My first encounter with ceviche (also spelled cerviche or serbiche) was while on a vacation to Georgia. We found a small restaurant in alpharetta, far away from downtown Atlanta. There we tried the ceviche, what I would describe as a salsa with raw fish and shellfish as a base. Marinating in lime juice tends to “cook” the fish.
My own ceviche is based on what we were served in Cancun. The ceviche from the Yucatan Peninsula tends to be heavy on cilantro and uses Serrano peppers. If you are squeamish about raw fish, you can lightly parboil your seafood for about a minute in boiling water. After doing so, drain completely before adding to the recipe.
- ¼ pound flaky fresh fish (cod, whitefish, sea bass, etc.)
- ¼ pound small shrimp
- ¼ pound bay scallops
- ¼ pound chopped squid (calamari)
(You can substitute other fresh seafood for any of these ingredients, including clams, oysters, and crab or lobster meat. Just make sure that all are chopped into small pieces.)
- 6 to 8 limes, juiced
- 2 tomatoes, diced, water discarded
- 1 medium red onion, small dice
- 1 large bunch of cilantro, chopped (will look like two cups, but don’t worry, it will reduce)
- 6 Serrano peppers (you can substitute jalapeno peppers, but the flavor will be different)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Line a non-reactive bowl (I use Tupperware) with your seafood.
- Then add the lime juice, covering all of the seafood. On top of this add the rest of your ingredients.
- Cover the bowl and place in refrigerator for two hours to overnight.
- The next day, mix the ingredients, or turn the bowl upside down and shake. Continue to marinate for a few more hours, stirring occasionally. If there is a lot of liquid in the bowl, which may happen if you are using ripe tomatoes, remove it before serving.
- Serve as an appetizer with tortilla chips and sliced avocado.
Ceviche makes an excellent side dish with blackened and grilled fish, such as swordfish. It can be kept in the refrigerator for three to four days.