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I am a sucker for ceviche. When we had our home in Belize for 18 years, ceviche was top of the menu on every single trip. Not just once – many times. For me, ceviche and warm weather go together and really the only “hard” part of ceviche is chopping all the ingredients. Other than the chopping, which I actually find to be a Zen experience, preparation is dead simple.
We have a favorite place to eat in Antigua, Guatemala and I have been ordering ceviche there almost every time we go to dinner with friends or just the two of us. I love their ceviche, made with a bit of mango and a touch of avocado at the end – not too acidic from a touch of lime juice and yet a little sweet. There were peppers, there were tomatoes and of course cilantro and red onion.
The restaurant wasn’t cooperative when I asked for the recipe or even details of preparation. A few months back I attempted to replicate this ceviche and I really didn’t do too well. The mango disintegrated and the Philippine variety I tried wasn’t right. The avocado really mushed up so that the whole mixture looked like a mess. Unlike ceviche we made in Belize, somehow the seafood in the restaurant ceviche seemed cooked but wasn’t too acidic.
And so it came to pass that my other half decided to become a ceviche maker. He combed the internet and watched a few YouTube videos – of course he did. What CAN’T you learn from YouTube these days? But at the end of the day, as all cooks know, it’s best to wing it while cooking.
We have had his ceviche twice in the last few days for dinner alongside saltine crackers. Don’t knock it till you try it! I’m not really a tortilla chip fan but I love saltines, and it pairs well with the slightly sweet mango influence. I could eat this every single day and not tire of it for a long time, if not forever.
Ceviche de Mi Esposo (my husband’s ceviche)
Serves 3 as a main course or 4-6 as a hearty appetizer
- 1 lb shrimp-shelled and cleaned or 1 lb firm-fleshed fish fillet without skin, barely steamed in a steamer basket for about 3 minutes
- 3 Roma tomatoes, diced ¼ inch (I did remove a few of the seeds here but didn’t get too carried away)
- ⅓ cup cilantro, washed, dried and finely chopped
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- ½ peeled, seeded cucumber diced ¼ inch
- 2 small serrano chilies, finely chopped-seeds and all (use more if you prefer more heat)
- Juice of one lime
- Large mango, peeled and cubed (about 1 cup cubed ½ inch) – Haden variety (look up pictures but it is pretty large, with greenish/reddish skin)
- 1 large or two small avocado, peeled and cubed ½ inch
- 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges to garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A few roasted macadamia nuts for garnish (optional)
Fill a straight-sided saute pan with about one inch of water and bring to a boil. Put shrimp or seafood in a steamer basket or metal strainer over the water and cover the pot for three minutes or until the seafood is barely cooked. Remove from the heat to a clean bowl to cool, then cut into small bite-sized pieces, ½ inch.
Meanwhile, chop the Roma tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, cucumber, and chilies. Squeeze a lime and put the lime juice over these veggies and mix well. Add about ½ tsp of salt and some fresh black pepper. Taste and add more salt or pepper as needed.
Add the seafood once it is cooled and cut. Stir all of this together and put into the fridge while you peel the mango and avocado.
Peel and cube the mango and avocado for the final presentation. Cut a lime into wedges and have a few macadamia nuts ready to go.
Let the mixed ceviche (minus the mango, avocado, and garnishes) marinate in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Finally, stir the bowl of ceviche one more time, add more salt or pepper if needed and divide into serving dishes and garnish with mango, avocado, lime wedges, and macadamia nuts. Serve with tortilla chips or saltines! Eat. Repeat.