Dining In 1 minute 26 June 2021

Recipe: Californios' Watermelon Aguachile

A bright and refreshing watermelon aguachile from Val Cantu, chef-owner of Two Star Californios in San Francisco

Californios chef-owner Val Cantu says, "This aguachile liquid will go great with any sashimi quality fish. We serve ours with sustainably ranched tuna that comes to us directly from Baja, Mexico, freshly sliced jalapeños, and sweet basil. This recipe can be made very easily with any sashimi-quality fish, and is nice and bright for summer!" Here's how to make Californios' watermelon aguachile. 

This recipe yields 1 pint (16oz) of aguachile liquid, enough for 16 oz of fish, or around 12 servings.


  • 1¼ cup (420g) watermelon juice
  • 1/2 cup (80g) lime juice
  • 1/3 cup (40g) white soy or shiro
  • 1tbsp (20g) agave syrup
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 16oz (450g) sashimi-quality fish (Californios uses tuna)


  • Mix all ingredients with a whisk and pass through a chemex filter.
  • Allow to strain for approximately 2 hours in a refrigerator. Once strained, keep liquid chilled.
  • Add quartered and de-stemmed jalapeño to the clarified liquid and allow to steep.
  • Slice fish just before serving and arrange with sliced jalapeño and basil. Pour enough aguachile liquid to just cover the fish.
  • Sprinkle with finishing salt and a couple of drops of olive oil and serve immediately.


Californios chef-owner Val Cantu.
Photo by Jim Sullivan

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