Sea Bass Ceviche

Sea Bass Ceviche

By
From
Citrus
Serves
4
Photographer
Mowie Kay

One period of my working life was spent researching Peruvian food, and out of this came a mild obsession with what is known as “tigre de leche”, or tiger’s milk. This is a purée of citrus and chilli that is used to “cook” the fish to its ceviched state – the remains are often drunk in shot glasses or used in cocktails. Lime is the usual citrus in ceviche, but you can also use sour orange juice.

This recipe has a Caribbean flavour, as I love the taste and aroma of Scotch bonnet chillies.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 small, sweet oranges
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
600g extremely fresh sea bass, placed in the freezer for 30 minutes
100g small tomatoes, cut into quarters, preferably yellow/orange
a few small coriander leaves
a few small basil leaves

For the tiger’s milk

Quantity Ingredient
2.5 cm piece fresh root ginger, sliced
1 fat garlic clove, squashed
a few coriander stems, bruised
100ml lime juice, (or sour orange juice)
1/2 scotch bonnet chilli, finely chopped, plus extra to serve
a few thyme sprigs, bruised
sea salt

Method

  1. Segment the oranges, working over a bowl to catch any juice, cut each segment in half and set aside. Squeeze out the peel and membranes into the juice.
  2. Next make the tiger’s milk. Put the ginger and garlic in a small bowl with the coriander stems, lime juice, chilli and thyme. Add the reserved juice and leave for 5 minutes to infuse. Strain, then add a generous pinch of salt.
  3. Put some iced water in a small bowl with a teaspoon of salt added. Add the red onion and leave to soak for 5 minutes. Drain and dry.
  4. To prepare the sea bass, place it skin side down, then cut thin slices diagonally across the grain so you end up with fairly flat, skinless slices, similar to the way you would cut smoked salmon. Cut these in half. Alternatively, you can simply cut into thick strips, but I think the slices look prettier on the plate. Put in a bowl, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt, and mix. After 2 minutes, add the tiger’s milk and leave for a further 2 minutes only (it will carry on “cooking” after being removed).
  5. Remove the sea bass from its marinade and arrange flat on a plate. Add the red onion slices, orange segments and tomatoes, then sprinkle with the coriander and basil. Serve immediately, with shots of the leftover marinade on the side if you like.

Note on fish

  • I prefer clean-tasting sea bass or bream for ceviche, but use whatever is freshest on the day. Just don’t use anything that is liable to flake, and bear in mind that any firmer fish will need to marinate for a little longer.
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