The Best Kind Of Fish For Non-Mushy Ceviche

In the pantheon of seafood dishes, ceviche is one of the most delicious. A combination of seafood, citrus juices, herbs, and spices, ceviche is a delightful mix of different textures and tastes. Well regarded as a hallmark of Peruvian cuisine, ceviche can be prepared in many ways, depending on the fresh ingredients available. By marinating fish and other seafood in a bath of citrus juices and seasoning, their protein is denatured by the acid in the marinade, transforming their color and texture.

Since ceviche is consumed raw, it is imperative to get the freshest ingredients to avoid foodborne illness. Furthermore, due to the way it is prepared, choosing the right kind of fish to use for ceviche will ensure the results come out firm and delicious instead of mushy and unappealing. Among the many varieties of fishes in the market, firm, white ocean fishes such as snapper, bass, grouper, yellowtail, and cobia are some of the best fishes you can use to make ceviche.

Making ceviche with fish

To prepare ceviche, you will need fish, lime juice, orange juice, red onions, chilis, cilantro, olive oil, and salt. Choose the best quality firm white fish filets available, cut them into bite-sized pieces, and place them into a non-reactive bowl, such as ones made with glass. Meanwhile, cut the onions into similar-sized pieces and combine with the fish. Add lime juice to the bowl until the liquid covers the entire fish and onion mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 4 hours.

In the meantime, chop up the chilis, cilantro, and any optional ingredients you want to mix into the ceviche and place them into the serving bowl. Check on the fish, and when the flesh is no longer translucent and looks "cooked," drain with a colander. Add the fish and onions into the serving bowl, and toss the entire mixture with olive oil, salt, and a small amount of orange juice. The sugar of the orange juice helps balance the tartness of the lime juice, although the dish will still be pretty tart.

One method, endless results

As a dish that was invented to make use of the freshest ingredients, you can (and should) vary the ingredients of your ceviche based on their quality. Aside from fish, shellfish is a common protein featured in ceviche, including shrimp, scallops, and squid. You can use a combination of fish and shellfish to make a delightful mixed seafood ceviche.

In addition to different types of seafood, you can also add a wide variety of vegetables and herbs to ceviche. Common vegetables added to ceviche include tomato, avocado, and sweet corn, which adds extra flavor to the ceviche and helps mellow the harsh sourness of the lime juice marinade. Simply dice everything into a similar size as your protein and toss it with the marinated fish. If you are using avocado, dice and toss them in at the last minute so it will not discolor. Traditionally, ceviche is served with sliced steamed sweet potatoes and garnished with crunchy fried corn for a textural contrast.