Raw fish, onions, chilli and lime juice. Ceviche is the most basic and beautiful of seafood dishes. It is believed to have originated in Peru, though the Ecuadoreans would hotly disagree. From South America, its popularity spread to Central America, and Mexico, each region adding its own spin to the standard Peruvian recipe. (The Mexicans sometimes add diced tomatoes.) While a true ceviche is eye-wateringly spicy and sour, we’ve toned it down a little with deseeded chillies, some orange juice and mango for a tinge of sweetness in this recipe. Feel free to keep the seeds and omit the mango for more heat and tang. We’ve also opted for the more luxuriously silky kanpachi (amberjack) in favour of traditionally used species like the rougher-textured snapper. Prep the ingredients beforehand and mix everything together just as your guests arrive. Let the raw fish ‘cook’ in the citrus juices for about ten minutes prior to plating it. The fruit’s acid breaks down the fish proteins kinda like how cooking it would, rendering the flesh opaque and firmer. Eat it with nachos, or, in the spirit of Chinese New Year, some yusheng-style crackers.
Kanpachi & Mango Ceviche
Serves 12 pax (or makes about 30 shooter glasses)
900g skinless and boneless sashimi-grade kanpachi fillets
(amberjack), diced into 1/2-inch cubes
2 small red onions, finely chopped
3/4 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
¼ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
4 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
¾ cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped
1 small ripe mango, diced
2 tsp salt
freshly cracked black pepper
1. Add everything except ¼ of the coriander leaves and all of the mango into a large bowl. Gently mix with a spatula to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Allow to marinate for at least 10 minutes in fridge. Marinate for no more than 30 mins.
3. When ready to serve, remove fish from fridge. Adjust seasoning with more salt if required, and give it a final gentle stir. Divide into martini glasses, garnish with mango and remaining cilantro. Serve immediately, with nacho chips (or yusheng crackers).
Use fresh, great quality fish, preferably from a Japanese retailer. Ask the fishmonger to slice the kanpachi into even, bite-sized cubes. Otherwise, your fish won’t ‘cook’ properly.
Dice onions, chillies and mango to about the same size.
Marinate fish in citrus juices for at least 10 to 20 minutes — but no longer than 30 minutes or it will become ‘overcooked’ and mushy.