Ceviche de Pescado
With the end of summer in sight – rumors are that the highs will only reach into the 90s next week! – we thought it would be appropriate to highlight one of our favorite summer fish preparations before it’s too late – that dish being ceviche. Thought to have originated in Peru in the 16th century, ceviche now stands as a popular item in many Central and South American countries. Its raw-fish (or shellfish) preparation involves marinating the proteins in an acid environment (in this case lime juice). The lime juice denatures the proteins and ‘cooks’ the fish – ‘cooking’ it to varying degrees depending on how long you marinate.
The key to good ceviche is freshness and quality of ingredients. Abraham Salum, the Owner and Chef at Komali Restaurant on Fitzhugh and Cole, uses red snapper for this recipe, but whatever white-fleshed ocean fish you choose to use, make sure it comes from a trusted fishmonger who can ensure its quality. Ceviche is one of the best (and easiest) ways to capture the freshness and liveliness of the ocean, but it can be irreparably harmed if you do not make the effort to ensure you’re working with the freshest ingredients possible.
That to say, a little extra effort in making sure you’re working with a good fish will pay off in spades. Ceviche works well as a great starter or even an entree. Salum has made an effort to stay true to the Mexican version of the dish (there are dozens of variations from country to country), and its a version that highlights the fish well, providing plenty of zest, freshness, color, and spice.
- ¾ Pounds Very Fresh White-Fleshed Ocean Fish (Komali uses Red Snapper) Cut into ½-inch dice
- ½ Cup Lime Juice Freshly Squeezed
- 1½ Tablespoons Serrano Pepper Minced
- ½ Cup Tomatoes Chopped
- 2 Slices Avocado
- 1 Tablespoon Red Onion Minced
- 2 Tablespoons Cilantro Chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- Place the diced fish in a glass dish with the lime juice. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Drain the fish and add the peppers, tomato, onion, cilantro, olive oil, and salt. Fold gently to mix and top with the avocado. Serve with Tortilla chips.
by Rich Vana