This post was written by Hatchet food columnist Scott Figatner.
You don’t need a stove to make a delicious seafood dinner. By marinating diced tilapia and shrimp in an acidic mixture, the seafood flesh actually cooks. Well, it’s not cooking per se, but the denaturing of the proteins mimics the process. With fresh ingredients, the South American dish is perfectly safe. My Peruvian ceviche is both low in calories and high in vitamins and protein. The seafood dish has a tender yet resilient texture, which along with ripe diced avocado, tomatoes and red onion, soaks up the flavor of the marinade, tangy with lime juice and slightly sweet from fresh coconut water. Served in a coconut bowl, the only other perfect accompaniment would be Peru’s national cocktail.
Sneak Peek: Check the blog next week for my take on the pisco sour.
Ingredients: (serves 2)
- 1 coconut/ ¼ cup coconut water
- 1 tilapia filet, diced
- 1/4 pound peeled rock shrimp meat, diced
- 3/4 cup lime juice
- 1/8 habañero pepper, finely minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons small-diced tomato
- 3 tablespoons small-diced red onion
- Salt and pepper
- Cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 avocado, diced
Important: Because the ceviche marinade will only kill surface bacteria, the tilapia and shrimp must be extremely fresh. It is best to prepare the ceviche on the day of purchase.
1. To make the coconut bowl, use a screwdriver to make a hole in the base, drain the water and reserve.
2. Place the coconut on a towel in your palm. Use the blunt side of the knife to whack it forcefully where a natural line is visible – be sure to wear protective eye gear. Once a crack forms, continue to pound it until the crack spans its entirety. Pull it apart and fix jagged edges.
3. Generously salt the equally sized tilapia and shrimp cubes and mix with 1/4 cup of the coconut water, the lime juice (with habañero and garlic added), the tomatoes and the red onion. Make sure everything is submerged in the marinade. Refrigerate for 40 minutes, mixing at least once.
4. Generously salt to taste and add avocado and chopped cilantro. Add fresh ground black pepper. Scoop into the coconut bowl, draining the ceviche of excess marinade. Serve immediately as it will continue to cook.