One of the big perks of being on the coast is fresh fish. REALLY fresh fish. We stopped at a seafood place and picked up some fresh tuna. For the vast majority of my life, I’d only ever heard of canned tuna (and absolutely refused to eat it). Now that my palate has expanded a little bit, I’ll accept canned tuna when used in tuna burgers, but the real treat is tuna steaks. After a couple jaunts south of the border, what I really wanted to try out was a real ceviche (seh-VEE-chay).
What makes ceviche unique is that the fish is cooked using lime juice – without ever raising the temperature. Read more about the mechanics of that here. This must be done using fresh fish or shellfish; the lime juice does not kill the bacteria as the normal cooking process does (and had I known that beforehand, I would have been a little more hesitant about eating this!).
Will someone please call me out on the fact that last week I posted about sushi rolls, and where I said (direct quotation) “you really don’t need raw fish to have a good time.” So here’s the part where I confess that the sushi post was my I-don’t-have-time-to-write-anything-this-week emergency post. I ran a little short on time and…well, you saw the rest. But this week is fresh content! And I still maintain that a good time can be had with or without raw fish. Also until I started doing a wee bit of research for the blog I was fairly confident that ceviche wasn’t actually raw fish, but knowing what I know now explains the paragraph on my “honest opinion” below. There’s a mouthful. So anyway…
A fresh tuna steak gets chopped up and drenched in the juice (and a bit of zest) from several limes.
Refrigerate overnight and all the pink is gone, leaving a “cooked” fish that’s absorbed some lime juice.
Prep the rest of the ingredients: chop up some red or green onion, pepper, tomatoes and cilantro. Also add a little olive oil and black pepper.
Serve with homemade tortilla chips.
Now, I need to give my honest opinion here. I have had authentic ceviche a few times and loved it. I did not love this so much because of the texture of the fish – it still felt kind of raw (I also don’t like sashimi for the same reason). I think that this would have been better with scallops or shrimp, or at least with cutting the fish into smaller pieces. So take that as you will. Other potential routes include cooking the fish and adding it to the chopped veggies, or making a vegetarian version and serving it as a salsa. It’s up to you.