Ceviche: A Fresh Approach to Cooking Seafood
Ceviche (pronounced “see-VEE-chay”) is a technique of cooking raw seafood by marinating it in citrus juice. The acid in citrus juices, such as lemon and lime juice, denatures the proteins in the fish, giving it the texture of cooked fish, as well as, the flavor and freshness of raw fish.
Proteins are made up of long chains of amino acids. The acid in citrus juice breaks these long chains apart and arranges them in a new configuration. This technique “cooks” the fish without using heat.
Fish is the primary source of nutrients in ceviche. It is rich in protein which our bodies need to build and maintain tissues and organs. Proteins also function as antibodies that defend against viruses and bacteria.
Shellfish is also a great source of unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids that reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by fighting inflammation and lowering blood pressure. A 4 oz. serving of shellfish provides a heaping 176% of RDA of omega-3 fatty acids.
Shellfish contains 30% of RDA of vitamin B-12 needed for red blood cells, neurological functions, and activating enzymes needed to convert fat to energy, and 20% of the RDA of phosphorus needed to activate hormones and enzymes.
Because citrus juice doesn’t kill germs like heat does, it is a good idea to poach or parboil your seafood first and keep it refrigerated. It is also important to use a non-reactive container such as glass, ceramic or stainless steel.
Below is my recipe for lobster ceviche:
- 2 cups lobster
- 1 1/2 cups lime juice
- 1/2 cup chopped tomato
- 2 tbsp chopped onion
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro – chopped
- 1 Serrano chili pepper – remove seeds and chop
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Immerse lobster in boiling water for 30 seconds to kill surface bacteria. Drain. Chop and spread in even layer in sallow baking dish. Add lime juice to cover. Cover and chill overnight.
- Drain and discard lime juice. Place lobster in medium bowl. Add chopped tomato, onion, cilantro, Serrano chili pepper, olive oil, sugar and salt. Gently stir to combine. Cover and chill 1-4 hours to develop flavors.
- Serve with tortilla chips, or for a healthier option, on Bibb lettuce and use the liquid of the sauce as dressing! Enjoy!