It’s relaxed and quick, and everything tastes good with a bit of salt (Margaritas included). The venue, on Smith Street in the inner Melbourne suburb of Collingwood, is a solid spot for tostadas, tacos and beers on a hot summer night. This vegan aguachile goes with all three – and takes 10 minutes to prep from beginning to end.
“[It’s] one of my favourite dishes,” says Hotel Jesus head chef Luke Hammond.
Aguachile translates to “chilli water”; it’s typically made with shrimp but Hammond’s version is vegan. It’s not unlike a ceviche and can be served with corn chips or tortillas.
“I love the sweet, hot and sour punch … from the carrot and lime juices mixed with the habanero chilli,” says Hammond. “Palm hearts take on the flavour of the aguachile. Finished off with the creaminess of the avocado and the freshness of cucumber, it’s a perfect dish for a hot summer’s day.”
“[It] takes me back to memories of hot days on the beaches around Mexico, eating a nice cold aguachile with a cold beer to wash it down – doesn’t get much better than that.”
Palm heart and carrot aguachile
Serves 1 as a main or 2 as a shared starter
Preparation time: 10 minutes total (preparing and plating)
80ml carrot juice
40ml lime juice
½ medium-size habanero chilli (substitute for 1 bird’s eye chilli)
3 palm hearts
30g soy beans
¼ sliced red onion
4 slices of cucumber, cut lengthways with a mandolin
First make the aguachile by combining the carrot juice, lime juice and habanero chilli in a blender and blending until completely combined. Add a pinch of salt to season.
To make the ceviche, slice the palm hearts into discs approximately 1cm in length and place evenly around a flat plate. Sprinkle the soybeans around the plate also.
Pour the aguachile over the vegetable mix until covered. Place the sliced red onion over the whole dish. Lay the cucumber ribbons over the top of the onion, then slice some avocado and lay it evenly over the plate. Sprinkle with some sea salt.