Ceviche (se-veech-aye), to those who’ve never had the pleasure of eating it, is fish ‘cured’ or ‘cooked’ by marinating in citrus juice (acid). It’s such an incredibly simple concept and one I still find fascinating – to watch the fish turn opaque before your eyes without the aid of heat just tickles my fancy.
Ceviche was an unknown to me as I was growing up (rather too exotic for our simple tastes!) – it wasn’t until I went to some fancy restaurant as an adult that I finally experienced it. Since then, I’ve learned how to make it (oh so easy) and it would have to be one of my favourite summer dishes. Ceviche is popular in the coastal regions of central and south America, but also in my neck of the woods – the South Pacific. Every region has its own way of preparing it – down here we tend to enjoy the Fijian style Ceviche (known as Kokoda) with coconut milk or cream.
I found this great recipe from New Zealand’s Nadia Lim who teams the coconut cream with freshly diced pineapple, chillis and, with a nod to Mexico, some guacamole (though really it’s just mashed avocado, LOL). It was a nice addition, though not an essential component as far as I was concerned, so I’ve listed it as ‘optional’ in the recipe below. Nadia also includes corn chips in her version, though I wanted to keep the meal simple and left them out entirely, but if it sounds good to you, refer to her recipe.
I totally loved this version and ate most of it on my own – I’m nothing if not self-indulgent! Enjoy!
- 14 oz very fresh firm white fish skinned and deboned and cut into 2 cm (3/4 inch) pieces (I used Blue Cod)
- 1/2 cup lime or lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 small pineapple, core removed and diced
- 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
- 1/2 – 1 large red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 cup coconut cream or thick coconut milk
- 1/4-1/3 cup fresh coriander, cilantro, chopped
- Salt & pepper
For the Guacamole (optional)
- 1/2 avocado
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt & pepper
- Place fish in a large non-metal, non-corrosive bowl (e.g. a glass or plastic mixing bowl). Mix in lemon/lime juice and leave to marinate on the bench for 15-20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients and the guacamole. The fish will turn opaque when it’s ‘cooked’. Don’t let it marinate any longer than necessary, as the fish will toughen. Ideally, the centre of the fish should still be slightly translucent.
- To make the guacamole, mash the avocado with a fork and mix with lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and put aside.
- Place pineapple, red onion, chilli, coconut cream and coriander into a large bowl.
- Take the bowl of marinated fish and lift out the fish with a slotted spoon, adding it to the pineapple/coconut cream mixture. Mix gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To serve, divide marinated raw fish between small serving bowls and top with a dollop of guacamole, if using.
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