Originally from Peru, this seafood dish has become almost common all over South America and Mexico, especially in coastal towns. Ceviche has to be made with the very freshest ingredients possible since no heat is used in cooking this dish in its purest form.
Most people first get exposed to ceviche in a restaurant that serves Latin American cuisine. And it seems intimidating to prepare at first but really it’s not that complicated and well worth the effort.
In the US many restaurants are forced by state laws to cook the dish with heat before adding citrus for food safety concerns. But if you are making this dish at home and you trust your seafood source this dish is much more authentic using lime juice to “cook” the meat. The acid in the citrus juice will cause the meat to take on the characteristics it would have if it were cooked with heat. But with this method comes the risk of food contamination so you need to have a very clean work area when you prepare it.
Ceviche can be made with almost any kind of seafood but is usually made with shrimp, fish or conch or some kind of combination of 2 or 3 of the above.
For mine I am going to use conch, shrimp, squid steak, fish and bay scallops. I will admit mine is unusual but no less authentic. Conch is a sea snail about 8″ long in its shell usually found in the carribean and in cuisine the most used and best conch is the Queen conch. Mine comes from a farm in Caicos.
When cutting your ingredients you will want to cut the pieces roughly the same size. For mine I am cutting 1/2″ pieces.
If you use squid you can use the rings which give a more exotic appearance but I prefer squid steaks because they are much more tender. Squid steaks come from the mantle of 40-100 lb specimens usually caught off the coast of Brazil or Peru.
And because I want different textures I have included fish in mine. Not shown but also added are shrimp and bay scallops.
And for vegetables and herbs – Onions and Cilantro are added along with the lime juice. If you are one of those people that absolutely cannot abide the flavor of cilantro, you can substitute parsley here but it will take on a completely different flavor profile. And lastly you want to add one diced tomato.
And the primary catalyst ngredient is our lime juice. I am using about a cup here.
Everything gets cut up and mixed together in the lime juice. You want the meat evenly coated with the lime juice.
After adding salt and black pepper, I refrigerate this covered for 4 hours to marinate.
You will want to drain out the citrus marinade juice in a colander after it sits for 4 hours.
This is an excellent summer meal, low in carbs and very high in protein. I like mine spicy so I will mince 4 or 5 Thai Dragon chilis and stir it into my own serving. Because I used different types of seafood here, I have different textures which is what I was going for. I will confess now that you aren’t going to get all the different seafood flavors here which is why typically this dish is made with with only one kind of fish.
Ceviche (serves 8-10 as a main course)
- 1 lb fresh or thawed frozen conch meat cut into 1/2″ pieces
- 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp cut into 1/2″ pieces
- 1 lb fish fillets (red snapper, grouper or halibut) cut into 1/2″ pieces
- 2 Humboldt squid steaks cut into 1/2″ pieces
- 1 lb bay scallops
- 1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 red onion chopped well
- 1/2 cup minced cilantro or parsley
- 1 beefsteak tomato diced
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp salt or to taste
- In a large bowl (preferably one that has a cover) mix all ingredients well making sure that all meat gets a good coating of lime juice
- Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours minimum
- Drain the ceviche in a colander and discard the juice
- Serve over Bibb lettuce and optionally with corn chips
- Offer minced chilis to diners