( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Tamara West
Ceviche is said to have originated in Acapulco but many versions are made not just in Mexico but all down the Pacific coast of the Americas, not to mention the versions of marinated raw fish which come from the Pacific Islands. Raw fish marinated in lime juice is one of my favourite first courses. Ceviche is a bit like an ethnic version of a prawn cocktail, light and fresh tasting seafood with an appetite-stimulating tangy dressing. The following is just like ceviche but with less wet stuff. If I have fresh fish fillets that I don’t want to use immediately I always lightly salt each side of the fillets as this slightly cures the fish, seasoning it, firming the texture and keeping the fish fresh. When you see that term “non-reactive” when referring to a bowl, it just means a bowl made of something like stainless steel, porcelain or glass that won’t react with a salty or acidic marinade.
- Put the cucumber and radishes in a non-reactive bowl (see above). Add 1 teaspoon salt, mix well and put aside for 20 minutes.
- Rinse the cucumber and radishes well under cold running water then squeeze dry. Reserve.
- Put the fish in a non-reactive bowl and add 4 tablespoons of the lime juice and a large pinch of salt. Mix well and leave for 30 minutes.
- Put the remaining lime juice, the oil, tequila (if using) sugar and chives into a small food processor and process until well blended. Taste and season with salt. Reserve. This is the dressing.
- Put the cos leaves on to a serving platter or in to 4 bowls.
- Drain the fish and discard the juice it was marinated in. Place the fish on top of the cos. Sprinkle the cucumbers, radishes and orange segments on top.
- Pour the dressing evenly over everything. Scatter some sliced chives on top and serve.