Raw fish scares a lot of people and makes them miss out on some truly inspired dishes. This (I am ashamed to say) is the reason that during three whole months in South America a few years ago, I did not once try ceviche. We were offered it, we saw it, we feasted on it with our eyes but we held back because we had convinced ourselves, in all our Lonely Planet, money-belted wisdom, that we would contract cholera. I kid you not (you may now laugh at my expense, but not too loudly). Sad times.
Anyway, since that trip, I have been championing ceviche and rustling it up on a regular and cholera-free basis. Following the wave of South American restaurants sweeping across London, and helped by our seemingly insatiable hunger for sushi, raw fish is being consumed in this country like never before. In ceviche, the fish is marinated in citrus juice which denatures the protein in the fish (so technically ‘cooks’ it) but it’s still considered pretty raw by most standards so make sure you use really fresh fish.
This is one of my absolute favourite recipes, taking minutes to prepare and less than half an hour to marinate. The sharpness of the lime, the kick from the chilli and the melt-in-your-mouth fish make this vibrant and exotic dish an absolute must-have on any summer menu.
For anyone concerned about serving great hunks of raw fish or if you just want to be fancy, try slicing the fish very thinly like sushi or carpaccio – this will allow the marinade to ‘cook’ more of the fish.
And if you can’t get hold of sea bass, practically any fish works, although I think firm-ish fish works best, such as sea bream.
Sea bass ceviche
Serves 2 as a light dish
– 250g very fresh sea bass fillets, skinned and cut into 1-2cm cubes
– 1 red chilli, deseeded and diced
– 1/2 red onion, diced
– handful coriander, chopped
– juice 2-3 limes
– pinch salt
Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl, ensuring that each piece of fish is coated in lime juice.
Pop in the fridge for 15-30 minutes (depending on how large your fish pieces are and how raw you like your fish) to allow the juice to begin to ‘cook’ the fish. Tip: Don’t leave to marinate for much longer than this as the fish will dry out and eventually start to disintegrate!
Source: Recipe and photos by pip & little blue.