How To Make The Perfect Ceviche, And Common Mistakes To Avoid
Ceviche is the perfect dish for summer. It’s light, refreshing and healthy. Ceviche is made of fish that has been “cooked” in an acidic bath of vinegar or citrus juice and tossed or topped with vegetables. Mexican recipes usually call for a simple lime marinade while Peruvian recipes typically call for a spicy-tart aji-chili-lime marinade. Whether you’re making Mexican or Peruvian ceviche, there are a few tricks to follow to avoid common mistakes.
These are 6 tips for how to make the best ceviche:
1. Choose the Right Fresh Fish
The best fish for ceviche are mild, semi-firm white fish like sole, snapper, halibut, flounder, grouper, tilapia and bass. Shrimp and calamari can also be used for ceviche. Avoid using oily fish like sardines, tuna, bluefish or mackerel. Whatever kind you choose, make sure that it is fresh. The nose test is the best gauge for fish freshness, it should have a briny, or salty smell, like the ocean.
2. Clean the Fish Well
Before dicing it up, make sure to remove the backbone, pin bones and the blood line. The last thing you want is to find a bone in your mouth while you’re eating. That’s why it’s important to make sure all the bones are gone before you cut the fillet into cubes. Removing the bloodline will prevent your ceviche from having a strong fishy flavor. It is the dark red part on the fish.
3. Cut the Fish and Vegetables in Uniform Sizes
You should always cut your fish fillet and vegetables into similarly sized pieces. Cutting the fish into uniform sizes will help the it to cook evenly. Slicing the vegetables into similar sized pieces will make the final presentation look more appeticing.
4. Make Enough Marinade
When you make the citrus or vinegar marinade, it’s important to make enough so that the fish is covered completely. The best rule of thumbs is to have ½ cup of citrus juice or vinegar for every 1 pound of fish.
5. Avoid Undercooking and Overcooking
After you’ve mixed the cut up fish with the marinade, the bowl should be covered and placed in the refrigerate while it cooks. You don’t want to it to be undercooked, leaving the fish raw, or overcooked so much that the fish falls apart. In most cases, 10 to 20 minutes will be the ideal amount of time for it to be in the marinade. The best way to check if it is done is to cut open a piece of fish. If it is cooked inside instead of raw, you’ll know it’s time to grab your colander and drain out the marinade.
6. Add the Vegetables Right Before Serving
Wait to mix in the vegetables until the very end. This will ensure that the vegetables stay crisp instead of becoming soggy. It will also ensure that the fish isn’t stained by the colors of the vegetables (this is especially true if you are using red onion).
Following these 6 tips will help you to make the perfect ceviche and avoid the most common mistakes.
If you found these tips helpful, check out more cooking tips on our blog! Follow us on Pinterest for recipes and inspiration. You can pick up the ideal fresh white fish for your ceviche recipe at our seafood counter at City Fish Market.