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Perfect match: jalapeño kingfish tostadas and lager

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for kingfish, cucumber, jicama and pickled jalapeño tostadas.

By Alice Storey
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 10 mins cooking plus marinating
  • Serves 6
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Kingfish, cucumber, jicama and pickled jalapeño tostadas
Yes, of course, you could drink all manner of wines with this bold and vibrant dish. A crisp, young dry riesling - something from the excellent 2012 vintage, for example - would be stunning with the clean taste of the cured fish and the zestiness of the lime. A fruity young sauvignon blanc would be lovely with all those crunchy textures in the jicama and cucumber. And a later-harvested pinot gris or gewürz or even an off-dry riesling would be able to handle the heat and sourness of the pickled chillies. I know that many of the restaurants hopping on the Mexican bandwagon across Australia are doing a pretty good job with their wine lists: the selection at Melbourne's Mamasita, for example, is wonderfully eclectic, featuring Canadian rieslings alongside Uruguayan tannat, even some Txakoli from the Basque country (a wine that would, incidentally, be a great match for the kingfish). But be honest: when you think Mexican food, do you really think wine? No. You think tequila. And I think beer (I can't think tequila since that rather unfortunate night back in 1989…). Cold, pale lager. Drunk from the bottle (or, if you must, the glass). It really is exactly what you need to wash down a tostada. Or two.
A riesling would be stunning. A sauvignon blanc, lovely. But when Max Allen thinks Mexican food, he reaches for a lager.


  • For deep-frying: vegetable oil
  • 8 small tortillas
  • 700 gm sashimi-grade kingfish, bones and skin removed, cut into 5mm slices
  • 2 pickled jalapeños (see note), thinly sliced, plus extra to serve
  • To serve: juice of 1½ limes, plus extra wedges
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small Lebanese cucumbers, seeds removed, cut into julienne
  • 1 jicama, cut into julienne
  • ½ small Spanish onion, thinly sliced into rings
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) coriander


  • 1
    Preheat vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 180C. Cut rounds from tortillas with a 5cm cutter (discard scraps) and deep-fry in batches, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp (1-2 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Drain on absorbent paper and set aside.
  • 2
    Combine kingfish, jalapeño, lime juice and olive oil in a bowl, season to taste and set aside to marinate (2-3 minutes).
  • 3
    Top each tostada with cucumber, jicama, onion, kingfish and extra jalapeño, season to taste, scatter with coriander and serve with lime wedges.


Note You can try our tortilla recipe if you'd like to make your own, but the white corn versions sold in delicatessens are a workable substitute. Avocado and good-quality mayonnaise also make great additions to this dish. Pickled jalapeños are available from select delicatessens and supermarkets. Drink suggestion by Max Allen