Photo by Jun Pang
I think that most people think cooking is too hard. Well here is a recipe to prove that theory wrong.
Most people think that cooking needs heat. Well, that’s not necessarily true either.
Ceviche is a dish made popular in the Americas, specifically in the South America. Traditionally, it uses the juices of citrus fruits to “cook” the proteins. Much like the science experiments you once performed in your high school science classes, when you poured acid on raw egg white and it turned opaque white and hardened. In this case, the the citric acid from the citrus fruits is slightly acidic enough to cure or cook the proteins of the fish.
In coastal places in Mexico where the seafood is abundant, this type of cooking method is much used and is often sold in plastic cups with ice as street food. Flavoured mainly by lime juice, it is also spiced with a myriad of chillies, tomato juice, coriander and sliced red onion. I tasted this genious of a dish a few years ago, not in Mexico unfortunately but in Sydney at a food and cooking expo. This version had heaps of different seafood like oysters, clams, fish and mussels to name a few and they were all cooked ceviche style using limes and many types of exotic chillies. Never have I tasted such wonderful, refreshing and interesting flavours. The Peruvians are experts at this type of food preparation too and so are the Ecuadorians but as mentioned before, the South Americans are generally pros at this type of cooking.
In saying that, I picked up this recipe from a house keeper at work. She is from Fiji and missed her home country tremendously and wanted me to desperately learn her food so I can cook it for my knowledge and as a trade off, for her to eat. She told me that in Fiji, she also adds a little coconut milk at the end. When I tried this, I found it quite nice but I left this recipe quite plain to get punters to get used to this unusual type of cooking. But what this has done is show me that many countries adopt this type of cooking. The Japanese use ponzu as the agent to cook protiens in some dishes, Filipinos use a lot of vinegars, tropical countries use limes, lemons and other citrus juices. This isn’t a new cooking phase, it’s been around for centuries it seems.
So try it out, it’s super healthy with great, robust flavours that explode in your mouth. As summer hopefully gets nearer, you will realize that it is the perfect dish for summer. It requires little time, cost effective and it does not require you to use any pans to cook with or clean.
So, for those of you who don’t like to make their kitchens to smell like fish, try this one out. Try it with other fish, like salmon, experiment as you get used to the flavours and perhaps you will also save on your gas bill!!
Photo by Jun Pang
King Fish Ceviche Salad with Toasted Garlic Bread
For the Ceviche Salad
750gr Fresh Kingfish
1 Cucumber – Quartered lengthways and deseed and thinly sliced
1 Punnet Cherry Tomatoes – halved
½ Red Onion – sliced paper thin
200gr Baby Rocket
2 Bunches Water Cress
1 Bunch Basil
6 Fresh Limes
For the Garlic Bread
2 Freshly Baked Baguette
100gr Brie – leave at room temperature until really soft
100gr Butter – leave at room temperature until really soft
5 Cloves garlic – finely pureed
1 Bunch Parsley – finely chopped
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For the Salad
- If it hasn’t been done by the fish monger, cut out the blood line that runs along the length of the fish, where the spine usually is. If you do not remove this, the dish will become bitter.
- Take the fish and place it flat on the board. Using a sharp knife, run the knife along the length of skin until you totally remove the skin. Make sure the knife is “tight” or flush on the board so as not to get too much flesh.
- Finely slice the fish into thin slices across the fillet, no more than 1mm thick and place it into a bowl.
- Squeeze the lime juice all over the fish, season with sea salt and pepper and mix through with extra virgin olive oil and allow it so sit for about 8-10 minutes in the fridge or until it starts to turn colour turning the surface slightly white
- Place the cherry tomatoes, red onion, baby rocket, watercress and basil in the bowl and mix through until evenly mixed
For the Garlic Bread
- Place the brie in a mixer and mix in the bowl with a paddle until it’s a smooth paste
- Add the butter on low until the brie is well mixed through then take the butter out of the mixer
- Using a rubber spatula, mix the garlic and parsley through until thoroughly mixed through
- Cut the baguettes in half lengthways, spread the butter through on both sides, well lathered
- Toast under the griller until well toasted