The first time I made ceviche, I was amazed. I could actually see the lemon and lime juice turning the color of the fish from translucent pink to opaque white.
The acid from the limes and lemons change the structure of the proteins in the fish, essentially "cooking" the fish without using heat.
I love ceviche rolled up in a freshly cooked, still warm corn tortilla with lettuce and salsa.
- 2 pounds firm, fresh red snapper fillets (or other firm-fleshed fish), cut into 1/2 inch pieces, completely deboned
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 red onion, finely diced
- 1 cup chopped fresh seeded tomatoes
- 1 serrano chili, seeded and finely diced
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Dash ground oregano
- Dash Tabasco or a light pinch of cayenne pepper
- To serve:
- Tortillas or tortilla chips
Assemble the ceviche:
In a non-reactive casserole dish, either Pyrex or ceramic, place the fish, onion, tomatoes, chili, salt, Tabasco, and oregano. Cover with lime and lemon juice. Cover casserole dish with plastic-wrap.
Stir after one hour, then marinate several more hours:
Let sit covered in the refrigerator for an hour, then stir, making sure more of the fish gets exposed to the acidic lime and lemon juices. Let sit for several more hours, giving time for the flavors to blend.
During the marinating process, the fish will change from pinkish grey and translucent to whiter in color and opaque.
Serve with chopped cilantro and slices of avocado with heated tortillas for ceviche tacos or with tortilla chips.