At restaurants worldwide, chefs produce a lot of trim from various fish, and we find unique ways to use it. We use the trim from salmon for salmon burgers, which we mix into Coho salmon. We use a white-fleshed fish for a mousse that we mix into crab cakes. One of my favorite ways to use fish trim is in a ceviche.
I recently hosted a demonstration at the Institute of Culinary Education in which I taught the class how to make ceviche. Now, you don’t need to use trim to do it. Ceviche can definitely warrant buying top quality fish to make it.
I never thought to make ceviche at home until recently, but it is certainly an easy and healthy dish to serve at your house. I’m lucky to have a Greenmarket in my neighborhood that features a fishmonger that offers high-quality, fresh fish is on the Sundays that they are there. Now, I’m starting to serve ceviche at home more and more — it’s a dish we like to eat, and we can get some great seasonal fish from the market.
If you eat a lot of fish in your home, another thing you can do is freeze your trimmings. While fresh fish is always best, freezing fish when it is fresh and using it later in ceviche works well. When you accumulate a pound or more, then it is ceviche-time!
The local fish that are generally available, like striped bass, sea bass and fluke, are perfect for it. Fish like halibut, snapper and grouper also work really well.
I’ve included a basic recipe to use and some ideas for mix-ins (like a Blizzard!). Choose the ones you like best, and try some other, similar ones you can think of.
Ceviche doesn’t have to be just fish. I’ve included a vegetarian (actually vegan) version that I’ve had before with sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes) and kohlrabi. Vegetables like fennel, radishes and celery root would be interesting, too.
Be creative. And always, have fun.
Fluke Ceviche (Photo courtesy of the Institute of Culinary Education)
Recipe: Sustainable Ceviche
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup orange or grapefruit juice
- 1 pound fish (halibut, striped bass, snapper, fluke or sea bass), sliced or diced
- 2 teaspoons aji Amarillo or aji dulce paste (optional)
I would always include these:
- Minced red onion
- Chopped jalapeño, no seed
- Cilantro leaves or mint
Then these are options:
- Long green chili, cut in half, seeded, cut in strips
- Red Fresno chili, cut in half, seeded, cut in strips
- French breakfast radish, thin-sliced long
- Orange segments
- Cucumber, diced
- Sweet potato or squash, cooked and diced
- Combine juices and fish and let sit for 5-20 minutes, depending how long you would like it “cooked.”
- If using, add the pepper paste and season with salt.
- Add a tablespoon of scallion, red onion and jalapeño.
- Tear the cilantro or mint and add.
- Add whatever other mix-in you want.
By Bill Telepan, Director of Sustainability at the Institute of Culinary Education