There are certain things you need for summer: sunglasses, sun-kissed cheeks, a beer, and of course that first taste of summer ceviche. For years I had this delectable treat at the mercy of restaurants, too afraid to try and make it myself, but addicted all the same. I first had ceviche in Philadelphia, at Tequilas Restaurant; it was love at first sight. For those of you who are unaware, ceviche is a dish that is native to a myriad of countries: Central America, South America, even the Polynesian Islands. It’ is usually prepared by marinating fish in lemon juice and adding a series of accompaniments. There is no one way to make ceviche, rather there are a myriad of creative expressions surrounding this dish. As I moved around the country I found different ways to feed my addiction. There was a Ceviche Royal at Uncle Julio’s in Atlanta, made with tilapia, bay scallops, and shrimp. Then there was a scallop ceviche at Mitra’s, also in Atlanta, and Casa Oxaca’s red snapper pineapple ceviche: a tiny but tasty offering. But my best experience bar none is the ceviche at Oyamel in D.C. It was at this establishment that I discovered all that ceviche could be, the creativity that could be attributed to the dish, the freshness. I have two favorites that I can recommend without any reservations. The first, my absolute favorite is the Ceviche Verde.
If I had only had the Ceviche Verde I would have counted my life complete; and I would have deprived myself of a ceviche sampling to rival all others. Oyamel’s Tuna Ceviche is an artists portrait in beauty, a chefs portrait in flavors, and a scientists portrait in preparation. sashimi grade tuna is tossed with lime and cilantro, garnished with amaranth, avocado, and toasted pecans. It is the pecans that add both a depth of texture and flavor to this dish. And it is this dish specifically that led me to my most successful attempt at Ceviche.
I’ll admit to a certain amount of trepidation where ceviche is concerned. Though I followed recipes, I was always skeptical of enzymatically over or under cooking the fish on my own. I got over this trepidation when attempting to make the Ceviche Verde, using halibut filet, though the results were less impressive than the offerings from Oyamel. But my results shined when I attempted to make a Tuna Ceviche. I found an approachable recipe on the Because I’m Addicted blog, and adapted it for my own purposes. The results were nothing short of amazing: you’ll find the instructions below. If like me you’re a bit nervous about the raw aspect of ceviche, then tuna ceviche should be more palatable. I used to describe this dish as “Latin Sushi” to customers who came into the restaurant and inquired about the dish. I followed he Because I’m Addicted ceviche post pretty closely, making two changes. First, I was too lazy to go to the international food store so instead of jicima I used cucumber in order to add a pleasant texture to my ceviche. The second change was pure ingenuity, I decided to add sriracha sauce to my ceviche & the gamble paid off superbly. While I was looking for something similar to the tuna ceviche at Oyamel, I wanted to make a pretty healthy dish also, so I decided that I could only have avocado or pecans, but not both. I went with avocado and didn’t look back. My recipe is as follows:
1 pound sushi grade tuna
1/2 small red onion
1 bunch scallions
ginger root – I use a cheese grater to get the consistency I wanted – I try to get about 1 teaspoon
Jalapeno – to taste
1 cup cucumber
2 ripe avocados, cut in small dice
lemon juice: to taste
teaspoon soy: to taste
chopped cilantro ~ 1/4 cup
Sea Salt – To taste
Secret Ingredient: Sriracha – for me this is an absolute must !!!
1. After I chop everything I put in the lemon juice and let it sit for ~10 minutes
2. Go ahead and throw in the Sriracha, Sea Salt, and Soy Sauce
3. I do this so that I can save the veggie mixture off to the side.
4. I mix the tuna in ~30min before I eat so that I can have ceviche throughout the week for lunch. I purchase my Tuna at the Main Ave Fish Market in DC, because of the freshness & reasonable prices (I paid ~11.00 $ for my pound). This method takes away from some of the prettiness of the dish because it isn’t 100% fresh. I think that in the future I’ll chop all vegetables at the beginning of the week and mix everything together at work.
5. I highly recommend trying just the vegetables – they are delectable on their own and make an amazing filling salad. I’ve put zucchini, chickpeas, anything that I’ve got around, sooooooo tasty.
This is too easy and too healthy a meal to pass up. I’ve made it a couple of times and I’ve loved it every time. In order to make it more healthy I make sure there are a lot of vegetables. I also think that I’m going to switch to slimcados as a means of lowering the amount of fat and calories. The taste is slightly less rich, but I think that with the other flavors it will be less noticeable than with straight guacamole. Additionally, in keeping with my healthy trend – I’m going to sub out tortilla chips for homemade zucchini chips. I’ve made them before and they are nothing short of delectable. In any case this is one of the most amazing summer meals ever created.