Not all raw fish is Asian. Ceviche has been around for about as long as there have been fish. Cured in lime and sometimes other citrus juices, it can also be made with cilantro, onions and spices.
Thought to be originally from Peru, it was more than likely brought to the Americas by whoever was doing the cooking when the Spaniards invaded. Dishes similar to ceviche have been served in Europe’s cold and warm climates forever.
You will find ceviche served in most food establishments in Puerto Vallarta, whether it’s on the menu or not. The fresh catch for the day is customarily brought into the kitchen in the early afternoon and it’s the chef’s discretion as to how it will be prepared. We are in the habit of always asking what the fresh offerings are of the day.
There’s a small debate as to how long the fish needs to be “cooked” in lime juice and some claim overnight is best, whereas others feel doing so can make the fish mushy. Preparation a few hours prior to serving should suffice.
Served by itself as an appetizer with chips, saltine crackers or hard tostadas, ceviche can also be considered a side dish to an entrée.
The freshest we’ve eaten ceviche in Puerto Vallarta was on a small boat (panga), shortly after the fish had been dragged out of the sea. With sliced tomato, chopped onion and chilled cerveza, we ate in heavenly bliss, tossing all caution to the wind.
You can make your own ceviche at home and we recommend purchasing your fish at one of the many fish markets found throughout Puerto Vallarta. Shrimp, cleaned and deveined is an excellent choice for ceviche or you can inquire of the proprietor what he suggests from the fresh catches of the day.
Here is what you will need: A pound of fresh fish or shrimp, cut into small cubes; approximately 1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice; medium onion, chopped; large tomato, chopped; a couple jalapeño or Serrano chiles, finely chopped; ½ cup chopped cilantro; olive oil and salt.
Cover your fish in lime juice and let it float around, cover and refrigerate about 4 hours. Drain. Mix together with your other ingredients, using as much olive oil as you wish, to taste. Serve with avocado on the side or mixed in with your ceviche. It’s so simple, it should be kept a secret. We like it served with a small side of extra chopped onion, cilantro and avocado. ¡Buen provecho!
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Thanks to our guest blogger Adam Garcia for this article!
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