Grouper and Kumquat Ceviche is a vibrant and refreshing dish that combines the delicate flavor of fresh grouper with the sweet and tangy taste of kumquats. The fish is “cooked” in a blend of citrus juices, then tossed with other ingredients for an explosion of contrasting textures and flavors.
The grouper in this ceviche is tender and lightly buttery, complementing the unique blend of sweetness and tartness of the kumquats. Sliced kumquats, with their edible skin, add a citrus zest to the dish, enhancing the clean taste of the grouper.
The addition of red bell pepper brings a crunchy texture and mild, sweet flavor to the ceviche, while the green onions provide a subtle, savory note and a pop of color. The red bell pepper and scallions add a layer of complexity to the dish, balancing out the tartness of the kumquats and adding depth to the overall flavor profile.
Together, the ingredients create a harmonious blend of flavors, with the perfect combination of sweetness, acidity and savory notes. This ceviche is a light but satisfying appetizer or main dish that can be enjoyed on its own or served with tortilla chips, tostadas, or crusty bread for added texture and flavor. It’s a great choice for hot summer days or anytime you crave a refreshing citrusy dish.
What is the history of ceviche?
Ceviche has a rich history that spans over a thousand years, and the dish has evolved and adapted to local tastes and ingredients throughout Latin America. The history of ceviche dates back to pre-Columbian times, when indigenous peoples living along the coasts of present-day Peru and Ecuador consumed fresh fish and seafood, “cooked” with acidic fruit juices such as tumbo (passion fruit banana) or fermented corn drinks.
With the arrival of the Spaniards in the 16th century, the culinary landscape of the region changed. The Spaniards introduced ingredients such as limes, onions, and cilantro, which have become essential components of modern ceviche. They also brought new cooking methods and culinary traditions, influencing the preparation and presentation of the dish.
Ceviche is considered a national dish in Peru, where it is often served with sweet potatoes, corn and chili peppers. Peruvian ceviche is known for its simplicity and focus on the freshest fish, marinated in lime juice, red onions, chili peppers and cilantro. In 2004, Peru declared “National Ceviche Day” on June 28 to celebrate the cultural significance of this dish.
Ceviche has spread throughout Latin America and beyond, with each country or region bringing its own twist to the dish. In Colombia, for example, ceviche can be made with ketchup and mayonnaise, while in Costa Rica it can be made with ginger ale or club soda.
What type of fish can I use for ceviche?
The fish or seafood used in ceviche can vary widely depending on local preferences and availability. Common choices include sea bass, grouper, snapper, shrimp, calamari, and scallops. However, any high quality fresh fish or seafood can be used. Choosing the freshest possible ingredients is key when making ceviche, as the dish relies on the natural flavors of the fish and the acidity of the citrus juices to shine.
Here are some popular white fish options for ceviche:
- Consolidator: This white fish has a firm texture and a mild, sweet flavor that pairs well with the tangy citrus marinade of the ceviche. It tolerates acidity well and does not become too soft.
- Snapper: A popular choice for ceviche, snapper has a delicate, flaky texture and a slightly sweet taste. It absorbs the flavors of the marinade well and provides a nice contrast to the crunchy vegetables often added to ceviche.
- Mahi Mahi: Also known as dorado, mahi-mahi has a lean, firm texture and mild flavor that goes well with ceviche. It is a popular choice in the Caribbean and pairs well with tropical fruits.
- Bar: Another suitable option for ceviche, sea bass has a rich, buttery flavor and a firm texture that holds up well to acid marinade.
It is important to note that ceviche prepared with any of these fish should be eaten the same day it is prepared to ensure freshness and optimum taste. It is also recommended to use fish with a firmer texture, as it will retain its shape better during the marinating process. Fish freshness is paramount in ceviche, as it is eaten raw or semi-cooked, so always choose high-quality, sustainably-sourced fish from a trusted supplier.