Friday, July 13th, 2012 | posted by mike
The freshest most vibrant, refreshing and healthful taste of summer has got to be ceviche! What is ceviche? It’s raw fish, shellfish or even vegetables that have been marinated in fresh citrus juice (that “cooks” it) then other ingredients are added such as hot peppers, onion, garlic, tomatoes, or cilantro.
Most Latin American and Caribbean countries have some version of this dish. The origins of ceviche probably go way back to pre Incan times, probably in Peru, when fish was marinated in a fermented corn juice called “chichi.” Later the Spanish brought citrus and onions and that limey, spicy yet refreshing dish began to evolve. Peruvians serve their ceviche with potatoes or sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, corn nuts or popcorn.They may have invented the original but I’ve had some amazing ceviche in Mexico. They make a nice spicy one, often with a tomato sauce (sometimes ketchup). Sounds weird, but in small amounts it tastes great! It’s served with avocado and tostadas, tortilla chips or saltines.
The key to making great ceviche is to start out with impeccably fresh fish or shellfish (sushi grade if possible).Whether you’re using fish or shellfish make sure you have a trustworthy high quality Fishmonger that can tell you which fish is appropriate for ceviche and why his fish is fresh enough. If you’re using super fresh fish, I think that the basic simple recipes work best. Many chefs these days are trying all sorts of wild and creative recipes. As long as the fish is cooked through you can really add whatever you want, but I think minor variations on the classics are the way to go.
Our recipe this week is a pretty basic ceviche with a little added twist— a dash of Japanese gari (pickled ginger). Not traditional, but the lime and ginger work well together.
Both impeccably fresh seafood and gari are available at the market, so stop by and pick up what you’ll need to make this refreshing summer dish!