Guest chefs: fresh ceviche

We were fortunate this week to have friends visit and offer to make us fresh ceviche.

This is a traditional dish made with raw fish and fresh produce. Its origins are thought to be Peru, but it is found in many coastal areas throughout Latin America, where fresh fish is in abundance.

I am nervous about making the dish on my own, so Federico and Zarah, our Mexican friends, agreed to give me a tutorial.

First, the ingredients. We used dorado, also known as mahi mahi, which is caught in the waters of the Sea of Cortez at Cabo San Lucas. Federico was able to get us the fresh fish. He called this version of the dish sashimi due to the way the fish was sliced as well as the use of soy sauce. More on that later.

The wonderful fresh produce we get in Mexico was a key part of the dish as well: limes, tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers and avocado. We also used soy sauce and garlic, and served hot chiltepín peppers on the side for those of us (like Zarah!) who like it hot.

Ceviche is often prepared by dicing the fish and produce. They made it a little different, in the sashimi style, by thin-slicing the vegetables and fish. The cucumbers were peeled and seeded, and sliced thin. Tomatoes and onions were sliced thin and arranged on a plate with the cucumbers.

Federico prepared the vegetables and arranged them on a platter – a different style and display than the usual ceviche in a bowl

Zarah squeezed the juice of several limes into a glass, added ground pepper, and put the juice in the freezer for five minutes to get it chilled. She then got to work thin slicing the fish.

Zarah sliced the fish

Federico prepped the garlic and soy sauce by dicing the garlic and lightly frying it to bring out the flavour. He added soy sauce to the mixture.

When he finished the vegetables, Federico prepped the garlic, and fried it lightly, adding soy sauce

When the fish was finished being sliced, it was “cooked” by pouring the lime juice over the fish, adding the soy/garlic mixture, and mixing it well. It was then placed in the freezer for five minutes. This ensures killing the bacteria in the fish.

The fish is “cooked” by pouring in the lime juice, stirring, and refrigerating

The final step is placing the fish with the vegetables, and pouring the delicious sauce over all. The final addition is sliced avocados, which help offset the chiltepín chili peppers we sliced on the side and added as we wanted. They can handle hot peppers more than we can!

Add the fish to the vegetable platter (above) and then pour the remaining (delicious) juice over top (below) 

 

We served it with totopas (tortilla shells cut into wedges and deep fried) although tostadas are a more traditional accompaniment.

Enjoy the flavour and don’t forget to drink the sauce when the ceviche is gone. This is also a Mexican tradition! Thanks Federico and Zarah for the delicious treat, and the tutorial so I can try this on my own.

A beautiful display. All that’s left are the avocado slices

NOTE: If you’re ever in Cabo San Lucas, be sure to visit them at 1 and Only Taco to experience more of their wonderful cooking!

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