How To Best Time Your Cooked Raw Beautiful Ceviche!
While Peru and Ecuador argue over the birthplace of ceviche/seviche/cebiche (“seh-BEE-chay” or “suh-VEE-chey”), we can all sit back and enjoy this old world fish dish. Both countries were in the Inca Empire. Both had easy access to a sea filled bounty, so the true answer remains a mystery. Regardless, with endless style and serving options, it is a great addition to any gathering or dinner party.
To make ceviche, bite size fish pieces are marinated in acidic juice (e.g. lime or lemon), salt and chile pepper seasonings. Spanish conquerors introduced limes to the dish and now it’s considered essential to its preparation. It’s often mistaken as a cooked dish. The fish undergoes a chemical process when citric acid is introduced. It becomes opaque and firm, the structural equivalent of ‘cooked’ yet it still retains its ‘raw’ taste. Learn about its history at Dana Point Fish Company.
Regionally, there are ceviche differences.
For example, Peruvians enjoy ceviche with slices of cold sweet potatoes or corn on the cob accompanying it. Mexicans serve it with raw onion slices and serve it on toasted tortillas. In Ecuador, popcorn or nuts are a common accompaniment. Though their styles differ, there’s still a general consensus that the century old method of preparing the fish raw with acidic juice, instead of heat, provides this first course or main dish its’ staple flavor. Read about this topic at What’s Cooking America and UFL.
Most important consideration when preparing ceviche? Using the freshest fish possible. Your selection should smell like the ocean and its flesh should appear glossy, not opaque. Surprisingly, it’s best to place the fish over rice in the fridge to maintain its’ freshness. Also, when prepping fish, make sure to remove the skin, pinbones, and bloodline, which is the dark red portion on the fillet. Otherwise, it’ll give the dish a really fishy flavor. Allow the fish to marinate for 10-20 minutes. Do not exceed one hour or you run the risk of the fish falling apart. A rule of thumb is use 1/2 cup of acidic juice for every pound of fish. Learn about this process at South American Food.
Due to its light refreshing taste, ceviche is often eaten at lunch or brunch. It’s popular at the beach as it requires no heat to cook, eliminating the need for oven or stove. Due note, many ceviche restaurants close around 4PM as the fresh fish caught in the morning loses its appeal by the afternoon.
How is this delicacy made?
Typically, ceviche is made from sea bass or flounder. However, any saltwater variety or shellfish will work. Freshwater types(e.g.trout, catfish) do not work well. Garnishes and accompaniments are dictated by cultural and personal preference. Many chefs like to experiment with exotic ingredients, including everything from chopped onions, plantains, lettuce, corn, coconut milk, passion fruit, shark, octopus, mango, celery, avocado and more to the dish. This statement comes from the Huffington Post.
What are your must have #ceviche accompaniments? Please share with us @Kitchology and @kitchenchick123.
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