Sustainable Fish: Classic Ceviche

Rick Bayless' Classic Ceviche is a festive appetizer.

| November/December 2002

  • Rick Bayless' Classic Ceviche is a festive appetizer.
    Photo By Joe Coca

Classic Ceviche 
Makes about 4 1/2 cups; serves 8 as an appetizer, 12 as a nibble 

1 pound fresh skinless snapper, bass, halibut, or other ocean fish fillets (fish that have a large flake or meaty texture), cut into 1/2-inch cubes or slightly smaller
1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice
1 medium white onion, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
2 medium-large (1 pound total) tomatoes, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
Fresh hot green chiles to taste (roughly 2 to 3 serranos or 1 to 2 jalapeños), stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus a few leaves for garnish
1/3 cup chopped pitted green olives (choose manzanillos for a typical Mexican flavor) 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, optional
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice or 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 large or 2 small ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
Tostadas, tortilla chips, or saltine crackers for serving

1. In a 1 1/2-quart glass or stainless steel bowl, combine the fish, lime juice, and onion. You’ll need enough juice to cover the fish and allow it to float somewhat freely; too little juice means unevenly “cooked” fish. Cover and refrigerate for about 4 hours, until a cube of fish no longer looks raw when broken open. Pour into a colander and drain off the lime juice.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the tomatoes, green chiles, cilantro, olives, and olive oil. Stir in the fish, then taste and season with salt, usually about 3/4 teaspoon, and orange juice (the sweetness of the orange juice helps balance some of the typical tanginess of the ceviche). Cover and refrigerate if not serving immediately.

3. Just before serving, stir in the avocado, being careful not to break up the pieces.

Serving options: 

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