Ceviche is fresh, satisfying AND HEALTHY! It is zesty and perfectly tender. The avocado adds a bit of rich creaminess that really puts it over the top.
The plate of ceviche below is the best ceviche I have ever had in my life and is what inspired me to make my own. It was 2012 and I was studying in Peru. I had just met with a bunch of Peruvian med students and toured a local hospital as part of my studies. Afterwards a couple of the local students suggested we go to this local restaurant and get their ceviche.
We sat down for lunch, ordered a couple beers and ceviche. A few minutes later the waiter walked over to me with a plastic grocery bag full of water. I peaked inside the bag and sure enough there was a live fish swimming about. The waiter asked me if the fish was ok. I was a little unsure of what was going on. So, I just smiled and nodded enthusiastically.
Less than 15 minutes later that fish was served to me on a plate. It doesn't get any fresher than that. Every single bite of that ceviche was so fresh and tender, it practically melted in my mouth. The ceviche was accompanied by sweet potato and corn which is a traditional Peruvian dish.
Ceviche is basically seafood that is "cooked" in lime or lemon juice (sometimes orange juice). The acid from these citrus fruits actually cooks the seafood without heat and does so surprisingly fast! Because heat is not used to cook the fish, it is very important to use high quality fresh fish. Don't let this recipe intimidate you! It is truly VERY easy.
The red onion is sliced very thinly and soaked in cold water to reduce the harshness of the onion without removing the flavor. I am personally very sensitive to red onion and rarely use it but the way it is used in this recipe is DELICIOUS and does not overpower the recipe at all.
This recipe is entirely guilt-free and full of nutritious ingredients. Serve it as an appetizer or as an entree. This dish is very light. So, if you want to beef it up a little bit you could serve it Peruvian style with corn and sweet potato. You could also add more fresh veggies like bell peppers and serve it with tortilla chips. Personally, I like it to eat it as is because it is so darn delicious on its own!
- 1/2 red onion
- 1.5 lbs fresh white fish (cod, seabass, halibut, etc.)**
- 1 cup fresh lime juice (7-9 limes)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 habenero peppers
- 1/3 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro
- 1 avocado
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Prep Onion: Slice the red onion as thin as possible. Then soak the sliced red onion in a bowl of cold water while you prepare the rest of the recipe. This reduces the harshness of the red onion without removing the flavor.
- Slice, Dice and Squeeze: Cut the fish into cubes and put in a large bowl. Sprinkle the salt over the cubed fish. Mince garlic and habenero peppers and add to the bowl. Gently stir the fish, garlic and peppers to combine. Squeeze juice out of lime if haven't done so already. Strain the lime juice (optional) to remove any pulp. Add the lime juice to the bowl. Make sure as much of the fish is covered by the lime juice. Strain the sliced onions and add them to the bowl.
- "Cook" Fish: Cover the bowl of cubed fish and place in the fridge for 15 minutes. Then gently stir the cubed fish mixture and return to the fridge for an additional 10-15 minutes.
- Prep Toppings: About 10-15 minutes before serving, cut the avocado into cubes and roughly chop the fresh cilantro.
- Assemble and Serve: Once the ceviche is done "cooking" remove it from the fridge. Add the avocado and fresh cilantro to the bowl and gently stir to combine all ingredients. Serve immediately! Eat the ceviche as is or serve with tortilla chips for a little crunch!
*This recipe serves 6 as an appetizer.
**Make sure you get fish that is already skinned and deboned. Filets work very well.