I’ve rejoiced in the pleasures of Ceviche for quite some time. I think my first introduction was back in Miami. Chris and I, would often escape to the Florida Keys for some fishing and down time. We would rent a boat, and spend the day scouring the reefs for some edibles. Chris would hang his fishing rod over the side of the boat, while I would lounge on the back of the boat, till a huge rogue wave would come up behind me and give me a good drenching.
Every time, I play a home video of these fishing adventures, I’m bound to hear myself bellowing: “can we cook it? Can we cook it!”
We didn’t always go home with the catch. In fact, I think I can count the times on one hand. But, there was always plenty of fresh seafood to buy.
Ceviche is a dish notable to South America where all sorts of fish and shellfish and in combination are marinated in citrus. Ceviche is not cooked using heat but rather by the acid in the lime/lemon juice, which in essence, denatures the proteins. Which means that this form of ‘cooking’ does not kill off any of the bacteria and that’s why ceviche requires the freshest fish, especially shell fish. So, you want to use shrimp that was caught that very morning or essentially sushi-grade. If you don’t have same day caught shrimp, you can drop the peeled shrimp (tails on) in a boiling bath of hot water for a minute, then quickly shock them with cold water, to stop the cooking before marinading them in a citric bath, for an hour or so. Not exactly ceviche but good enough.
Ceviche is one of those easy to make, camping or picnic friendly dishes. It all goes into a little tupperware and marinates for about 3 hours.
- 600g/1lb 5 oz fresh king prawns, peeled, washed and de-veined (Remove tails unless you are blanching which then you can keep on) Alternatively, you can also use scallops, sea bass, octopus, halibut, fresh tuna or a combination of any of these.
- 170ml/5½ fl oz lime juice (about 5 limes)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 green chilli, finely chopped
- ½ tbsp sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
- If you're not using fresh prawns, then begin by dropping them into boiling water for 1 minute then quickly running them under cold water to stop the cooking process. Strain and proceed as below.
- Otherwise, in a deep mixing bowl add the prawn or seafood, lime juice, onions, chill, season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, mix well and chill in the fridge for 3 hours, if blanched 1 hour marination will suffice. Place the prepared bell pepper and coriander in a covered plate in the fridge to chill until called for in the recipe.
- Once the ceviche has marinated for desired amount of time, remove it from the fridge and add the red bell peppers and coriander and then stir to combine. Serve immediately with a lettuce vichyssoise.