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Chris Amirault

Ceviche--Cook-Off 34

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Welcome to the eGullet Recipe Cook-Off! Click here for the Cook-Off index.

It's still warm in the hemisphere in which the vast majority of our members reside, and so we turn, again, to a cool dish from down south: ceviche, the marinated seafood dish from Peru. It may be a popular item these days, having made appearances on Top Chef and prompting a Food Traditions & Culture topic here, but I've gotta say that I've never found a solid home recipe.

That's too bad, because when they're good -- and the octopus ceviche I had at Ken Oringer's Toro in Boston last weekend was very, very good -- they're transcendent, balancing acid (usually citrus, with some help from vinegar in certain recipes), capiscum heat, salt, allium, and seafood flesh. We've got a topic or two in eG Forums (click here, e.g.) on the subject, but we've a dearth of recipes and techniques.

Traditionalists, how do you find the balance in this world of lame limes and flabby fish? Innovators, how do you honor that balance with your yuzu, szechuan peppercorns, and lemongrass?

Let's see what you've got!

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Ah! the new sushi.

I make a lot of it, to the point where I think I repeat myself. I lean more towards the traditionalist side of things, and think that there should really first be mastery of the basic 5 item combination: fish, citrus-based acid, salt, chile, onion. If you can't get that combination right, you shouldn't really be adding more stuff to it.

I haven't been able to easily find rocoto or aji amarillo so I've had to substitute the chile part, but I have the following:

Chilean sea bass ceviche

gallery_10423_5024_20088.jpg

Wild salmon ceviche

gallery_10423_4854_46911.jpg

Scallop tiradito

gallery_10423_4854_4247.jpg

Scallop tiradito

gallery_10423_4188_3194.jpg

Chilean sea bass tiradito

gallery_10423_3978_93562.jpg

Like I said, I repeat myself. :hmmm:

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loads/1185798360/gallery_10423_4854_46911.jpg

gallery_10423_3978_93562.jpg

Love it all. Was the last dish not marinated. Looks like the marinade is a sauce in the spoon. And what is the orange puree? thank you.

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Love it all. Was the last dish not marinated. Looks like the marinade is a sauce in the spoon. And what is the orange puree? thank you.

The last tiradito is indeed marinated, though I drained the fish before plating. The marinade ("leche de tigre") is served in the spoon, and it's accompanied by a sweet potato purée. And yes, I do need to buy a palette knife.

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Wattacetti, could you write more about the salmon ceviche? (please and thank you!) Do you find one type of salmon better than others?

I like ceviche but I doubt anyone else in the house would eat any. (Hmmmm. Maybe it's time to invite the neighbours for dinner!) That being said, the thought of salmon ceviche makes me glad that no one else would eat it...more for me!

(Why is there no piggy emoticon?)

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Jensen,

The salmon ceviche pictured was actually an accident of sorts; I hadn't planned on making it but I was at the fishmonger and they had these great filets of line-caught Pacific salmon.

The ceviche was pretty simple: fish, salt, white onion, green birdeye chile, and a combination of lime, lemon and orange juices (I remember it was about 50% orange). Fish was cut into 3-4 mm thick straight slices, and I mixed the other four ingredients together, adjusting primarily for salt. The people I made it for don't do raw that well, so it was left to marinate for about an hour to give it a decidedly "cooked" feel.

In all honesty, I think that farmed salmon is better for a ceviche application than wild is because the meat's fattier and holds up better to the marinade. For future ceviches, I will be cutting the fish into cubes; the slice style really works best as tiradito (greater surface area for quick marination, nicer plating options).

You should at least see if the family is willing to try it. I have successfully fed this to people who have been squeamish about raw fish.

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This should be fun! Hubby loves ceviche, but I've never prepared it for him. I guess now's the time.

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I posted this picture on the dinner thread a while back. The fish is white bass.

gallery_54689_4781_1056971.jpg

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Shelby, how'd you make it?

I like it chunky, can ya tell?! :biggrin:

I marinated the bass in lime juice and a bit of sea salt for a few hours. Drained it and added chopped onions, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, black olives, green olives, celery and tomatoes. I like a few shakes of hot sauce, a dash of the green olive juice, salt, pepper and cilantro added in.

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I posted this picture on the dinner thread a while back.  The fish is white bass.

gallery_54689_4781_1056971.jpg

I missed this; it's very nice. Noticed that you make a "dressed" version after the fish finishes marinating. Were the olives overpowering in any way?

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I posted this picture on the dinner thread a while back.  The fish is white bass.

gallery_54689_4781_1056971.jpg

I missed this; it's very nice. Noticed that you make a "dressed" version after the fish finishes marinating. Were the olives overpowering in any way?

Thank you!

I only put in like 5-6 of each kind of olive, I think if you do more, then yeah, it gets to "olive-y".

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how fun this coincides with the fact we have a family tradition this time of year that includes ceviche! and today I have off and can manage to pull it all together..

I just scored my late summer batch of freshly caught salmon..it is a mixed bag of very pink and fairly trout like colored fish and I never know what type is what so I apologize I am just grateful to be able to have this much fresh fish and a moment to take care of them properly..most importantly a moment with my family to enjoy this

I have salmon resting in brine for later this evening when I will dry them off and hot smoke them over alder and apple...

while letting these beauties smoke we will be sitting outside eating ceviche and looking at the water that they just came out of!

proper respect will be given as a toast...

the two best fish have been minced up like tartar are marinating in the fridg

I am not sure if you want to see a picture it is not at all as lovely looking as what you guys have made that is for sure..but it is the way I know ceviche pure and simple ..fish...salt....fresh lime juice...habanero's and an onion mixed up together and left for hours to chill ..(usually overnight but today for about 6 hours...)

I also have the bones of the salmon I scraped for the ceviche roasting in the oven for chowder tomorrow

so our late summer tradition just matches right up with this cook off!!!

let us recap! because this is so freaking fun for me!!!

me and mine.. .. a rustic ceviche on saltines...salmon smoking ..outside starring at the water and of course beer!!!

oh yeah life is good!!!

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I am not sure if you want to see a picture it is not at all as lovely looking as what you guys have made that is for sure..but it is the way I know ceviche pure and simple ..fish...salt....fresh lime juice...habanero's and an onion mixed up together and left for hours to chill ..(usually overnight but today for about 6 hours...)

Oh yes- photos please! I am thinking this simple method for my first try coming up soon.

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ok then when it is ready to eat (I have been tasting all day actually!) I will take a pic and post it ..but please know this is how I learned to eat it ...and how you can make it whenever you want! ...kind of like your poor cousin's good home style food!!! no polish just pure pleasure!!!!

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me and mine.. .. a rustic ceviche on saltines...salmon smoking ..outside starring at the water and of course beer!!!

Where are the photos? We need to see.

Actually the part about the salmon bones gives me an idea for bone crackers, but I'm not sure if salmon's the ideal fish for that. Something smaller perhaps.

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me and mine.. .. a rustic ceviche on saltines...salmon smoking ..outside starring at the water and of course beer!!!

Where are the photos? We need to see.

Actually the part about the salmon bones gives me an idea for bone crackers, but I'm not sure if salmon's the ideal fish for that. Something smaller perhaps.

what are bone crackers? bones made into crackers?

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Ok my life is complete I just ate this in the kitchen looking out the window with a huge ice cold beer ...I am glad I tasted it alone first

some moments are meant to be private ones :smile:

but now I will share!!!

gallery_51681_4569_34707.jpg

this is fking scrumptious you guys

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Very nicely presented. Yours and Shelby's are nice variations.

You mentioned that you had minced the fish into tartar size and marinate at least 6 hours; how well "cooked" does the fish get in your preparation?

Oh - bone crackers are just chunks of fish bones that have been cooked to the point where you can eat the bones (I've seen this fairly often in Japanese restaurants).

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Very nicely presented. Yours and Shelby's are nice variations.

You mentioned that you had minced the fish into tartar size and marinate at least 6 hours; how well "cooked" does the fish get in your preparation?

Oh - bone crackers are just chunks of fish bones that have been cooked to the point where you can eat the bones (I've seen this fairly often in Japanese restaurants).

thanks but yours are so stunning they knocked mine right off this page!!!

this is the first ceviche I ever made and what I learned to do in Panama many years ago ...the fish is "cooked" and comes out pretty firm actually..it does not come out mushy even though I scrape it and then chop it up it is still little pieces in the marinade

I love it chopped this way because it has very uniform tastes and a heaping pile will stay on your cracker and not tople off!

for two fish scraped and minced I used

2 cups fresh squeezed Mexican lime juice

2 tsps Kosher salt

6 habaneros (3 colors red, yellow and orange) minced

1 large sweet onion minched

it does not need anything else in my opinion it is perfect the way it is!

my mother puts a shot of Pickapeppa sauce in hers

I have never heard of bone crackers I should try it!


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

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Yesterday, I picked up some beautiful scallops at the farmer's market and made this "classic" scallop ceviche:

gallery_6902_4791_25790.jpg

Simply scallops cut into cubes, fresh lime juice, minced red and green jalapenos, red onion, cilantro, salt and pepper. It was quite good.

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Yesterday, I picked up some beautiful scallops at the farmer's market and made this "classic" scallop ceviche:

I'm going to have to see if I can get my hands on good scallops this weekend. This sure beats the Marriott breakfast.

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Hummingbird and weinoo I am drooling over your pictures. I've never tried either of those variations and I am dying to.

Sadly, here in Kansas, it's hard to come by fresh scallops and salmon.

I guess I could order some from the place in Seattle......

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I'm wondering about order and technique. Are people just dumping everything together or is there an order? For example, with many pickles, you salt first and then add acid down the road. Also, when and how do you taste for balance?

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I make the marinade first (lime, salt, chile) and adjust for salt and heat at this point. If I'm doing tiradito, I will mince onion and add that to the marinade prior to adding to the fish.

Onion for ceviche will be added to the marinade before adding to the fish or after the fish has completed marination, depending on the onion and how I want it to taste.

I always soak the onion in water to remove some of the sharpness.

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