Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch

Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch

Sample Recipe
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The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program helps consumers and businesses choose seafood that’s fished or farmed in ways that protect sea life and habitats, now and for future generations. Their recommendations indicate which seafood items are “Best Choices” or “Good Alternatives,” and which ones you should “Avoid.”

They raise public awareness about sustainable seafood issues through their consumer guides, website, mobile apps and outreach efforts. Since 1999, they’ve distributed over 56 million consumer guides and their smartphone app has been downloaded over 1.5 million times. They also encourage restaurants, distributors and seafood purveyors to purchase from sustainable sources. They have over 200 partners across North America, including two of the largest food service companies in the U.S.

The Seafood Watch standards consist of guiding principles, science-based criteria and a robust scoring methodology. The organization regularly updates them with the help of fisheries and aquaculture experts to ensure they incorporate the latest science and understanding of sustainability. They play a critical role in helping the Seafood Watch create an assessment of a fishery or aquaculture operation, which in turn shapes their seafood recommendations.

Peruvian Ceviche

Recipe by Chef Susan Feniger

Serves 4


Featuring South American aji amarillo chiles, freshly grated ginger, and lime, this ceviche is an ambassador to the exotic flavors of Peru.  But you don’t have to travel around the world to get it.  We serve it up in a crispy corn tortilla cone on a bed of plantain chips at our Border Grill restaurants in Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay and The Forum Shops.

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless sustainable fish*, cut in 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño chile, stem and seeds removed, diced
  • 1 aji amarillo chile (jarred), stem and seeds removed, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons aji amarillo paste
  • 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced or grated
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Plantain chips or tortilla chips, for serving
  • Pickled Red Onions (see recipe below), for serving
  • Sliced California avocado, for serving

In a large bowl, combine fish and enough lime juice to cover.  Allow to marinate for 20 minutes.  Drain fish, reserving 1/4 cup of lime juice.  Combine fish with remaining ingredients and reserved lime juice to taste and stir gently to combine.  Chill thoroughly.  Serve in a chilled martini glass, garnished with plantain chips or tortilla chips, Pickled Red Onions, and slices of avocado.

Pickled Red Onions

Makes 5 1/2 cups

  • 1 pound red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon roughly chopped cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 beet, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 8 wedges

Place the onions in a medium saucepan and pour in enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil, and remove from the heat.  Strain and set the onions aside.  Combine all the remaining ingredients in the saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook 10 minutes.  Add the blanched onions and simmer an additional 10 minutes.  Transfer the mixture to a container, cover, and refrigerate at least a day before serving.  Pickled onions will keep in the refrigerator up to a month.

* Wild Alaska halibut is a delicious and sustainable choice for ceviche.  For more info on sustainable seafood, go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch website at

Copyright © 2016, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger,

Za’atar Spiced Salmon with Fennel & Orange Salad, Coriander Yogurt, and Harissa

By Chef William S. Dissen  

Yields 4 portions


For Salmon:

  • 4 – 4oz. portions salmon fillet, skin off
  • 2 tablespoons Za’atar Spice (see recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil

For Fennel Salad:

  • 2 cups fennel, shaved thin
  • 1 ea. orange, cut into supremes
  • 1 tablespoon basil, sliced thin
  • ½ cup arugula
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tabelspoon EVOO
  • I teaspoon lemon, juiced

For Coriander Yogurt: 

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 ea. lime, juiced and zested
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed, toasted and crushed
  • 1 ea. jalapeno, seeded, chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste

For Harissa:

  • 4 oz. mixed dried chilies
  • 1 quart boiling water
  • 1 tabelspoon coriander seed
  • 1 tabelspoon cumin seed
  • ¼ cup garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1.5 tablespoons mint, chopped
  • 1 ea. oranges, zested & juiced
  • 1 tabelspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup EVOO
  • Additional water as needed

For Harissa:

Place dried chilies in a large bowl, cover with boiling water, wrap bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for an hour to rehydrate.

Drain chilies, remove stems, and deseed (some seeds will remain), and place in a food processor.

Toast coriander and cumin seeds until aromatic, and add to food processor.

Add the remaining ingredients together and process until a “chunky” consistency is achieved.  Use additional water to create the desired consistency.

Place in a container and cover with olive oil.  Reserve.

For Coriander Yogurt:

In a blender, mix together all ingredients and process until smooth and green color is achieved.  Taste and reseason if necessary.

For Fennel Salad:

Place all ingredients for salad into a medium bowl and toss to combine.  Taste, and reseason if necessary.  Reserve.

Za’atar Spice

(yields 1 pint)

  • 6 2/3 tbsp. Sumac, ground
  • 1 ¼ cups Sesame seeds, toasted
  • ½ cup Thyme, dried
  • 5 tsp. Kosher Salt

Stir together in a bowl.  Store in an airtight container.

To Finish:

Place a large sauté pan over high heat and add the olive oil.  Season the salmon with the Za’atar spice and pan-roast the fish until it achieves a medium rare temperature.

Place a large “swoosh” of the coriander yogurt across each of the 4 plates.  Place the salmon over the yogurt and place the fennel salad beside the salmon.

Drizzle the harissa on the plate to finish the dish.  Serve immediately.

rockfish ▪︎ jicama-rice salad ▪︎ meyer lemon jam ▪︎ cashew dust

Recipe by Chef Ted Walter of Passionfish restaurant

Serves 4

  • 4 each 8 ounce filets of rockfish


  • 2 cups jicama, shredded
  • 1 cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 20 mint leaves, julienned
  • 2 cups jasmine rice, cooked, chilled, seasoned, tossed with
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 ruby grapefruit, segmented
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, crushed

Vietnamese dressing

  • 1 cup rice vinegar, natural
  • 1 ounce soy sauce
  • 2 ounce fish sauce
  • 1/2 ounce thai chili, diced
  • 3 ounces sugar

Meyer lemon jam

  • 2 Meyer lemons, zest and segments reserved
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • pinch thyme, salt, white pepper ground
  • 2 tbsp a fruity extra virgin olive oil

For the Meyer lemon jam

Run all the ingredients in a food processor.

For the salad

Toss all the ingredients together, season, add the Vietnamese dressing. Taste, then adjust seasoning if needed.

For the Rockfish

Grill the filets on a hot grill till done.

To assemble

Place the salad on plates. Place the rockfish on top and garnish with the lemon jam.

Contact: Monterery Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch
886 Cannery Row
Monterey, CA 93940