Ceviche is one of those magical dishes. It is really easy to make, hard to make badly, and always impressive. For those that don’t know what ceviche is, it’s basically a seafood salsa of sorts. You start with raw seafood and mix it with citrus and the citrus actually cooks the seafood. That means that you have to do very little except chop things and juice things.
Last week while I was at the beach with Betsy’s family, popping the question, I made three different kinds of ceviche with Betsy’s cousin, Danny. We were able to find awesome seafood for each version and we used some different ingredients for each one also. I reproduced one of my favorites for this post.
There is really only one thing that can make or break this dish: high quality seafood. There is no other trick really. Just make sure that you get really fresh seafood and you’ll be okay. It shouldn’t smell fishy really and try not to use seafood that’s been frozen. If you aren’t sure, just ask your fish guy what fish is the freshest. For ceviche you can use almost any white fish or shell fish so your options are many.
1) Prep the seafood. If the seafood has skin on it, cut it off.
2) Dice up the seafood into small cubes. I recommend about 1/4-1/8 inch cubes.
3) Add juices to a bowl with the seafood. The liquid should just cover the seafood.
4) Chop all your additional ingredients (garlic, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, ginger, tomatoes, etc).
5) Add it all to citrus and seafood mix (leaving out the avocado and mango).
6) Add a pinch of salt and pepper at this point. Be sure to adjust for salt and pepper at the end too.
7) Let the ceviche sit for at least 30 minutes but an hour or two would be a good idea.
8) Drain out most of the citrus.
9) Add the chopped avocado and mango and mix it all up!
10) Serve with very thin baguette (toasted lightly for 5 minutes or so) or tortilla chips.
First thing’s first, get your seafood prepped.
If your seafood of choice has skin on it, you’ll want to cut the skin off. Then dice up the seafood into small cubes. You can cube your seafood larger or smaller depending on how hearty you want your final ceviche. Just remember that the larger your pieces are the longer you have to let it sit in the citrus bath. I recommend about 1/4-1/8 inch cubes.
Also, you’ll need to get some juicing happening.
You could of course use just lime juice or just lemon or just orange, but I like the combo of all three. Then just add your juice to a bowl with your seafood. The liquid should just cover the seafood.
I hope you have a sharp knife because we need to chop all of this stuff too.
Add it all to your citrus and seafood mix.
Also now would be when you would add your tomato because that will lend some acidity to the dish. I just forgot to photograph that part. My apologizes. Also add a pinch of salt and pepper at this point. Be sure to adjust for salt and pepper at the end too.
So now you need to wait. There’s some slow cooking happening with the citrus and the seafood. Now some people are hesitant to make ceviche with raw shellfish since you don’t actually heat up the shrimp or whatever. If you are really worried about it you could blanch the seafood briefly, but in my mind that kind of defeats the purpose of the dish.
The citrus is acidic enough to kill most things and if you buy fresh seafood it should be fine.
Regardless of what you decide, let your ceviche sit for at least 30 minutes but an hour or two would be a good idea. That will let all the flavors mingle.
There are a few ingredients that are best added at the end, otherwise, they will just kind of fall apart. In my version, this is the avocado and mango.
Before you add these things to the ceviche, be sure to drain out most of the citrus. You don’t want soup here. You’re going for more of a salsa consistency.
Then you can throw in your mango and avocado and mix it up!
For this version I served mine with very thin baguette toasts that I lightly toasted for 5 minutes or so. You could also just serve this with tortilla chips though.
The first time I made this dish I was a bit stressed about it, but seriously it is a no stress dish. If you’ve never made it before and you can get your hands on some fresh seafood, you have to try this dish!