Ceviche, a dish originating and popular in the central and southern Americas, is one of those dishes I’ve always wanted to try. It’s typically fresh fish quickly cured in citrus juice, such as lemon, and seasoned. Somehow, I never got round to preparing it myself, but I took the chance now, with sea bass. More commonly you see tartares with fish such as tuna and salmon, but sea bass worked surprisingly well, better than I thought actually.
Naturally, if you’re not a fan of sushi and the like, this one’s probably not for you! But it’s a very clean, fresh dish that makes brilliant use of fresh fish, so obviously freshest is best. The lemon juice here quickly “cures” the fish, but not for long enough to actually cook it. You can prepare the ingredients in advance; just keep the lemon mixture separate from the fish until you’re just about to serve.
Serves 4 people as a starter.
You could use other fish, such as lemon sole, if you prefer. Adapted from here.
400g of sea bass fillets, pin-boned and scaled
1 orange pepper, de-seeded and chopped into small cubes
3 spring onions, finely chopped
juice of 3 lemons
1 red + 1 green small chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
6-8 fresh mint leaves
3 tbsp of cress
pinch of salt + fresh cracked pepper
extra virgin olive oil
fennel tops (optional)
Cut the fish into 1 cm cubes. Combine with the spring onions and pepper in a bowl, and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to serve everything. In another bowl, mix the lemon juice, chillis, and salt.
When you’re ready to eat, you can assemble the dish by pouring the lemon juice over the fish, tossing them together. Leave to stand for about two minutes (not much more!) whilst you assemble the rest.
Add the cress and the mint, and mix together again, before dividing between four plates. Top with the fennel if using, drizzle with olive oil and season with freshly ground pepper, and serve immediately.