“There are so many tasty reasons to be happy!”
The original quote had beautiful instead of tasty. But it’s pretty much the same thing, right?
When there is a need to treat oneself to something, most people would imagine cake or ice cream or some other kind of dessert probably. For me it’s usually something that has raw fish in it. I’m absolutely in awe of texture of raw fish, especially tuna. It’s an actual risk a piece of fish may reduce in size once I’m preparing tuna (usually it does), because I would just be cutting off edges and eating them in the process. Needless to say, I always look for the freshest one possible. Or vice versa – when I plan on cooking something else and then I see super fresh tuna sitting there on ice staring at me! Yes, it does stare at me. My favorite products tend to do that in stores – that’s how they end up in my grocery bag.
I do remember there was a time when I used to look for the cheapest can of tuna, thinking it’s going to end up in a salad or in a sandwich with a bunch of other ingredients. But as it happens with a lot of things in life – you learn throughout the process that best things come at a price and the taste differs so much!
After spending a few weeks in Central America last summer and eating all kinds of ceviche, the craving for it crawls in at unexpected times. One of those mornings I woke up and simply knew I wanted tuna ceviche. Lucky enough, ended up having dinner with a friend at Gaspar’s (one of my favorite restaurants in Vilnius) and had it there, on the same day. Then decided to make it at home, with my twist on it (this time the “twist” almost called for a fire extinguisher, but I’ll tell you about it later).
Ceviche, a specialty in Latin and Central America, is a dish typically made from fresh fish, raw, cured in fresh lemon or lime juice and spiced with chilies. Additionally it may be complimented with chopped onion, salt, cilantro, an avocado may be added to balance out the acidity and spiciness.
- 200-300 Fresh tuna
- Red onion
- 1-2 limes
- A handful of fresh parsley
- 1 avocado
- Salt’n’pepper to taste
Cut the fish to small cubes, ~ 1 cm and set it aside.
Slice onion into very thin pieces, chop parsley. Roll the limes on the counter pressing them down, so juices start flowing, slice in half – you’ll see it’s much easier to squeeze them out.
A thing with ceviche is that the fish is “cooked” in citrus juice. Leaving it in for too long will make it too acidic and will change color of fish. If making it with tuna, it’s even riskier to have dull and grey’ish looking dish. My personal preference is to mix everything just before serving. So add onion and parsley to tuna, sprinkle with chopped fresh or dried chilies, add some salt and pepper to taste, pour over lime juice. Mix everything well, plate and serve.
I do suggest adding an avocado to this dish. Didn’t use it this time – the ones I had were either not edible yet or already. Avocados texture and creaminess pairs well with tuna and the bold flavors added.
Now before wishing you bon appetit – a little lesson learned. When bringing back all those spices from different parts of the world – it is well worth trying them prior to adding to the dish. This time I learned my lesson with chili flakes brought from Thailand. That was THE twist I mentioned. Caught me off guard – by no means I expected it to be that hot and spicy. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed my ceviche with a tear rolling down a cheek! Experiment wisely :).