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Tuesday 19 July 2011

Sluttishly Simple: Ceviche

If your only experience of raw fish is disappointing sushi, then do not let you put that off ceviche. This spicy 'raw' fish makes for a delicious, light summer meal with a bit of bite. I say 'raw' as it's marinaded in lime juice which 'cooks' the fish by curing it. It's lighter and more refreshing than sushi, especially as it's served with salad rather than swallowed up in carbs.

If you've ever had a home-made sushi disaster then don't let that put you off experimenting with raw fish. My first and last attempt ended up with stodgy rice, damp slivers of tuna, and wraps that fell apart as soon as I tried to pick them up. My friends ended up gamely cramming in as much as they could with chopsticks while politely asking what was for pudding. Thankfully ceviche is much, MUCH easier. Some slicing, some squeezing, some waiting around and you're done.

Use fresh, not previously frozen, fish. It has to be as fresh as possible as older fish is tougher and the citrus won't get all the way in. Ceviche works best with meaty fish like tuna or swordfish, or shellfish like prawns or scallops. Don't bother with flaky fish like cod as it'll just fall apart, or oily fish like mackerel as it won't absorb the flavours. I used salmon in this recipe, and it worked a treat.

Ceviche (serves 2)

You will need:

  • 100g salmon
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Gem lettuce

Make it!

  1. Chop the salmon into thin strips. Take your time over this and use your longest, thinnest knife.
  2. Lay the salmon out on a large dish. Mix the lime juice, chilli and shallot and pour over the fish, taking care to cover it all. Place in the fridge for five minutes.
  3. When it's ready, serve on a bed of gem lettuce leaves and whatever other salady bits you fancy. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.


  1. They go really well with boiled sweet potato too (cooked separately), although normal spuds like King Edward are fine too I think! I Ioved this when I lived overseas, and I've been hankering to make some but a friend from overseas said it was difficult to make in the UK (our limes are not as acidic as theirs), which put me off! I'm glad to see this and will give it a go very soon :)

  2. Hello from California! I just found my way here through Design Sponge. I haven't read many English (British?) blogs before, so this is a rather new experience for me. But I really enjoy your site (especially the Design Porn section--omg the finds)!

    Anyway, I noticed this recipe looks very similar to the Mexican "ceviche" that I've often had in Southern California--just switch out the shallots for onions and add some chopped cilantro. Is "cerviche" a Spanish version?

  3. Gordita: that's interesting about limes. It worked out fine for me - let us know how it goes for you.

    Stella: welcome to Domestic Sluttery! Please stick around, we love our overseas readers. And thank you for pointing out my typo - that's what happens when you write a recipe in the middle of moving house. Oops.


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