From Hawaiian poke to Mexican ceviche, there’s no better way to eat seafood than raw. Add a squeeze of lime and dash of soy sauce and you have the perfect appetizer—just be sure to eat it fast.

Tuna Tartare with Avocado

Associate test kitchen director Farideh Sadeghin relied on this elegant appetizer often when she worked as a private chef—it’s tasty, quick to prepare, and simple to plate. For best results, use the freshest tuna you can find.

Peruvian Street Cart Ceviche with Sweet Potato and Toasted Corn (Ceviche Carretillero)

Versions of this dish, Lima’s iconic ceviche, are served around the city at beaches, parks, and markets. Chef John Evans Ravenna of Barra Lima sprinkles his with fried quinoa—long grown in Peru—and whimsical foraged garnishes such as edible flowers and seaweeds. For ease, you can leave off the glazed sweet potato, though it provides welcome relief from the spicy ají limo chile.

Fijian Ceviche

Kokoda is Fiji’s version of ceviche, enriched with coconut milk to balance out all the acid. In this version, the fish “cooks” not in citrus juice but plain old white vinegar, which saves on limes and the time it takes to squeeze them.

Japanese-Style Tuna Ceviche with Togarashi and Radish

Depending on how the fish is cut, this dish falls between a ceviche and a tiradito, a Japanese-Peruvian (or Nikkei) invention similar to ceviche, in which the fish is thinly sliced like sashimi. Nikkei-style preparations such as this often feature Japanese ingredients like soy sauce, togarashi, and sesame oil.

Grapefruit and Seafood Ceviche

Grapefruit juice, fiery jalapeño, and fragrant ginger transform shrimp, scallops, and calamari into an aromatic, spicy salad.

Baja Ceviche Tostadas

Inspired by the street foods of coastal city Ensenada, this tostada is a perfect combination of citrus, spicy chiles, and fresh seafood. This recipe was developed by Border Grill Las Vegas executive chef Mike Minor.

Salmon Ceviche with Avocado and Mango

The combination of salmon and avocado, which Peruvians call palta, is still more common as a maki roll in Lima’s sushi bars than it is in the city’s cevicherías, but it’s growing in popularity. Ravenna adds firm-ripe mango for its sweetness and acidity to harmonize with the rich, fatty avocado.

Lobster Ceviche with Limestone Lettuce

This recipe, which came from noted chef Nobu Matsuhisa, is typical of the cross-cultural innovations that made him such a success.

Cured Fluke with Yogurt, Watermelon, Sunflower Seeds, and Togarashi

Breakfast, brunch, or snack, we could serve (and eat) this quick-cured, no-cook fish dish from John Karangis of Union Square Events, any time of day. It works exceptionally well as a summer starter, served with a savory lime yogurt and refreshing cubes of ripe watermelon, then sprinkled with flecks of shichimi togarashi: a spicy, tangy, earthy Japanese spice mix.

Tom Colicchio’s Passion Fruit Ceviche

Lime juice is usually the sour staple in a ceviche, but James Beard award-winning chef Tom Colicchio also adds a dash of passion fruit to create a boldly refreshing summer appetizer. Crunchy potato chips bring contrast to the tender fish.

Seafood Cocktail (Coctel de Mariscos)

This zesty mix of fresh seafood, tomato and lime juices, and hot sauce is a refreshing snack or light meal eaten along Mexico’s coasts.

Fiddlehead Fern and Cured Salmon Salad

Fiddlehead ferns—the furled fronds of ferns, which grow wild in Hawaii’s lush Waipi’o Valley on the Big Island—often appear in salads at luaus, tossed with everything from fish cakes to dried shrimp. Here, in a version from Tishia Spencer, an attendee of the Mock Chew family annual luau, simple cured salmon beefs up this refreshing side dish.

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