To hot to cook fish? Let the Limes do it. This Ceviche Verde, is refreshing, light, green, tangy, zesty, crisp and crunchy vegetables, tender tuna marinated in lime juice, surrounded by creamy avocados… are you with me?…Yes!
Ceviche is an original dish from Peru. Peruvians are the kings of making the best out of fresh fish. To corroborate this statement you need to know about Peruvian Chef Gastón Acurio. Chef Gastón has placed Peru, their culture, and Ceviche at another level in his country and internationally, all through a labor of love that started in the kitchen, that for me, no other chef has achieved with his cooking.
Recently I watched the movie “Finding Gaston” I was extremely moved by his culinary life, the way he changed his course of action as a chef, his way of living, and how he decided to remain humble and rooted by his Peruvian culinary traditions in the kitchen. Through his cooking, Chef Gaston transformed the way he chose to embrace his culinary endeavors. He created a forceful network that helped his country economy. By honoring the relationships with the people in the fields, the farmers, the fisherman, the artisans and eliminating the middle man, he deals and exchange products directly with the working people. In doing so, he not only trade products, but experiences ways of life, and he gives back the respect and full understanding of all the efforts that are involved in their pursuit of craftsmanship. All this labor and these relationships, bonds and enrich his cooking authentically. At the same time this exchange awakens in people a sense of pride and honor in their traditions.
I strongly believe cooking and culture go hand in hand. If you strengthen your cooking traditions, you can pull people together; friends, families, neighborhoods, towns, countries, all can start in the kitchen. That’s why is so important for us Yes, more please! bloggers ~Ian the photographer and Mariana the cook~, to illustrate our recipes with step by step photos, to empower and give you the confidence that you can cook!…I love it when people start caring, they nourish their cooking habits, and spark some inspiration in their cooking.
You can move mountains with cooking… or little grains of sand… little or big every effort is equally important to me. Cooking creates memories, habits, roots, traditions. You can start creating today. Thats why this movie, was fascinating. I was really moved by Chef Gastón philosophy of work and how it empowers and awakens the caring for their roots and pride in their craft, in other cooks.
With all these elements in mind, I was inspired to create this Ceviche Verde “my style”. México also has inherited Ceviche in their own way, it is a common dish in the coastal towns. It always has been part of our culinary traditions. Mexican Ceviche is categorized as street food with a few exceptions to the rule. Being from Mexico, Ceviche has its own place in my heart, its the healthy street food for us and a Summer must. I remember fondly the ceviches in Ensenada, Puerto Vallarta, Todos Santos-Baja California and the Ceviche from my Aunt Paloma. They are many versions of Ceviche Verde out there, this is mine.
I humbly dedicate this Ceviche Verde recipe to Chef Gastón Acurio!
“Esperando algún día, el poder alinear y llevar acabo estas ideas en mi cocina Mexicana”… Gracias y Salud!
Serves 4 sailors 6 mermaids
Notes for the Cook, please when in making this recipe, very carefully read the instructions. I’m giving you very specific easy to follow instructions, some of my little secrets about how to make the best ceviche at home. This ceviche verde is served with corn tostaditas, plantain chips, or thin salty crackers. It Makes for a great lunch or light summer dinner. If you are entertaining, ceviche can be served in avocado halves one half per person, stuffed with 2-3 generous spoonfuls of this ceviche will make a great appetizer. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did. Lets cook!
1.5 lbs Fresh Tuna, sushi grade. I used SkipJack fresh tuna*
1/2 cup lime juice aprox. 4-5 large juicy lemons
1 yellow lemon
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
All the following ingredients finely chopped:
1/2 small white onion
4 scallions white and green parts
1/2 cup cucumber de-seeded
6-8 small tomatillos
1 tablespoon capers
4 tablespoons Parsley
1 green apple small diced
1 thinly sliced Serrano pepper
10-12 Mexican Hierbabuena or Mint Leaves chiffonade
1/2 cup Castelvetrano Olives
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Serve with: Crackers, Plantain Chips, Corn chips, OR Tostadas
1. Start by preparing the tuna. Place fresh tuna block into the freezer for about 10-15 minutes before cutting. Prepare your plastic cutting board, and a set of nesting wide shallow bowls or platters one with ice cubes and place the second bowl on top of the ice, to keep the diced tuna as cold as possible while you dice it. Using the sharpest long knife you have, cut tuna into 3/8″ of an inch medium dice cubes, about 1X1x1 cm. Place the diced tuna in the iced bowl as you go, to keep it cold and temperature safe.
2. Line the tuna dices in the shallow bowl into one layer, add the lime juice and 2 small pinches of salt. Discard de ice of second bowl. Place the top bowl with the tuna into the refrigerator and let macerate for 15-20 minutes.
3. Diced tuna should have white edges and a soft pinkish color, with deep red centers. If it looks like this, your tuna is ready, unless you prefer your fish more cooked, give it another 5-10 minutes.
4. Discard about 3/4 of the lime-tuna juices. This pink liquid is known as “leche de tigre”, “tiger milk” some people reserve this juice and mix it with hot sauce, onion, cilantro, or coconut milk and serve it as a little side shoot. Tale has it that is not only delicious, it also gives lots of energy and vigor. I can not attest of this benefits, yet I can say the little cocktail concoction is delicious. If you feel adventurous give it a shot, if not just stick to the ceviche plan preparation and discard this juice.
What I do know for sure is that this step of removing the lime juice -tuna juices it is quintessential to the flavor and ceviche preparation. Often the biggest mistake I have found while watching other people prepare their ceviches is living this juice in it. Why? well, for many reasons, one is flavor, it makes the dish extremely acid, cloudy, muddy and unbalanced. By removing all this juices you clear out the flavors leaving the fish flesh to shine. Another and MOST important reason, by removing this lime juice, you stop the cooking process so your fish does not overcook and stays on the right consistency and texture. And third your vegetables stay crisp and crunchy, and of course the ultimate reason you give yourself and other people the opportunity to try that “Tiger Milk” …. hehehe…
So, please make sure you remove all those lime-tuna juices before adding the rest of the ingredients.
5. Now time to re-season the tuna. Add 2-3 good drizzles of a green and grassy extra virgin olive oil, the rest of the sea salt, gently toss, add a pinch of sugar, gently toss .
6. Add all the chopped vegetables and herbs, white onion, scallions, cucumbers, tomatillos, green apples, capers, parsley, serranos, olives, mint, and the juice of 1/2 yellow lemon about 1 tablespoon. Toss well and taste. Adjust seasoning if necessary with sea salt, . Gently toss well let flavors marry for about 10-15 minutes.
7. When ready to serve, plate the ceviche in a nice cold platter, avocado slices on the side, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Garnish with mint, and slices of lemon. Enjoy
“How we use the power of cooking to transform the life of our people, our loved ones” ~ Gastón Acurio
Want to know more about Ceviche origins:
Check this link http://www.foodrepublic.com/2012/04/13/the-mysterious-origins-of-ceviche/