Ceviche is the Latin American dish where really fresh fish and shellfish is cured in lime juice and tossed commonly with onion, tomato, coriander, salt and often avocado. It’s quick, it’s easy, and makes a fabulously light starter or lunch.
Originating from the Pacific coast of Latin America, from Mexico right the way down to Peru, ceviche takes on the local flavours so there are many different varieties. There is no right or wrong way to make it or ingredients to use other than the core of really fresh fish and lime juice.
The main thing to remember is to use really really fresh fish from your fishmonger. Even better, catch it yourself, then you know it’s really fresh.
When using prawns or other crustaceans in your ceviche, you might be better served if you poach your seafood first. Be careful not to cook it all the way through, though, or you’ll defeat the purpose of your ceviche. If you poach your prawns, 16 minutes is more than enough time to cook it in your citrus marinade. If you start with raw fish, count on about two hours to complete the process.
Ceviche is best served chilled or at room temperature.
Note that while heat is an effective method for killing the bacteria that cause food poisoning, marinating it in citrus juice is not. So it’s important to use the freshest seafood you can, from a source you trust.
My chosen recipe is one from James Martin which uses white fish commonly found in UK waters.
- 500 g firm white fish fillets such as haddock, halibut or pollack, skinned and thinly sliced
- 8 limes juiced, 250ml/9fl oz, plus extra wedges to serve
- 1 Red onion sliced into rings
- 1 handful green olives pitted, finely chopped
- 3 green chillies finely chopped
- 3 Tomato seeded and chopped into 2cm pieces
- 1 bunch coriander roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 pinch caster sugar
- tortilla chips to serve
- In a large glass bowl, combine the fish, lime juice and onion. The juice should completely cover the fish; if not, add a little more. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 1 hr 30 mins.
- Remove the fish and onion from the lime juice (discard the juice) and place in a bowl. Add the olives, chilies, tomatoes, coriander and olive oil, stir gently, then season with a good pinch of salt and sugar. This can be made a couple of hours in advance and stored in the fridge. Serve with tortilla chips to scoop up the ceviche and enjoy with a glass of cold beer.
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