Ceviche is a traditional dish of latin origin. It is very refreshing in the summer or when firm white seafood is fresh and at its best.
I use bay scallops in this recipe, but you can use shrimp, pompano, squid, or whatever similar seafood you prefer.
The seafood “cooks” in the acidity of the citrus. You want to use a high acid citrus to do this. It is ok, to add a splash of orange juice, but the acid level of the base must remain high to properly “cook” the fish.
When selecting scallops, look for firm, white, odorless, scallops. Ask your fishmonger to let you smell them first to ensure they are odorless.
I recommend using vine-ripened tomatoes and only the freshest ingredients for this dish. I would not use anything from a jar or can here. If sea salt is not available, kosher salt would be the next preference
This dish is so fresh and easy to make.
Get into the Kitchen!
Servings: Depending upon how hungry you are, this recipe will serve 4 as an appetizer or 2 as a main course.
1 lb. bay scallops (or other appropriate fish of choice)
1 ½ cups freshly squeezed lime juice (approx. 6 – 8 limes), strained
1 lb. tomatoes (preferably 2 medium vine-ripened tomatoes), seeded and juice removed, in ¾ inch dice
2 jalapeños, veins removed, seeded, and finely minced
¼ cup (or more to taste) finely diced sweet onion – - i.e., Vidalia
1/3 cup cilantro (carefully cleaned and chopped or cut into a chiffonade)
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper (medium grind)
Optional: 6 – 8 leaves of Boston or butter lettuce, well cleaned
EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) as desired
Sea salt, best quality
- In a large bowl, rinse the scallops gently using a few changes of water. I like to float a lemon slice or two in the final soaking water, but it is not necessary. The scallops will remain soaking in the water bowl while the other ingredients are prepared.
- Once all other ingredients are prepared for use, drain the scallops.
- Slice each scallop into equally portioned sizes so they will “cook” evenly.
- Place scallops into a 9×13 non-reactive baking dish so each one rests on the bottom of the pan (we don’t want the scallops to be stacked).
- Sprinkle diced onions evenly over the top of scallops.
- Pour lime juice over the mixture to cover scallops. Each scallop should be lightly floating yet covered so the surface area of each scallop is exposed to the lime juice.
- Cover baking dish with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes. Cut into one scallop to see if it is opaque throughout. If more time is needed, continue for another 10 – 15 minutes, checking until the desired consistency is reached – - being careful to not let them “overcook.”
- In a non-reactive bowl, combine tomatoes, jalapeño, onion, cilantro and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
- Using a fine strainer, pour off the lime juice leaving just the onions and scallops.
- Gently fold scallops and onions into the tomato mixture until incorporated.
- Line chilled small serving bowls (or dessert cups) with a layer of lettuce leaves.
- Spoon the ceviche over lettuce leaves to desired portions making sure to get the juices from the bottom of the bowl of the tomato mixture.
- Lightly season the top of each serving with a sprinkling of best quality sea salt and a drizzle of EVOO.
Enjoy, eat well and be well!
Todd Alan is Westchester Eat’s critic for all things to stuff into your mouth, gadgetry to play with in the kitchen, and all things food. We make him eat crap so you don’t have to.