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[Kitchen Tales]

Mike Minor tells the story behind Border Grill’s baja ceviche

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The baja ceviche is the most popular appetizer at Mandalay Bay’s Border Grill.
Photo: Leila Navidi

When chef Mike Minor first joined the team at Border Grill, celeb chefs/owners Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken told him they’d be taking him to Mexico for some tasty research. “Sure enough, six months into my gig they took me to Baja and really showed me what they were all about: eating street food,” Minor says.

Some of those humble offerings seemed a little sketchy. “Susan and I saw this guy working at a wooden stand that he built, selling ceviche for one peso. I’m thinking, I’m not eating that! You gotta be crazy. One peso? I’ll probably get sick and die.” But the ceviche turned out to be an inspirational dish for Minor, who was wowed by the freshness accomplished with minimal ingredients and preparation. “I could not believe how incredible it was: fresh, limey, salty, no bad fish flavor. It was local, halibut they caught there. I was in love with it right then and there.”

That tasting trip secured Minor’s love of Mexican food, and it’s also the reason Border Grill’s best-selling appetizer is called Baja ceviche. “That dish really stuck with me, and it became one of the first dishes I recreated. I use Alaskan halibut, some great shrimp, and make my own cilantro aioli instead of mayo to bring it to life.”

The Details

Border Grill
Mandalay Bay, 632-7403.
Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Mike Minor runs Border Grill at Mandalay Bay.

Baja Ceviche

(serves 4 or more)

Ingredients:

1 lb. boneless, skinless halibut or mahi mahi, finely diced

1 lb. wild-caught jumbo shrimp, cleaned and finely diced

1 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed

½ red onion, finely diced

1 jalapeno, stem and seeds removed, finely diced

½ bunch cilantro, finely chopped

2 roma tomatoes, cleaned and finely diced

2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced

salt to taste

Method:In a large bowl, combine halibut and shrimp and enough lime juice to cover the seafood. Allow to marinate for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of lime juice.

Combine seafood with remaining ingredients and reserved lime juice, to taste, and stir gently to combine. Chill thoroughly.

At Border Grill, the ceviche is served on fried corn tortilla tostadas with a thin layer of cilantro aioli (cilantro, lime juice, mayonnaise, salt and pepper) and topped with avocados slices.

Tags: Dining
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