Thai Ceviche Talay

Thai Ceviche Talay
Serves 4 as appetizer, or 12 for small bites

1/4 pound cleaned squid—bodies sliced crosswise ¼” thick rings, tentacles halved
1/4 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined, cut in half
1/4 pound bay scallops or quartered sea scallops
1/2 cup fresh coconut water, strained to remove any fibers
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 pair Kaffir Lime leaves, center stem removed, then slivered
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 small red onion, minced
2 Thai Dragon Chiles, minced
1 medium shallot, minced
1 teaspoon lemongrass, sliced, minced, and pounded
2 garlic cloves, minced
11/2 teaspoon fish sauce
11/2 teaspoon lite soy sauce
2 teaspoons date palm sugar, grated
1 teaspoon Sriracha chile sauce
1/2 cup diced peeled Asian or English cucumber
1/4 cup coarsely shredded fresh coconut
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1/4 cup finely shredded basil, Thai Basil

I prefer using raw seafood for this ceviche, but if you prefer you can lightly blanche the squid, shrimp and scallops in boiling water for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Do NOT overcook, only blanche. Drain and place in ice water.
Combine the coconut water with the lime zest, lime juice, red onion, shallot, Thai chile, garlic, soy sauce, palm sugar and Sriracha, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Taste and adjust to your taste the balance of hot-sweet-salty-sour.

I use sharp small kitchen succors to sliver the lime leaves, as well as cutting many herbs. To me it is far easier than using a knife on these leaves.
Add the chilled seafood and toss to evenly coat.
Place covered bowl in refrigerator for up to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. The seafood will be firm and tender.
When ready to serve, add the cucumber and shredded coconut to the ceviche. Add salt and white pepper to taste.
To serve: Spoon into martini glasses, garnish with the basil.
Notes: If you can’t find fresh coconut you can use canned unsweetened coconut water or the thin part of a can of coconut milk.
Date Palm Sugar is easier to use grated. If you must use a sweetener substitute use light brown sugar or even a little agave nectar. You don’t want the harsh sweet of refined white sugar.
Variation: you can make this ceviche using a firm white fresh fish such as snapper, mahi-mahi, corvina, or my favourite ahi tuna which I always use raw.
You can serve the ceviche on individual endive leaves for one bite eating, or in porcelain Asian soup spoons on a tray.

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