Raw fish + Lemon Juice = Cebiche ? There’s actually a lot more than that involved in mastering the art of Cebiche… care to learn the basics?
When making it at home, there are just a few key things to keep in mind. The most important is to use the freshest fish possible and beyond that it’s all about the marinating process. You will need fresh fish, sea salt, fresh pepper, lime or lemon juice, purple onions (traditionally cut in thin julians), freshly chopped cilantro (coriander) and a touch of chili to spice things up. Garlic is an optional very welcome ingredient as well.Most fish work for cebiche, but the best kinds are semi-firm white-fleshed ocean fish like sea bass, striped bass, grouper, sole or flounder. Stay away from oily fish like mackerel, sardines, bluefish or jack. Freshwater fish like trout or catfish don’t really work either. On the other hand, some varieties of tuna (yellow, red) and salmon work like a charm. Fresh caught fish makes the best cebiche. Otherwise, buy the freshest fish possible at the market. It’s the single most important thing. Fresh fish smells like the ocean. It shouldn’t be stinky. The flesh should appear glossy and iridescent, not opaque. High quality frozen fish is not the ideal, but will still work if fresh fish isn’t available. Aim to make the cebiche the same day you buy the fish. If you’re working with an especially large fillet, keep half of it over ice while you work on the other half.
FIRST: When preparing fish for cebiche, before you even start to cut it up, you need to remove the bloodline. If left on the fish, the bloodline (the dark red portion on the fillet) will give the finished dish a really fishy flavor. Don’t forget to remove the skin and any pinbones, too. Cut the fish into dice, chop the vegetables and squeeze the lemons, keep all refrigerated . SECOND: put the fish dice into a bowl, then ad enough salt so the fish will open it’s pores to let in the flavor. Add ground pepper too. Wait a minute or two. THIRD: right before serving, pour in the freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice (both will do), just enough to cover the fish. Wait 1 minute. Add the sliced onions, the chopped coriander, hot chili to taste (any kind you like, even tabasco or sriracha will do). FOURTH: toss all ingredients together, check the seasoning and serve immediately so the fish won’t overcook/marinade in the lemon juice. FIFTH: enjoy your Cebiche !!!
Once you’ve dominated the basic recipe, you can start experimenting with other ingredients like sesame, ginger, chives, wasabi, coconut milk, you name it. Check out our TIGER´S MIL FOR BEGINNERS post to continue your CEBICHE education !The sky is the limit. Follow CEBICHE LOVE for more photos, recipes and tips.