian tiradito:
- Use only very fresh high-quality fish, ideally sashimi-grade fish. If the type of fish you are looking for doesn’t meet these standards, then it’s better to replace it with a different type of fish that is sashimi grade.
- The fish fillets should be cut into thin slices, it helps to use a very sharp knife. I also recommend freezing the fish for 10 minutes right before slicing it. This will give it a slight firmness that makes it easier to cut.
- The salmon tiradito should be served immediately after adding the sauce. However, you can make this passion fruit aji sauce ahead of time, then simply slice the fish and add the sauce when ready to serve.
- Boiling the yellow pepper chilies or hot peppers helps reduce the heat while keeping the flavor of the aji. It is also easier to peel the skin of the hot peppers and remove the veins/seeds using this method. This helps get that silky creamy texture in the sauce, plus you will also find the perfect balance between the spicy pepper flavor and the tartness of the passion fruit.
Salmon tiradito with passion fruit aji sauce
- ½ lb fresh salmon fillet sashimi grade
For the passion fruit aji sauce:
- 3-4 Peruvian spicy yellow hot peppers aka aji amarillo if you can’t find fresh ones you can use canned or frozen ones – if you can't find any aji amarillo you can use red fresno chilies (add a piece of a habanero chili if they’re not spicy enough)
- ¾ cup pure passion fruit juice no sugar or water added, you can use the frozen concentrate if you can’t get fresh passion fruits
- 1/3 cup oil use a neutral oil like avocado or sunflower
- The juice of ½ lime
- Salt to taste
For the lime pickled onions:
- 1 large red onion or 2 small red onions
- The juice of 2 limes
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon of diced aji amarillo hot pepper can also use habanero for a spicier touch – optional and to taste
- Chopped fresh cilantro to decorate
To make the passion fruit aji sauce:
- Boil the ajíes or chiles in a small pot with 1 liter of water for about 10 to 15 minutes. Even if you are using fresh, frozen or canned whole ajíes you should still boil them – unless they already have the skin and seeds/veins removed.
- Put the hot peppers in a bowl with ice water so they can cool down.
- Use gloves to peel the hot peppers, the skin will come off easily. Also cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds and veins – you can also do this with the gloves on, just pull out the veins and seeds directly using your hands.
- If you want to add a some diced aji amarillo to the pickled onions, you can dice ¼ of one (should get about 1 tablespoon) and save it.
- Blend the peeled and deveined hot peppers with the passion fruit juice, the oil, a pinch of salt, and the lime juice until you obtain a smooth and creamy sauce.
- Taste and add additional salt if needed. The sauce can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to serve the tiradito. You will likely have leftover sauce, it works great as a spicy dipping sauce for plantain chips or on top of grilled pork/fish/shrimp.
To prepare the lime pickled onions:
- Cut the onions in half, then slice them very thinly – use a very sharp knife or mandoline slicer if you have one.
- Put the onion slices in a bowl with a little salt and a splash of lime juice, cover them with cold water and let stand for about 10 minutes.
- Rinse and wash the onion slices under cold water.
- Put the washed onion slices in a small bowl and add the rest of the lime juice and a ½ teaspoon of salt. Let stand for at least 15 minutes. You can also add the diced aji amarillo or yellow hot pepper if you like. Mix well, taste and adjust the amount of salt if necessary.
To prepare the salmon tiradito:
- Put the salmon fillet in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Use a very sharp knife to slice the salmon. You can sprinkle a dash of salt on top.
- Put the fish slices on a plate and drizzle the passion fruit aji sauce on top.
- Add some lime pickled onions on top. You can also decorate it with chopped cilantro.
- Serve immediately.