Brew Dr.’s Citrus Ceviche Recipe
There’s nothing like balmy spring days to make you want to sit out on the back patio (or balcony, or veranda) and enjoy the company of friends and delicious warm weather food. Late spring and summer is the ideal time to take advantage of fresh, whole food ingredients by not cooking them. You heard that right.
If cooking is a little like alchemy, then making things like salads or ceviche is like painting with ingredients. It’s not about changing the ingredients themselves–like sautéing onions to make them sweeter or marinating and baking tofu to give it flavor–but rather about letting the ingredients be what they are. If that sounds a little loosey goosey to you, just remember that you still have a lot of control over the process. You can choose the most flavorful ingredients possible by buying fresh, local, and in season; you decide how they are cut, how much of them to use and in what combination; and you decide how to flavor them with things like herbs, citrus, spices, and other flavorings.
That’s where ceviche comes in. In case you haven’t been inducted into the ceviche club, let’s back up a bit for some basic knowledge. Ceviche is a Peruvian dish made by marinating chunks of white-fleshed fish in an acidic marinade (usually lime juice) until the fish turns opaque or appears “cooked.” There are usually other ingredients involved to give the ceviche flavor, like thinly sliced onion and chiles. The dish is so beloved in Peru that it has its own holiday and is considered an important part of the country’s national heritage.
There are countless variations of ceviche to be had. Filipino ceviche involves coconut milk, ginger, Thai chiles, and cilantro; Mexican ceviche often contains oregano and green olives; in the Caribbean, mango is sometimes added. None of this involves cooking, but as you can see there’s plenty of room to experiment with flavors and textures.
There are a few things to keep in mind when you embark on your ceviche journey. First and probably most important is the fish you use. Only buy fish from a trusted source. It is best to buy whole fillets rather than small cut pieces because there is more opportunity for cross contamination when fish is handled and cut into smaller pieces. If you can find a whole fish, even better, because it will allow you to look for visible indicators of freshness. A fresh fish should have clear–not cloudy–eyes and bright red gills. Also check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s guide to sustainable fish to make sure the fish you buy is an ecologically sound choice.
Second, plan ahead, but not too far ahead. Ceviche needs to sit for a little while, but letting it sit for too long can make the fish dry and rubbery. About 20-30 minutes is the sweet spot, at which point you should drain the fish, reserving the leche de tigre (the fish-infused citrus marinade is referred to as “tiger’s milk”) for serving.
While traditional ceviche gets its acidity from citrus juice, we’re going to harness the acidity of kombucha in combination with lime and orange juice to make a truly unique and delicious version of ceviche. You can use pretty much any flavor of Brew Dr. Kombucha in your ceviche, but we love the acidity and complexity of the Citrus Hops flavor. Happy (not) cooking!
Kombucha Ceviche With Mango
1 pound skinless red snapper, bass, or halibut, cut into ¾” pieces
1 mango, pitted and cut into ½” chunks
½ red onion, very thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 jalapeño, very thinly sliced
½ cup Brew Dr. Citrus Hops Kombucha
½ cup lime juice
¼ cup orange juice
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
In a large bowl, toss together fish, mango, onion, cilantro, kombucha, lime juice, orange juice, and salt. Cover and refrigerate until the fish is opaque but not tough, about 20-30 minutes. Drain the fish in a colander over a bowl and serve the ceviche with tortilla chips.