Of course, the most important thing about ceviche is choosing some perfectly fresh fish. In the book, each recipe is specific to a different type of fish, but there are suggestions for other good options depending on what’s available. In the past, I’ve always cut fish for ceviche into small cubes. Here, thin cuts against the grain are advised. The pieces are shaped more like sashimi. I decided to try the recipe called Ceviche de Robalo in the book, and robalo is a fish that moves in and out of fresh and saltwater. I used Gulf-caught black drum instead. My reason for choosing this version of ceviche was the juices, fruits, and vegetables that come together in it. The sliced fish was marinated in orange juice and lime juice with chopped red onion, sliced red serrano, and salt. Meanwhile, a cucumber was juiced by pureeing it in the blender and then straining it. That juice was mixed with coconut water. After the fish had marinated in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour, it was moved with a slotted spoon to a serving dish. The cucumber-coconut water mixture was ladled over the fish. The garnishes were grapefruit segments, thin batons of jicama and radishes, little cubes of cucumber and avocado, and I added cilantro leaves. I can never resist baking some long, thin wedges of tortillas to serve with ceviche.
Enjoying this dish was like a mini getaway with the flavors of coconut, serrano, fresh fruits, and crunchy vegetables. I might always add coconut water to ceviche from now on. Obviously, this restaurant makes the most of the variety of produce available nearby. I’d like nothing more than to visit in person and stroll in after a day on the beach, but until I can get there, I’ll keep virtually traveling with the book.
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