Like most ceviche recipes this is a simple, pragmatic approach to a tasty, healthy fish dish. I lean toward a Mexican coastal ceviche more than a Peruvian or other South American one. The one that changed me forever was surprising in Baja, Mexico. We decided for a light snack before heading further down the coast. Everyone had the heart set on lobster and fish tacos but I managed to lure them to a quaint little roadside taqueria for a quick ceviche. It had the perfect blend of fish, veggies and lime juice. Perhaps it was the company maybe it was the smell of adventure that made it taste so perfect. Either way, I was hooked just like the fish that was served to us.
Now living in NY, I try to grab my fish from either a fish monger or at whole foods. I like to know where it’s coming from. Aim for a nice medium-large boneless fillet of Pollock, Snapper or Tilapia. They have relatively low levels of mercury and a very nice even flavor. Cut the fish into cubes.
Ceviche Ingredients (the salsa)
- The juice of 4 limes
- 2 TBL chiffonade of flat leaf parsley or regular parsley if need be
- 2 TBL chopped coriander
- 1 small diced yellow onion
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 jalapeño diced and ribbed (you don’t want the seeds)
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 1/4 TBL olive oil
- 6 diced cherry tomatoes
- 1 TBL minced celery
I immediately squeeze the limes and pour the juice over the cubed fish. This is an important step. You don’t want to completely eradicate the fish taste with tart, citric acid so barely cover the fish with juice. Stick it in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. Don’t over cook it! It should still feel delicate.
Take all the other ceviche ingredients from above and make your salsa. Mix well. Now stick that in the fridge for a bit to marry. The salt and sugar help that along. They bring the flavors together so the onion essence starts to mix with the tomatoes and that mixes with the other items.
Once the fish is done “cooking” in the citric acid, pour out all the liquid into a ramekin or something. Then mix the fish with the salsa. Give it a good stir and taste. This is a good time to add some more pepper or lime liquid from the “cook”. You want to aim for a very fresh, tangy, a bit salty/sweet along with a subtle fresh fish taste.
Put it all back in the fridge for an hour. Now all the flavors can come together. This is an excellent snack or appetizer that goes well with some Birria or carne asada. Sometimes I even add squid and shrimp to the mix if it is a Sunday brunch.