I could describe this ceviche as zesty or crunchy, or I could say it might be Mexican inspired, but instead I’m just going to call it ceviche. My version of a delicious ceviche filled with flavours and texture that I love.
I did tons of research, including this brilliant article on Food 52 and asked friends to recommend their favourite, but in the end all I really wanted to do was try and recreate a ceviche like the one that I often eat at my favourite Mexican restaurant El Burro.
I was immediately inspired to make a ceviche recipe after receiving and tasting the most delectable and freshest of fresh Pemba Bay Cob (also known as Dusky cob), which is ethically and sustainable sea-farmed in Mozambique. Aqua Pemba do such a fantastic job of farming these animals in a tiny footprint in an immense ecosystem, and their goal is to create a positive relationship between fish, the environment and people. Cob is a firm white fleshed fish that tastes delicious and is perfect simply pan fried or eaten raw. Its also the perfect fish to turn into ceviche.
My research yielded a variety of versions and lengths of time you need to soak the fish in the citrus when making ceviche. Some recipes suggested leaving it for an hour or two, while others let it languish in the marinade overnight. Nic, One of the owners of El Burro hinted at using less lime than you think you should – you don’t want to overpower it, and to dress it just before serving.
So I took all of this in, got into my kitchen with my selection of herbs and vegetables and sort of mixed and tasted, mixed and tasted, until I got to a place where I was super happy with my recipe. I urge you to do the same. There are no rules. You can mix and match the citrus and use grapefruit, lemon or orange instead. Change the vegetables, add more or less.
A few guidelines I followed was to work on a ratio of 50:50 – fish to other ingredients (volume). I used only enough lime to coat and start ‘cooking’ the fish, it really doesn’t need to swim in the juice, and I ate it straight away. It also needs a fair amount of sea salt, so I added a good few pinches of Maldon to the mix, and I didn’t add pepper, as I wanted to keep the flavours clean and let the chilli do the job of adding the heat. The other important factor to creating a good ceviche is to use a really fresh and sustainable fish as your base.
*cooks notes ~ I don’t like the flavour or raw red onion, and find it a little abrasive in a ceviche so I lightly pickled my slices of red onion in a red wine vinegar for about 2 hours before. You could also use spring onions as these are milder. I prefer the flavour of pickled jalapeno chillies to raw, but you can use a fresh chilli if you prefer. I added the avocado as a garnish at the end, as I didn’t want it to break up into a mush in the ceviche. I prefer to use the smaller Israeli cucumber (pickling cucumbers) as these are more crunchy and have fewer watery seeds.
- 400g firm white fish, filleted and skin removed
- 3 T fresh lime juice
- 1-2T finely chopped coriander / cilantro
- 3 - 4T finely chopped pickled red onion (see cooks notes)
- 6T finely chopped Israeli cucumbers
- 2T finely chopped pickled jalapeno chilli
- 1 large roma tomato, de-seeded and finely chopped
- sea salt flakes to season (a good few pinches)
- 1/2 avocado chopped up for the topping
- additional coriander to garnish
- corn chips to serve
- Cut the fish into smallish pieces and place in a bowl.
- Stir in the lime juice and then add all the other ingredients, mixing and tasting as you go.
- Dish up in serving bowls, top with chopped avo and fresh coriander / cilantr leaves and serve with corn chips.
This was utterly delicious and I kept some leftover for the following day and it was equally as delicious after a night in the fridge. You could make this just before or in advance.
It needs a delectable drink to go with it, and the perfect Paloma or margarita does the trick.
* Disclaimer - The Pemba Bay Cob was given to me by Ocean Mile the exclusive distributor of this incredible product.
I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.
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