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Good Eats - Ceviche


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#1 C_Ruark

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 07:45 PM

A recent trip to Cafe Atlantico here in DC reminded me of the simple goodness of a well executed ceviche plate.

Taking a bit of inspiration from Chef Andres' "Atun en Ceviche al Coco con Aguacate" - Tuna and Coconut Ceviche with Avocado - I am going to play with a bit of market-fresh fish and some limes this week... so I am looking for a bit of mentoring.

What fish should I experiment with? I admit it, I play it safe with seafood. Most of the nigiri and sashimi I eat comes in the form of tuna, salmon, and scallops. Having said that... I keep an open mind.

Marinade a long while or not?... I like lime's flavor a lot, but I'm concerned with over-marinading and being left with too much lime flavor.

Any related advice to add? Aside from the usual sanitation issues, are there other concerns to watch out for?


Thanks everyone,
Chris

Edited by C_Ruark, 03 October 2005 - 08:36 PM.

"There's something very Khmer Rouge about Alice Waters that has become unrealistic." - Bourdain; interviewed on dcist.com

#2 shelora

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 08:36 PM

A recent trip to Cafe Atlantico here in DC reminded me of the simple goodness of a well executed ceviche plate.
Taking a bit of inspiration from Chef Andres' "Atun en Ceviche al Coc con Aguacate" - Tuna and Coconut Ceviche with Avocado - I am going to play with a bit of market-fresh fish and some limes this week... so I am looking for a bit of mentoring.
What fish should I experiment with? I admit it, I play it safe with seafood. Most of the nigiri and sashimi I eat comes in the form of tuna, salmon, and scallops. Having said that... I keep an open mind.


A firm fish like cod or snapper also works beautifully in ceviche. Since I live on the westcoast, I like to use wild salmon in combination with scallops. For this duo, I marinate in a combination of lime and orange juices for a bit of sweetness and finely chopped white onion. The avacado is added right before serving along with some chopped tomato, cilantro, serrano chilies and a drizzle of EVOO.

Marinade a long while or not?... I like lime's flavor a lot, but I'm concerned with over-marinading and being left with too much lime flavor.


Once the ceviche is "cooked" you drain off the lime/orange juice. I marinate the fish about 4 hours. You can check before hand. Just break a piece of fish open and look at the how far the marinade has penetrated the meat.

Any related advice to add? Aside from the usual sanitation issues, are there other concerns to watch out for?

1. I would suggest that you have a reputable source for seafood.
2. Don't use farmed salmon. Please.
3. Removing the bones from the fish is always a courteous thing to do.
That's my recipe in a nutshell. You might want to serve yours in a coconut shell.

Edited by shelora, 03 October 2005 - 08:39 PM.


#3 C_Ruark

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 08:49 PM

A recent trip to Cafe Atlantico here in DC reminded me of the simple goodness of a well executed ceviche plate.
Taking a bit of inspiration from Chef Andres' "Atun en Ceviche al Coc con Aguacate" - Tuna and Coconut Ceviche with Avocado - I am going to play with a bit of market-fresh fish and some limes this week... so I am looking for a bit of mentoring.
What fish should I experiment with? I admit it, I play it safe with seafood. Most of the nigiri and sashimi I eat comes in the form of tuna, salmon, and scallops. Having said that... I keep an open mind.


A firm fish like cod or snapper also works beautifully in ceviche. Since I live on the westcoast, I like to use wild salmon in combination with scallops. For this duo, I marinate in a combination of lime and orange juices for a bit of sweetness and finely chopped white onion. The avacado is added right before serving along with some chopped tomato, cilantro, serrano chilies and a drizzle of EVOO.

Marinade a long while or not?... I like lime's flavor a lot, but I'm concerned with over-marinading and being left with too much lime flavor.


Once the ceviche is "cooked" you drain off the lime/orange juice. I marinate the fish about 4 hours. You can check before hand. Just break a piece of fish open and look at the how far the marinade has penetrated the meat.

Any related advice to add? Aside from the usual sanitation issues, are there other concerns to watch out for?

1. I would suggest that you have a reputable source for seafood.
2. Don't use farmed salmon. Please.
3. Removing the bones from the fish is always a courteous thing to do.
That's my recipe in a nutshell. You might want to serve yours in a coconut shell.

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Good advice Shelora. Thnx!!!

CR
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#4 dockhl

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 08:53 PM

A recent trip to Cafe Atlantico here in DC reminded me of the simple goodness of a well executed ceviche plate.
Taking a bit of inspiration from Chef Andres' "Atun en Ceviche al Coc con Aguacate" - Tuna and Coconut Ceviche with Avocado - I am going to play with a bit of market-fresh fish and some limes this week... so I am looking for a bit of mentoring.
What fish should I experiment with? I admit it, I play it safe with seafood. Most of the nigiri and sashimi I eat comes in the form of tuna, salmon, and scallops. Having said that... I keep an open mind.


A firm fish like cod or snapper also works beautifully in ceviche. Since I live on the westcoast, I like to use wild salmon in combination with scallops. For this duo, I marinate in a combination of lime and orange juices for a bit of sweetness and finely chopped white onion. The avacado is added right before serving along with some chopped tomato, cilantro, serrano chilies and a drizzle of EVOO.

Marinade a long while or not?... I like lime's flavor a lot, but I'm concerned with over-marinading and being left with too much lime flavor.


Once the ceviche is "cooked" you drain off the lime/orange juice. I marinate the fish about 4 hours. You can check before hand. Just break a piece of fish open and look at the how far the marinade has penetrated the meat.

Any related advice to add? Aside from the usual sanitation issues, are there other concerns to watch out for?

1. I would suggest that you have a reputable source for seafood.
2. Don't use farmed salmon. Please.
3. Removing the bones from the fish is always a courteous thing to do.
That's my recipe in a nutshell. You might want to serve yours in a coconut shell.

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Pretty much ditto. I've used a Trader Joe's mix of scallops and calimari rings with salmon -- great success. I like to throw in just a sprinkle of brown sugar (!!) a la Silver Palate Cookbook to offset the extreme citrus. That way I can use LOTS of lime :wub:

#5 godito

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 01:17 PM

I can tell you that the fish I've seen more often in Perú (where ceviche was first created) is corvina (sea bass). They also have a mixed seafood ceviche and a shrimp one (although I preffer the one they make in Ecuador). However, the seafood in those ceviches is pre-cooked.

About the marinade, I also like limes. I don't marinate long, because it changes the texture of the fish. I like it raw-ish. I let them sit in the lime juice for no more than 5 minutes.

Most ceviches in peru are garnished with red onion, bell pepper, aji (chiles), cilantro, corn and sweet potato. I also like to add a little olive oil to the mix... make it more like a salad.

You can also experiment with tamarind or some booze in the marinade (like a mojito or a cachaça ceviche... or a bloody mary shrimp ceviche... that would be good)
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#6 fifi

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 02:11 PM

Oh my . . . The ceviche of my dreams was made on a sport fishing boat out of Cozumel, off the coast of Yucatan near Tulum. We had just landed some huge Dorado. We had luckily gone to the market before and gotten a big bag of the little limes, some onion, garlic and chiles. One of the deck hands had started filleting one of the big ones and I was headed to the galley when he headed me off. With my rudimentary Spanish, I learned that he was the "Ceviche King" and I should not intrude on his territory. About an hour later, we had the most divine ceviche on saltine crackers that I have ever had. The fish was cubed into precise 1/4 inch cubes and perfectly "cooked" by the lime juice. The balance of heat and tart was perfect. That experience will always define ceviche in my mind.
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#7 ASM NY

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 02:12 PM

There are many types of ceviche coming from all parts of Latin America. I think a good place to start is the traditional Peruvian ceviche, which is one of the simplest to make and in my opinion, one of the most delicious.

Usually it's prepared with Sea Bass, but I like it better with Fluke. There are only 5 ingredients you need: fish, lime (key lime if available), salt, onion and aji amarillo paste (yellow pepper paste available in many ethnic supermarkets or in perucooking.com). The traditional recipe calls for fresh aji limo, but it's usually difficult to find.

First cut the fish and mix with finely chopped onions. Then add salt and the aji amarillo paste (about 1 tbsp per .5lb of fish). Just before serving add the lemon juice and toss. The fish doesn't need to marinate for more than 10 minutes. You can usually add a few ice cubes and remove them after a minute or so.

You can serve it with corn, lettuce or sweet potato as garnish.

Enjoy!
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#8 C_Ruark

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 04:05 PM

Good advice by all so far!!! Anybody in the DC area know where I can finda S. American spice store who stocks the aji chiles? I am over in Herndon, but don't mind making a trip inside the beltway to do some shopping.

I've been playing around with different ways to plate the dish and came up with another research question: Any thoughts on the shape of the fish cut I should use? I've seen minces, dices, and "short julienne/batonettes".

What works? What definitely doesn't work?

- C
"There's something very Khmer Rouge about Alice Waters that has become unrealistic." - Bourdain; interviewed on dcist.com

#9 ASM NY

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 07:01 PM

I've been playing around with different ways to plate the dish and came up with another research question: Any thoughts on the shape of the fish cut I should use? I've seen minces, dices, and "short julienne/batonettes".

What works? What definitely doesn't work?

- C

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Bite size cubes is what works best in my opinion. What definetly doesn't work is pieces that may be too small, as they will "overcook" easily.
Arley Sasson

#10 shelora

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 06:54 AM

I've been playing around with different ways to plate the dish and came up with another research question: Any thoughts on the shape of the fish cut I should use? I've seen minces, dices, and "short julienne/batonettes".

What works? What definitely doesn't work?

- C

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If you cut the pieces smaller they just take less time to "cook". The shape is all up to your creative impulses.
I have had ceviche served in a coconut shell, a martini glass, a small sherbet glass and served on tostada triangles.

#11 johnnyd

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 06:44 AM

C_Ruark,
Scallops are really good around here in Maine. A fisherman friend came by with a few this summer so naturally I had to make ceviche, it's a play by play pictorial, my take on this fabulous dish. The presentation gets better as you go along. Hope you enjoy it.
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#12 C_Ruark

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 05:29 PM

C_Ruark, 
Scallops are really good around here in Maine.  A fisherman friend came by with a few this summer so naturally I had to make ceviche, it's a play by play pictorial, my take on this fabulous dish.  The presentation gets better as you go along. Hope you enjoy it.
John

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Hey John, thanks for giving the link. NIce job with the play by play and man does that look good!!!! I'll have a go with scallops, I think.

Regards from DC,
Chris
"There's something very Khmer Rouge about Alice Waters that has become unrealistic." - Bourdain; interviewed on dcist.com

#13 alamut

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 11:31 AM

I had the good luck to go to a ceviche restaurant in Kentucky (don't laugh) last month and had a very nice dinner with friends. I would up with a bit of a sampler platter style entree of 3 different ceviches. The 1st was tuna/avocado based, the 3rd was scallops, but the middle one was beef tenderloin ceviche.

It was ever so quickly seared to give it a bit of a crust, then sliced and submerged in some sort of ceviche liquid. All 3 were great but the beef blew me away.

My friends and I used to poke fun at people who would marinate a flank steak in a whole bottle of Italian salad dressing (why did we stop making fun of those people? :hmmm: ), claiming that the vinegar in the dressing was effectively making a "beef ceviche." The point here being that we couldn't see how acid and beef could marry into anything at all tasty.

But apparently they do. How do you make meat (not necessarily cow) ceviche? Is the amount of time in the acid different than with fish/shellfish? What should I know before trying it myself?
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#14 fiftydollars

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 11:58 AM

Shrimp, lobster, and other seafood ceviche preparations are favorites of mine.

However, I think it is best to par-cook the seafood a bit first. For shrimp ceviche I take shrimp and steam them lightly, then cool them, before putting them in lime juice for an hour or so. Usually I add some sour orange to the citrus juice mixture, too.

Lobster ceviche is really good, I say... as is dungeness crab ceviche. But you have to cook the critters most of the way through... not just because I think that it is difficult to extract them meat from a live bug, but because when cooked completely in acid, the texture is not as good as if it were cooked a bit first. It's sort of the same with shrimp.

Fried corn tortillas are an important part of ceviche service for me.

#15 chefdad

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 01:51 PM

Shrimp, lobster, and other seafood ceviche preparations are favorites of mine.

However, I think it is best to par-cook the seafood a bit first. For shrimp ceviche I take shrimp and steam them lightly, then cool them, before putting them in lime juice for an hour or so. Usually I add some sour orange to the citrus juice mixture, too.

Lobster ceviche is really good, I say... as is dungeness crab ceviche. But you have to cook the critters most of the way through... not just because I think that it is difficult to extract them meat from a live bug, but because when cooked completely in acid, the texture is not as good as if it were cooked a bit first. It's sort of the same with shrimp.

Fried corn tortillas are an important part of ceviche service for me.

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rules for a good ceviche:
marinate fish for 5 minutes tops. you dont want to mask the freshness of the fish with over "cooking". its all about the fish.
no tomatoes, or bell peppers or olive oil or coconut milk. the simpler the better.
no freaking tortillas, this is not mexican food for gods sake.
if you have saltine crackers please crush them and throw them out.
you can lightly cook crustaceans, but vivalves are left raw and if to big sliced thinly.
eat with your favorite beer or inka cola
people in the states dont really know what a true ceviche is yet, but help is coming, do not worry

#16 Jaymes

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 02:35 PM

I lived in Panama for four years. Also a very big ceviche country. They use corvina and marinate it much longer. Sometimes even overnight. I like it that way, as do the rest of the Panamanians. Served with a wedge of lime, a bottle of additional hot sauce, and saltines, of course.

I guess what's "right" and what's "wrong" is all in what you're used to.

And what's "good" and what's "bad" is all a matter of personal taste.

We all get to do it however we like. And that makes for a pretty grand ol' world, I think.

:cool:

Edited by Jaymes, 10 February 2009 - 06:33 AM.


#17 bigbear

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 07:36 PM

.....

I guess what's "right" and what's "wrong" is all in what you're used to.

And what's "good" and what's "bad" is all a matter of personal taste.

We all get to do it however we like.  And that makes for a pretty grand ol' world, I think.

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Bingo. That's what I have gleaned over my years of visiting Ecuador, another big ceviche country. Tomato or even catsup in the sierras. None on the coast. There are no hard and fast rules, other than the requisite citrus, even if the seafood is first cooked with heat.

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#18 Jaymes

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 06:50 AM

no freaking tortillas, this is not mexican food for gods sake.


I just came back from time in Mexico. I was utterly amazed at how many Mexicans think ceviche is "Mexican food." And they do often serve it on crispy tortillas.

I thought about correcting them for their own sake, but I was really way too busy eating the ceviche tostadas and downing the pitchers of beer.

#19 gfron1

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 11:26 AM

I am making some ceviche tomorrow and have scoured my options. I'm leaning toward either red snapper or parrot fish. Does anyone have a preference? I'm familiar with snapper but not parrot - but parrot sounds like it could be very nice.

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