When the mercury is rising, the thought of cooking and heating up the house even more leaves many searching for options that don’t involve the stove. Enter ceviche. All the “cooking” in this flavorful Latin America staple is done with lime juice.
That’s right. No oven. No cooktop. No sweltering barbeque coals. Just fresh scallops (or any firm, white-fleshed fish) chilled in lime juice and mixed with a variety of additions. The acid in the lime juice slowly “cooks” the fish in a way that leaves the flesh firm, opaque, and bursting with flavor.
When choosing scallops, there are a few things to consider. Scallops come in different sizes. Pucci Foods offers both bay scallops (on the smaller end) and sea scallops (on the larger end). Some sea scallops are so big you would need to cut them up for bite-size ceviche chunks. Scallops from Pucci Foods are also wild-caught and farmed sustainably, and are not packed in solution that dilutes the flavor. Lastly, don’t forget that ceviche is just as tasty if you swap out scallops with semi-firm, white-fleshed fish like halibut, sole, red snapper, grouper or swordfish.
Here are basic directions to preparing authentic ceviche:
- Rinse your fresh scallops and put them in a bowl. Immerse them in lime juice. Chill overnight (or at least four hours). The key is they should become opaque before serving.
- Pour off all but half of the remaining lime juice and add your favorite additions. Tried and true options include fresh diced tomatoes, green onions, bell peppers, avocado, pineapple and olives.
- Add your spices. Salt, pepper, parsley, cilantro and hot peppers are tested hits. Some cooks add a little olive oil. For a hint of sweetness add a few tablespoons orange juice or half a teaspoon sugar or agave. (Complete this last step no more than an hour or two before serving for the most bold flavors.)