Light, bright, healthy and easy, ceviche is summer’s quickest fancy food option. Cooked, yet not heated, ceviche saves you toiling away in a hot kitchen yet gives you the most glorious appetizer or lunch. And it’s one of the easiest and prettiest dishes in the world to prepare. The yuzu tips it into must-make territory.
Ceviche, as you probably know is fresh fish “cooked” in citrus juice. I first experienced this way of cooking several years ago with Andrew at London Nikkei cuisine specialist, Chotto Matte, where we ploughed our way through a head-spinning selection of Japanese-Peruvian small plates. All delectable, despite initially being sceptical and not a little squeamish. I was hooked at first bite.
The lime, lemon, grapefruit or, in this case, yuzu cooks the fish in a natural chemical process called denaturation, turning the flesh from soft and translucent to firm and opaque before your very eyes.
Ceviche is a very Central and South American way to enjoy fresh fish; more a technique than a dish. While the citric acid is key to the cooking, unlike heat, this method doesn’t kill bacteria so it is of utmost importance to use spanking fresh fish, preferably from a fishmonger. You may even want to freeze the fish for seven days then defrost to “cook” in the seasoned juice. I don’t bother, but if in doubt do freeze. Ceviche is very widely eaten, and very healthy to boot, so don’t let this little PSA worry you.
I’ve done something a bit unusual with my ceviche, using an oily fish rather than the typical white fish. Most oily fish – certainly mackerel and sardine – are too strong, but lightly smoked raw salmon is excellent. You could do this recipe with more typical sea bass, grouper or sole, but I love the added interest of a whiff of distant smoke from raw smoked salmon. Oh, and although catfish is a white fish it is way too strong here.
Just to further emphasise, the smoked salmon used here is not ready to eat smoked salmon found with the other cooked meats and fishes. Smoked salmon in this recipe is still raw and displayed amongst the other fresh fish. I buy mine at Waitrose, where I also nicked this idea. And made it my own way, I might add. 🙂
If you have got this far and happen to be vegetarian or even vegan I’ve got a very palatable tweak for you: make this up with thinly shaved fennel. Boom.
As for the yuzu, although quite tart, the juice of this floral, fragrant Japanese fruit seems to be in every au courant recipe and trendy food product just now. If you can’t get the bottled juice, use fresh grapefruit, which is the best approximation for this recipe. I get my yuzu juice at Waitrose, found with the Asian ambient temperature ingredients. I use it in this recipe, in salad dressings, mixed with chilli and brushed on cooked white fish, but also whisked into my daily cold matcha tea. It is not a one-hit wonder so do buy a bottle if you see it. You can also easily find it on-line (souschef.co.uk is a great source of cheffy things generally and has a great selection of yuzu products).
Yuzu-curious? This article from finedininglovers.com gives facts and uses about this rather addictive, if niche, ingredient.
I will be back soon with the most fantastic – and fantastically easy – French-style yogurt cake using this ugly but oh so beautiful fruit.
Are you au fait – or perhaps that should be el familiar – with ceviche? What about yuzu? Are you seeing it in everything?
Smoked Salmon and Yuzu Ceviche
Light, bright and easy, ceviche is summer’s quickest fancy food option. Cooked, yet not heated, ceviche saves you toiling away in a hot kitchen yet gives you the most glorious appetizer or lunch. And it’s one of the easiest and prettiest dishes in the world to prepare. Hooray!
Use grapefruit juice in place of the yuzu if the latter is unavailable. xx
130g (4.8 oz) raw smoked salmon, skinned
2 tsp bottled yuzu juice
5 tsp orange juice
pinch of sea salt
3-4 radishes, thinly sliced or finely chopped
Palmful of sugar snap peas or mange tout/snowpeas, sliced on diagonal
Palmful of cooked, cooled edamame (green, immature soybeans, found in the freezer section) OR young peas
1/2 jalapeno or serrano pepper, finely diced
2 tbsp finely diced yellow or red pepper
Some peashoots or rocket leaves
1. Dice the salmon into small bite-sized pieces.
2. Mix the yuzu, orange juice and salt in a non-reactive bowl. Add in the diced salmon and all the remaining ingredients except the pea shoots. Marinate for 10 minutes.
Serve with the pea shoots as a light lunch or appetizer/starter.
Other ceviches to try
Tenderstem and Fish Ceviche (link through in the post)
also, How to Make the Best Ceviche and Common Mistakes to Avoid from Huffington Post
and a yuzu one from me
Ripe for Pinning!