Ceviche not an original Puerto Rican dish, but that doesn't stop us from making it!
Table of contents
What is Ceviche?
So what is ceviche? It is a dish made of raw seafood and some aromatic veggies that are pretty much cooked in acid. In many cases citrus, lemons, limes, and/or bitter orange.
Traditionally ceviche is not cooked. At least not in any conventional methods. The fish is prepared minutes from being caught and cleaned then added to an acidic marinade and served.
I like to let the marinade cook my fish. The acid of the citrus slowly marinates and cooks the seafood and fish, I guess almost like pickling. The longer it sits the longer it "cooks." So, although the fish goes in raw, the final product is pretty much cooked.
But to those not willing to try the traditional method, you can very well cook the seafood and or fish with the liquid. This way you will know for sure that your product is completely cooked.
Is ceviche a main course of an appetizer?
Ceviche is served as an appetizer, but I also serve it as a main course at home. But I serve it with either tortilla chips, tostones (my favorite, by far), or dumplings (fried dumplings or fried bread).
If you can make pico de Gallo, you can make ceviche! This is a simple enough recipe. It can be put together quickly for any occasion. Serve as an appetizer while the main course finishes and you entertain your guests.
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What to add in your ceviche?
There isn't a HOLY LIST of ingredients to make ceviche. Any of your favorite seafood or fish would do. I have always seen ceviche made with flaky white fish and I like haddock and cod, so those are the fish I use. This list article from Peruvian Food USA (ceviche originated in Perú) validates my understanding to use any fish as long as it is fresh. So if you do not like haddock but you love red snapper, then use snapper. Or use the fish that you have available in your area.
Shrimp is another common ingredient in ceviche, but calamari, scallops, octopus, even crab, would work great in ceviche. Not only do you have the option to pick one fish or seafood, but you can also mix and match your fish and seafood. Enough talking, let's begin!!!
- Choice of Fish and/or Seafood. I used one pound of each Cod and 21/25 Shrimp. Make sure fish has the skin removed and cleaned of bones. Shrimp has been rinsed, shell removed and deveined.
- Half a Red Onion, small diced. Yellow onion or Vidalia work as well.
- Garlic, 4 cloves peeled and minced
- Lemon Grass, 1 teaspoon optional
- Ginger, 1 teaspoon optional
- Lime Juice, ¼ cup or enough to cover fish
- Lemon Juice, ¼ cup to mix with lime juice
- Olive Oil, 2 tablespoon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cumin, ½ teaspoon
- Parsley, 1 tablespoon
- Choice of culantro or cilantro, 1 tablespoon optional
- Plum tomato
- Option to add jalapeños or any spicy pepper.
Begin by cleaning your fish and seafood. Most supermarkets will have the fish already skinned and bones picked, but still check the flesh to make sure there are no other bones that need removal.
Dice the fish into bite-size pieces and place them in a bowl. For the shrimp, depending on the size cut either in half or in thirds and add to the bowl. If you buy a smaller shrimp like a 51/60 or a 61/70 leave whole. (#/# represents the number range of shrimp per pound. So 21/25 means, 21-25 pieces of shrimp per pound).
Dice onion and add to the bowl. Crush and mince the garlic and add to the bowl. For this application, you could also use a squeezable garlic like this one. As for the ginger and lemongrass, find the squeezable varieties, less time-consuming with less hassle. If you do not find the lemongrass, it is ok to skip it.
Add oil and lemon-lime juices. mix contents thoroughly, make sure liquid is covering the fish and seafood. Add more juices if needed.
Season with salt, pepper, and cumin. If your fish is fresh, and you trust your source, you can serve immediately. Otherwise, let the fish and seafood marinate in the juices for a few hours. I let mine marinate for 6 hours. Made it in the morning and ate it that evening.
To Serve your Ceviche
Before I serve the ceviche I have to decide with what am I serving it with? Tortilla chips are an easy way of serving it. You can either buy the restaurant-style chips, especially the ones with lime added. Like Late July's Restaurant Style Lime and Jalapeño chips! But my most favorite way to eat ceviche is with TOSTONES. Green plantains that are lightly fried then smashed flat and re-fried to finish into a super crispy, thick plantain chip. These tostones could also be turned into a cup if instead of smashing them flat you were to use a lemon squeezer. Then use the ceviche to fill the cup.
Another Puerto Rican food we could use as an accompaniment for the ceviche is DOMPLINES or fried dumplings. A simple dough of flour, oil, water, and salt. Mixed together and then rolled into discs. The discs are then fried to make fried bread. These discs can be used to dip and pick up the ceviche like the corn tortillas.
Now that you have decided your accompaniment, let's drain the ceviche, but reserve the liquid. While the excess liquids drain, grab another bowl. Option to dice the other half of the onion and add it to the bowl. Dice the avocado and the plum tomato. Add the parsley and cilantro. If you are using the spicy peppers or jalapeño dice it and add to the mixture. Add the drained ceviche to the bowl and a squirt of olive oil. Mix. If the mixture seems too dry, add a little of the reserved liquid to moisten and serve.Print