Simply put, ceviche is the combination of fresh seafood marinated in citrus juice to impart a cooked texture without using heat
Why? It’s easy! You literally toss your favourite chopped fish with a generous amount of citrus juice and let it sit until it reaches the desired texture (about 20 minutes or so).
I like this recipe because it reminds of the first time I had a ceviche that I actually enjoyed. It was during my honeymoon in Cartagena, a Colombian seaside city located in the Caribbean. The hotel at which we were staying was serving a sustainable seafood menu, and their famous ceviche recipe used an invasive species that threatened local fish populations. At the time, they were serving lion fish, a firm white fish with big flakes that was marinated in lime juice and tossed with red onion, papaya and heaps of cilantro. To top it off? Corn nuts. The salt and crunch from those in addition to the tropical flavours and supremely fresh fish was a game-changer. Also, this initiative reminded me a lot of the sustainable seafood movements happening at home in B.C.
The amount of time you let the seafood marinate in citrus juice (lemon or lime) will dictate its texture. Some people like their seafood well-done and some not so much. I recommend tasting it after 20 minutes and you can let it sit longer depending on your preference.
You can curate this simple recipe any which way you like. From adding cubed avocado or mango to local produce like tomatoes or even stone fruits (think tart peaches or fragrant apricots). The more you add, the more bulk you create, meaning the dish will be that much more filling.
Also, you can adjust the herbs if you don’t like cilantro (basil is fantastic with fresh fish) and instead, use lemon in place of lime and serve with toasted baguette (for scooping, of course). Just ensure that your seafood is sustainably sourced and look for the logos of Ocean Wise, SeaChoice or Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). When in doubt, use the Ocean Wise chart or app for quick info. Also, ask! It’s worth it.
- ¼ of a red onion (or full medium shallot), finely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 oz. fresh, high-quality skinless, boneless white fish fillet, cut into ½" pieces*
- Flaked salt, to taste
- 2 tbsp (or more), roughly chopped cilantro
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Corn nuts
- Corn chips
- Twenty to 30 minutes before you plan on serving the ceviche, toss above ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.
- Cover and let marinate in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Drain any excess lime juice from marinated fish.
- Toss fish lightly with salt, cilantro, olive oil and any other additions.
- Add to serving bowl and top with corn nuts. Serve with corn chips for scooping (optional).
Serves 2-4 (as an appetizer)
*Tip: tell your fishmonger you’re making ceviche instead of cooking with heat. They’ll ensure you have the freshest fish possible.