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Scallop Margarita with California Avocado

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Scallop Margarita with California Avocado


2011 California Avocado Commission Foodservice Chef Competition Winner: Entrees/Sides/Salads. RIS Lacoste of RIS Restaurant created this winning recipe for the 2011 California Avocado Commission Foodservice chef competition. Check out the demonstration video!


Serves: 4

As needed Tequila Ice
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lime juice
1 Tbsp. lime zest
1/2 oz. Tequila
As needed Ancho chili paste
2 ancho chilis
1 cup orange juice
2 seedless oranges, sectioned
As needed kosher salt
As needed freshly ground black pepper
As needed Salad
1 lb. fresh, dry scallops, cut into 1/2 “ chunks
1 small red onion, julienned
1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves picked and kept covered with a damp cloth
1 jalapeño chili, seeds removed and finely julienned
1 poblano chili, roasted, peeled, seeds removed and julienned
1 ripe, Fresh California Avocado, peeled and cut into cubes
2 scallions, chopped
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup the best extra virgin olive oil you have
1 cup sour cream
3 limes, 2 cut into 6 slit rounds, the rest for squeezing
As needed tortilla chips
6 martini or margarita glasses

As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting.
Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados.


This scallop ceviche is very easy to make. There are only two small projects to complete the day before:

  1. Tequila Ice:  Combine the sugar and water in a small heavy based sauce pan.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from the heat and add the lime juice, zest and tequila.  Stir well and pour into a flat container the proper size to allow for a layer of liquid about ¾” thick.  Put into the freezer and allow at least 6 hours for it to be well iced.  Pass a fork throughout the ice about every hour to loosen the mixture and help create ice flakes.  
  2. Ancho chili puree:  Remove the stem and seeds from the ancho chilis, place in a small sauce pan and cover them with orange juice.  Heat gently until the chilis are soft.  Set aside until cool enough to handle.  Puree all in a blender and pass through a sieve.  Mix the orange sections with 1 tablespoon of the ancho puree, 2 ounces of the olive oil, salt and pepper.  Keep covered in the refrigerator.  The extra ancho puree can be frozen in small packets for later use.

Mise en place is the key to the rest of this quick dish. 

  1. One hour before serving, mix the diced scallops, ½ of the red onion, a few sprigs of cilantro and a few slivers of jalapeño together and cover with 1 cup of the lime juice. 
  2. Cover and keep in the refrigerator. Toss the scallops every twenty minutes to make sure they are being evenly marinated with the lime juice. 
  3. During that hour, prepare all of your ingredients as listed above. Also, prepare your margarita glasses by rubbing the edge of each glass with lime juice and then placing each glass upside down into a plate of kosher salt.
  4. After 45-60 minutes, check your scallops for doneness by tasting a piece and seeing if it is too your liking. Keep them in the lime juice longer if they are underdone or marinate them less the next time if they are overdone.
  5. When ready, drain the lime juice from the scallops and pick out the onion, cilantro and jalapeño.
  6. Place the scallops into a large bowl and add the poblano chili, jalapeño, red onion, scallion, cilantro, avocado, salt and pepper.  Add a good drizzle of the olive oil and the juice of the remaining lime. 
  7. Mix gently and taste for acid/fat balance and adjust with more oil or lime juice or salt and pepper, if necessary.
  8. To arrange, separate the scallop mixture into six even portions. Place half of each portion in the bottom of each glass, spread a tablespoonful of sour cream over the scallops, followed by some marinated orange sections and then the rest of the portion of scallops. 
  9. Top with a small scoop of tequila ice and place a lime round on the edge of each glass.
  10. Serve with tortilla chips on the side.

Watch Chef Ris Lacoste of RIS Lacoste Restaurant demonstrate how to make the Scallop Margarita with California Avocado

Nutrition information per serving

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 Calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

About the author

Chef Ris Lacoste, Chef/Owner RIS Restaurant


(4 Ratings)