Ceviche, which is also known as cebiche or seviche, is, simply put, any type of seafood that is “cooked” (without heat) by marinating it in lime juice or another acidic liquid. The seafood doesn’t really cook in the same way as it does with heat, but its texture, color, and flavor change as it absorbs the marinade. After the acidic marinade has permeated the surface of the cut-up seafood, the marinade is discarded.
At Rosa Mexicano, ceviche might include coconut, mango, prickly pear, or mixed herbs as well as seafood. Ceviches can be served fairly dry—that is, removed from the marinade and flavored with salsas like pico de gallo—or wet, with a freshly made citrusy sauce. At Rosa Mexicano we find that our customers prefer the latter, which is light and refreshing.
Our Basic Ceviche demonstrates the crucial balance between acid and salt in a marinade. It is always a good idea to taste the marinade before adding the seafood, adjusting the seasonings as necessary. The individual recipes based on this basic ceviche each call for a specific type of fish or shellfish, but feel free to wing it with your favorite seafood. Keep in mind, however, that some ingredients, like shrimp, lobster, and octopus, require precooking (grilling or poaching are most common); since these do not get marinated in lime juice, the final ceviche will need a little more acid added to the final sauce.
1 pound mahi mahi, red snapper, grouper, or sea bass fillets, cut into 1/2 inch cubes or 1/4 x 1/4-inch strips, and/or other seafood (partially cooked if necessary; see Headnote)
¾ cup freshly squeezed lime juice, strained
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
Put the raw fish into a tall narrow glass or stainless steel container. Stir the lime juice, salt, and oregano together in a small bowl and pour over the fish. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Drain the seafood thoroughly and discard the liquid. Add cooked seafood, if using.