Ceviche…. Yum! I was recently touring with some new visitors to the island of Puerto Rico and found out that they were not familiar with Ceviche. So, of course we ordered some and it was love at first sight. Ceviche is not native to Puerto Rico, but it is something that we have adopted as our own, and put a new twist to it. It is healthy and works particularly well as a light and refreshing meal for these hot and humid days.
Originating in Peru, ceviche is traditionally made from fresh raw fish marinated in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime, and spiced with chili peppers. Additional seasonings, such as chopped onions, salt, and coriander, may also be added. This style works particularly well with all types of seafood; and tropical flavors and fruits blend extremely well. The acid from the limes and lemons change the structure of the proteins in the fish, essentially “cooking” the fish without using heat. It is excellent as an appetizer (served in a cup) or with tortilla chips or rolled in a warm tortilla with lettuce.
Some excellent ceviche combinations that take advantage of our tropical surroundings:
Seafood Mango Ceviche, Coconut Lime Halibut Ceviche, Cilantro and Scallion Rock Shrimp Ceviche, Scallop Mandarin Ceviche. Here is a basic ceviche recipe to get started with, but remember that the possibilities and combinations are endless:
Basic Red Snapper Ceviche
- 2 lbs of firm, fresh red snapper fillets (or other firm-fleshed fish), cut into 1/2 inch pieces, completely deboned
- 1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 red onion, finely diced
- 1 cup of chopped fresh seeded tomatoes
- 1 cup Mango, chopped into ½ inch pieces
- 1 serrano chili, seeded and finely diced
- 2 teaspoons of sea salt
- Dash of ground oregano
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
In a non-reactive casserole dish, either Pyrex or ceramic, place the fish, onion, tomatoes, chili, salt, Tabasco, and oregano. Cover with lime and lemon juice. Let sit covered in the refrigerator for an hour, then stir, making sure more of the fish gets exposed to the acidic lime and lemon juices. Add in Mango. Let sit for several hours, giving time for the flavors to blend. You will see the fish change from a translucent to more opaque white color.
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