As a devotee of the television program Top Chef, I have always viewed ceviche as more of a punchline than anything else. For Top Chef competitors, the mantra seems to be "when all else fails, go with ceviche." Cactus ceviche. Octopus ceviche. Tofu ceviche. Is there nothing these cheftestants won't "cook" in citric acid? The dish, at its heart, is raw fresh seafood marinated in citrus. The seafood proteins are denatured in the citric acid, and the flesh ends up firm and opaque. The key is to start with very fresh white fish — sea bass if you're going for the authentic Peruvian experience. I strongly recommend talking to a trusted fishmonger when buying fish for your ceviche. This recipe, adapted from Emeril Lagasse, has a nice tropical flavor thanks to the lime, pineapple and orange juices.
- 12 ounces very fresh (sushi-grade) white-fleshed ocean fish, such as grouper, wahoo, sea bass, or red snapper
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 3 tablespoons pineapple juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons finely diced serrano or jalapeno pepper, depending on your preference
- 2 tablespoons finely diced yellow bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely diced red bell pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced red onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 tablespoon good quality extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Lime wedges, for serving
Cut the fish into 1/4-inch diced pieces. Place in a glass dish with the lime juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, peppers, onions and garlic, tossing to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
Add the cilantro, olive oil and salt. Fold gently to mix. Serve ceviche in martini glasses and garnish with lime wedges.
This recipe was adapted by Jessica Webster and originally posted on AnnArbor.com on Dec. 9, 2010.