It is surprising that this south american way of serving fish is not common in Portugal. Fresh fish bought in the market or straight from fishermen is begging to be prepared like this! This is a light citrus marinade of raw fish which makes a tangy, light dish which makes an ideal starter for a richer fish dish or a main meat course. Ceviche is not worth considering unless you’re convinced the fish you’re using is absolutely fresh (i.e pre packed fillets do not qualify). You can ask your fish monger to de-bone/fillet a piece and you’re only left with thinly slicing or chopping it in small cubes. The photograph is a basic ceviche of “cherne” (a much appreciated large white fish in Portugal but constantly mistranslated – if you do know of a good equivalent in English, please let me know). It can be substituted by any meaty fish such as monkfish or tuna.
250 gr fresh fish
1 green chillie
1 small bunch of parsley or coriander
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lime
Red pepper and lemon zest
Fleur de salt
1. Either thinly slice or cube the fish, finely chop the green chillie and the parsley or coriander.
2. Toss the fish in freshly squeezed lemon juice, a generous pinch of salt and the chopped chillie and herbs.
3. Put in the fridge for 20 minutes, toss all ingredients and leave for another 15 minutes. Timing is crucial as the fish can either be “raw” or too acidic. You can keep tasting and correct seasoning.
4. Serve in small portions with thinly sliced red pepper and lemon zest.