If there is a perfect recipe for hot summer days, civiche has got to be it. It’s simple, no cook and is a dish that you make ahead of time. Served chilled on a hot summer afternoon it is utterly refreshing. In short, it’s everything you want when the weather turns warm.
When I say simple, I’m not exaggerating. Civiche is basically just pico de gallo with seafood. It can be made with fish, shrimp, scallops, or any other seafood you can think up. Since I happen to be sitting in the Great State of Alaska at the moment, my choice was obvious. I used salmon.
For those of you who may not have tried ceviche, It’s basically fish that is “cooked” in leon or lime juice. (I’ve also seen recipes that use orange or pineapple juice, but whatever you choose, it should be high in citric acid content.) Because the fish is not cooked over heat, you should be sure that the fish is as fresh as possible. Fresh frozen is fine, but thaw under water, don’t thaw in the fridge overnight. You don’t want to take a chance on any unfriendly bacteria finding a home with the fish before it hits the acid.
You’ll know your fish is ready when it is opaque. To test, break a piece of the fish open. If it’s one solid color all the way through, it’s done. If it’s still a bit pink or translucent in the middle, give your ceviche another hour, then test again. Or, if you’re lazy like me, just make it the night before. It’ll be fine by morning and still just as tasty at lunch time.
Once it’s ready you just need to grab your favorite delivery method. Civiche can be served elegantly or simply. I prefer simple. In my case, that’s a big pile of tortilla chips.
How do you beat the heat? What’s your favorite summertime recipe? Is it a crisp, cold salad, a ice cream or a bowl of spicy soup or salsa?
- 2 pounds salmon, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
- 5 ripe plum, Roma, or vine tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 Anaheim chili peppers, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- The juice of 2 limes
- The juice of 1 lemon
- Salt to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a medium glass, plastic, wood or stainless steel bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, stirring every hour. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
Next time I’ll add some scallops or shrimp just to kick it up a notch, but all-in-all, this is the best civiche recipe either my wife or myself has ever tried, so I’m sure that your family will love it as well. Enjoy!
Links to other recipes like this:
- Civiche, from Elise at Simply Recipes
- Mafi’s ceviche de pescado or fish civiche, from Laylita’s Recipes