My son loves seafood and has a wonderful open-minded curiosity when it comes to trying new foods. His latest favorite has been ceviche, a delicious citrus marinated seafood dish with origins in Peru but commonly eaten throughout both Latin & South America. The acidity of the citrus (such as lemon or lime) literally “cooks” the seafood. Ceviche has a wonderful and refreshing taste. There are numerous variations and possibilities to this dish but they all have one very major & important requirement: the seafood has to be extremely fresh and of the highest quality available. So please do keep this in mind when purchasing your seafood for this particular dish.
This recipe is very simple to prepare and makes a great appetizer when entertaining. Of course, I have taken the liberty of “Indianizing” this recipe. It’s traditionally eaten with corn tortilla chips but feel free to serve it with wedges of lightly toasted naan or flatbread, papad crisps, pita chips, plantain chips… really anything with a nice crunch will work.
Basically any variety of fish or shellfish will do such as snapper, halibut, sea bass, mahi mahi, monkfish, squid, shrimp, scallops, lobster… the key is FRESH and I just cannot stress that enough. For this recipe, I prefer to use serrano chilies but feel free to use whatever chili you prefer. Also, I found that the small Thai chilies were just too hot and I don’t recommend using jalapeños simply because their outer skin is a bit too thick. You can always remove the seeds & the inner membranes of the chili or if you prefer, or omit the chili all together if you wish. Remember to keep all the ingredients refrigerated just before use. This dish needs to made partially ahead of time, please read through the recipe in its entirety first so you understand the technique especially if you are unfamiliar with ceviche.
Ceviche, Indian style
½ lb boneless/skinless fillets of any firm fish, cute into 1” size pieces
½ lb of small shrimp (peeled, de-veined, tail removed)
½ lb of small bay scallops (cleaned & trimmed)
2+ lemons to make 1 cup of freshly squeezed juice & a tsp of fresh lemon zest
2+ limes to make 1 cup of freshly squeezed juice & a tsp of fresh lime zest
1 orange to make ½ cup of freshly squeezed juice & a tsp of fresh orange zest
1-2 serrano chilies, to taste
1 avocado, peeled & cubed
1 ripe but firm mango, peeled & cubed
½ cup red onion, finely diced
½ tsp ground cumin powder
¼ tsp ground coriander powder
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp kosher or sea salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 cup coconut milk (canned is fine)
freshly chopped cilantro leaves
It is much easier to zest the lemons, limes and oranges before juicing them. Combine the citrus zests together in small glass bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed. Using mixing bowl (a measuring cup with a pour-able lip works well), add the freshly squeezed citrus juices & whisk together until well combined. Set aside until needed, refrigerating if necessary.
In a large mixing bowl (a large re-sealable plastic bag works great too), combine the fish along with the shrimp and scallops. Slowly add the mixed citrus juice until the seafood is just barely covered, adding more or less if necessary. Very gently mix together until all of the seafood has been thoroughly coated in the citrus marinade. Refrigerate overnight but mix every few hours so all the seafood is evenly distributed throughout the marinade.
When you are ready to assemble the final dish (I highly recommend you do this just before serving) remove the seafood using a slotted spoon into a serving bowl. In a small mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of the marinating liquid with the coconut milk.
*If you feel uncomfortable re-using the marinating liquid there are 2 possible options: you can omit re-using it altogether and substitute any freshly squeezed citrus juice or combination of citrus juices OR you can simply microwave the marinade for 30 seconds or so on 80% power. If you plan to use this route, you must allow the marinating liquid to cool completely and then refrigerate it until it is completely chilled before use. I recommend removing a cup or so of the marinating liquid ahead of time and completing this step before assembling the final dish. It will be a huge timesaver if the marinating liquid has been already chilled and is ready to use when needed.
So to quickly repeat: in a small mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of the marinating liquid with the coconut milk. Next, add the spices (ground cumin powder, ground coriander powder, smoked paprika & black pepper). Mix well to taste and adjust any seasonings. To the seafood, add the citrus zest, green chilies, diced avocado and mango. Slowly add the citrus & coconut milk mixture and very gently fold to combine all of the ingredients. Do a final taste test and adjust your seasonings if needed. Lastly, garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves and serve with your favorite chips or flatbread.