What is Ceviche?
In case you have ever asked what is ceviche the answer is a seafood salad where the seafood has been cooked in citrus acid instead of by heat.
Lemon and lime juices are the most common citric acid juices used in making ceviche, but some sweet orange juice is a nice addition as well.
In traveling through Latin America my wife and I have discovered there is no one preparation of ceviche, rather it is a catch all term for many different preparations. Ceviche is normally some sort of raw seafood that is cooked with lime juice. We have had conch, fish (several types), shrimp, octopus and off theme, cheese ceviches.
As mentioned earlier lime, lemon and orange juices are used in various combinations as the cooking agent and an important warning is to bathe the raw seafood completely submerged in the juices while being cooled in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. In addition to the seafood the combinations of vegetables and
herbs are endless but onion seems to be always be included and cilantro is often a part of the salad as well.
What else have we seen and you may encounter in the varios ceviches. Picante? Habaneros, Jalapeños, and birdseye hot peppers are often included and for those who can stand food that burns a bit it is a really nice offset to the strong sour base provided by the citrus juices.
Savory? Fresh corn, olives, green beans, sweet pepper, celery and tomato are often included but it is easy to imagine cauliflower and broccoli being a part of the salad. The important thing to focus on is the sour base of the salad, the key to making it an exceptional salad is to determine what you like to combine with sour to make it exceptional. Some like salt, think margarita, some like sweet, does sweet and sour appeal to you? Think picante, think ceviche!
If you have any suggestions, ideas and or questions please leave a comment below.