What is ceviche?
Ceviche is basically fresh, high quality, fish or seafood that sits in lime or lemon juice for a while to cure/cook. The acidity of fresh citrus cures or cooks the fish without the need for heat.
Ceviche is also known as assebiche or cebiche. This delicious treat originated in South America. Many resources I read claim it started in Peru. However, the dish is very popular throughout Latin America, with each country giving it their own twist.
Ceviche looks fancy, but it’s so easy to make!
Once the fish or seafood is ready, additional ingredients are added and mixed together. And that’s it! The ingredients and spices vary from region to region. Based on my research, our recipe is a Mexican-style ceviche. In addition to the fish, lime juice, onions and peppers, our ingredients also included avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, cilantro and spices. And I tossed in some fresh local strawberries for a little sweetness.
Is it safe to eat ceviche?
Yes, but… make sure you buy very fresh, high quality fish. Ideally you’re buying your fish at a trusted fish monger or market. Remember, you’re curing the fish or seafood and not cooking it. Just like with sushi, getting this fish from a trusted source is extremely important to ensure you achieve a nicely textured, fresh, and safe dish.
What kinds of fish and seafood can I use for ceviche?
You want to pick a fish or seafood that won’t break down while it’s curing in the lime juice. We went with a nice sword fish, but some other options we know of are sea bass, tuna, mackerel, halibut, bream, mahi mahi, shrimp, scallops, and red snapper.
How should I serve civeche?
Make it as fancy or rustic as you like. Ceviche can be served on its own, or with a side of tortilla chips or tostadas for scooping. You can add it in tacos or tortillas, in a salad or quinoa, in lettuce cups, or in fancy cocktail stemware or goblets if you want to elevate the presentation.
This ceviche was inspired by family all the way in the Azores
Many of the recipes we’ve posted come from inspiration. It might be from a TV show, a visit to a farmer’s market, a dinner out, a vacation, and in many cases from family.
Today’s recipe was no exception. My cousin Orlando and his wife, who live in the Azores, are excellent cooks. They’re always cooking up a storm at home, or they’re exercising their palate by trying out new dishes at different regional restaurants. I was pleasantly surprised and intrigued with one of his latest Instagram stories where he shared that he’d prepared ceviche. After a few DMs back and forth, and getting advice from his own experience, I was off to the races. I did some more research, settled on the type of fish and the additional ingredients I’d use. The result? Sooo good, and so pretty!
We got to share this with some friends we had over on the weekend. One of these friends has spent a bunch of time in Spain and he’s eaten boat-loads of ceviche. He gave me two thumbs up and asked for seconds! Yes!!
Today’s recipe is actually the second recipe on our blog that was inspired by my cousin Orlando. He and his wife once treated us to a wonderful barbecued pork belly at their home on the Island of Pico where I lived during my teens. That was so memorable; especially eating it about 100 meters from the ocean. I knew I had to make it when I got home from that vacation. I did, and it was delicious, though we missed the sound of the crashing waves and smell of the ocean while we enjoyed our rendition, but then, that’s hard to replicate since we live in Ontario, Canada… a tad far from the Atlantic.
Take any opportunity to get inspired, get in the kitchen and make today yummy!
Ceviche, it’s easier than you think!
- 1 lbs very fresh sword fish cut into roughly 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup red onion about 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 red chili pepper stem removed, seeded and cut into thin rings
- 1/2 jalapeño pepper stem removed, seeded and cut into thin rings
- 3/4 cups freshly squeezed lime juice (about 5 limes)
- 1 ripe avocado still a little firm, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 3/4 cups cucumber cut into small cubes
- 10 cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 1/2 cup strawberries stems removed and cut into wedges
- 3/4 cups fresh cilantro roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp fine kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Add the fish, onion, peppers and lime juice into a bowl, and gently mix.
- Press down the ingredients to cover them with the lime juice.
- Cover the bowl with shrink wrap and refrigerate for about 45 minutes. If you prefer the fish “cooked” a little extra (firmer), leave it in the marinate for 15 minutes longer.
- Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and drain the liquid in a colander.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss gently to keep all the ingredients intact.
- Serve with some fresh tortilla chips, taco shells, tostadas, or on some lettuce cups.
- Get your fish from a fish monger. The fish “cooks” in lime juice but but it’s like working with raw fish. For safety reasons, you want use the freshest fish you can find.
- Tip: Place the fish in the freezer for about 45 minutes to firm up a little. This will make it easier to cube. This isn’t necessary, but it helps.
- You can use fresh lemon juice instead of lime juice
- Here are some other types of fish you can use instead of sword fish: Sea bass, Tuna, Mackerel, Halibut, Bream, mahi mahi, shrimp, and red snapper. Most of these can be found easily on North America.
- You can save leftovers in the fridge, but keep in mind that the fish will firm up more and become a little chewier. Don’t save the fish for more than a day.
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