The Perfect Ceviche
To prepare a succulent piece of fish, you don’t even need an oven or stove—just “cook” it in a tangy marinade for a deceptively easy party treat.
Each January, we are reminded of the gluttony with which we enjoyed December. That extra helping of mashed potatoes at Christmas dinner was invariably preceded by mid-afternoon cookies in the office kitchen, just one more canapé at all those holiday cocktail parties, and year-end celebratory meals with family and friends—all of it invariably followed by an unwelcome tightness in our belts. Which means that New Year’s Resolution No. 1 is going to be “eat lighter.” Goodbye cookies, goodbye greasy finger foods, hello Asian steamer.
One of the lightest dishes we know is a dish that requires no actual cooking at all (and no, we’re not talking about carrot sticks): ceviche. In its most simple incarnation, ceviche—also called cebiche or seviche—is any type of fish or seafood that is marinated in lime juice or another acid until it is, essentially, cooked. This light marinating maintains the fish’s color and texture, while infusing a brightness of flavor that we find most welcome in these first few weeks of the New Year.
To get you started eating lighter, here are five recipes for the perfect ceviche.
1. Basic Ceviche by Roberto Santibañez This bare-bones ceviche demonstrates what Chef Roberto Santibañez calls “the crucial balance between acid and salt in a marinade.”
2. Sea Bass Ceviche with Jicama and Avocado Slaw by Norman Van Aken A Peruvian ceviche that treats the marinade more like a dressing, and can be prepared in less than 30 minutes.
3. Ecuadorian Shrimp Ceviche by Joan Nathan The shrimp is cooked beforehand, and then dressed in orange juice, lime juice, and herbs in this Ecuadorian version.
4. Marinated Tuna and Avocado, Chilli, and Cucumber by Simon Hopkinson Crisp cucumber, spicy chillies, and creamy avocado make this tuna ceviche unique.
5. Thinly Sliced Conch Marinated Peruvian-Style, with Dried Sweet Corn by Eric Ripert Leave it to superstar chef Eric Ripert to tackle conch. These gastropod mollusks are often tough when cooked, but a light marinating in lemon and lime juice leaves them addictively tender.
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