I’ve gone Mexican again.
Having over-indulged in too many roasted things over Christmas, I’ve been craving lighter Summery tastes and have been reminiscing about the plates of ceviche I got through on the beaches of Holbox, Mexico, while watching the fisherman bringing in the catch of the day.
Some of the best ceviche I enjoyed was at Raices beach shack, and I wanted to try and recreate the dish myself. Although the view of a high-rise housing development back here in London doesn’t quite match the beautiful sunset backdrop of Holbox, the flavours certainly take me back.
The magic of ceviche lies in the freshness of the fish, but I learnt another tip from my Mexican friends… salt. It probably sounds far from revolutionary, but rubbing the thinly sliced raw fish with fine sea salt, prior to marinating, is the key to getting the most of the flavour out of the chilli, coriander, caper and onion-infused citrus juices and into the fish.
To slice or dice, to leave marinating for 6hrs or 6mins seem to be debated, but quite honestly it’s purely down to personal taste. Not all fish works well in ceviche, but I found that either sea bass or bream withstand their flavour as well as taking on that of the punchy marinade. I opt for sliced, as opposed to diced, as I prefer less rawness and more of the citrus ‘cooked’ intensity of flavour. I’m also not patient enough to wait hours and hours, and even after a few minutes of sitting in its marinade, the fish is perfect.
It’s a very easy dish to put together, looks pretty on the plate and, in this month of repenting for Christmas gluttony, you’ll feel good eating it.
Sea bass ceviche with roasted cauliflower
2 sea bass fillets
4 limes (juiced)
1 orange (juiced)
1/2 red chilli, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
Small bunch of coriander leaves
tbsp capers (in olive oil) – drained
1 cauliflower head, chopped into small florets
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 200C. Add a splash of olive oil to a large roasting tray and pop into the oven to heat up for the cauliflower.
Chop the cauliflower head into small florets and juice 1 lime. Once your oven has come up to temperature, tip the cauliflower into the pan of hot oil and carefully pour over the lime juice. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and pop back in the oven to roast for 15-20mins.
Thinly slice the raw sea bass and place in a small mixing bowl, rub 1tsp of fine sea salt over the fish and set aside.
Thinly slice the half red onion and place in iced water for 5mins (in doing so, this ensures the dish isn’t overpowered by onion), while you slice the half red chilli, juice the remaining 4 limes and orange. Pour the marinade over the fish, and set aside until the cauliflower is golden brown and ready to serve.
Arrange ceviche on a plate with a sprinkle of coriander leaves and the drained capers and serve with the roasted cauliflower.