Ceviche, pronounced seh-vee-tcheh, is a really fresh, citrus-marinated sort-of raw fish salad. It originates from the coastlines of South America, more specifically Peru, and it’s starting to reach our shores. The idea behind it is to take freshly caught filleted fish, chop into bite-size cubes and “cook” it in the acid of citric juices for a few hours. The acid in lemons and limes break down the proteins of fish in a similar way to cooking with heat does. If you like sashimi, or seared salmon, this will be right up your alley.
With it being summer here and temperatures leaving the mercury sweating, this makes a perfect lunch-time dish. I chose salmon for this because I love the flavour but you can use any firm white fish from the ocean that is not oily. Tuna is apparently not right for this dish but I have seen recipes for it so I suppose you can play around.
For the citrus marinade
- Half a cup lemon juice (about two lemons)
- Half a cup lime juice (about 3-4 limes)
- A little zest of both (about 2 tsp each)
- Half an onion, finely diced
- 1 red chilli, pips removed and chopped
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 handful chopped fresh dill
For the salad
- 1 salmon fillet, cubed into bite-size pieces
- 1 cup fresh watercress
- 1 avo, diced
- 1 red onion, cut into rings
- 2 tbsp capers
- 1 chilli, chopped, seeds removed
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar reduction to garnish
Mix the marinade ingredients and the cubed salmon into a glass or ceramic flat-bottomed dish (not metal as it will react to the acid in the citrus). Cover and rest in the fridge for an hour. Mix it up to ensure its all covered. Rest for another 2 hours. Add to the assembled salad ingredients and serve with a little of the marinade liquid to pour on if you like.
If you want to get really adventurous with the leftover marinade, there’s an alcoholic drink you can try called Tiger’s Milk (leche de tigre). You fill a smalll glass with leftover marinade and add a tot of vodka or tequila. It’s supposedly a great hangover cure too but I’m not entirely convinced. Attempt at your own risk!