Let’s talk ceviche! A seemingly intimidating dish, ceviche is actually incredibly easy to prepare at home. Here, we simply marinate chunks of firm white fish and sliced kumquats in a punchy lime-yuzu kosho mixture and finish with lots of bright crunchy vegetables. Unlike most citrus fruit, kumquat skin is entirely (and enjoyably) edible. The skins are sweet while the juice is bracingly sour, which brings balance to the curing liquid. Do yourself a favor and buy the tongue-prickly yuzu kosho required for this recipe, it lasts forever in the fridge and you’ll want to add the piquant elixir to just about everything.
Is ceviche cooked? How long should I marinade it for?
In the simplest of terms, ceviche is fish marinated in acid (usually fruit juice, like lime or lemon). This curing process gently denatures the proteins in the fish, which produces a similar outcome to cooking with heat. This is why the fish in ceviche appears white and opaque after marinating.
Some ceviche recipes will tell you to marinade your fish for an hour or more. While a lengthy marinade will “cook” the fish more, it can also render your fish tough. Personally, I prefer my ceviche very much on the “raw” side, which looks like a 10-15 minute cure. For a great read on the science of ceviche and curing with acid, check out this Serious Eats article.
A note on “sashimi grade”
Because we’re barely cooking the fish here, you want to source the freshest fish possible. While there is absolutely nothing “legal” about the term “sashimi grade,” fishmongers use it to describe fish that is fresh enough to be eaten raw. You don’t need fish labeled “sashimi grade” for this recipe, but you should ask your fish monger if there is any fish suitable for ceviche. Go to a reputable market where you can actually talk to someone behind the counter and definitely don’t buy anything plastic wrapped in a grab and go section. Beyond all else, trust your nose.
Yuzu Kosho: your new favorite condiment
If i had to describe this tongue prickly condiment in one word it would be punchy. The first time I tasted it on it’s own I literally said “WOW.” Made from fermented yuzu zest and either red or green chilies, it’s intensely salty, tangy, and has a wonderful spice that lingers on your lips as you eat. A little goes a long way, and it does a fantastic job cutting through rich grilled meats or bringing brightness to vegetables and seafood (try putting it in a mignonette for oysters). You can find it at your local asian market, specialty store, or online.
I love adding yuzu kosho to ceviche because it infuses your marinade with so much spice and flavor without needing to puree a bunch of herbs and peppers. A small container lasts forever in the fridge, so I always have it on hand.
Ceviche with Kumquats and Yuzu KoshoCourse: Main, Sides, AppetizersCuisine: Japanese, Fusion, Seafood, LatinDifficulty: Easy
Classic ceviche gets a makeover with sweet/sour kumquats and tongue-prickly yuzu kosho.
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 tsp sugar
1 glove garlic, grated
1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1-2 tsp green yuzu kosho
10 oz firm white fish, like halibut or snapper. Labeled “sashimi grade” or deemed fresh for ceviche by the fishmonger, see notes
1 Persian cucumber, finely minced
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced into half or quarter rings
1/2 jalapeño, finely minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Tortilla chips, for serving
- Mix together the lime juice, yuzu kosho, sugar, grated garlic, and grated ginger. Stick in the fridge (or freezer) to chill while you slice your fish.
- Mince 3 of the 5 kumquats and put into a shallow bowl.
- Using a sharp knife, slice your fish either into 1/2 inch cubes or longer slices. Season with salt. Place the fish in the kumquat bowl
- Pour the lime juice mixture over the fish and place in the fridge to marinate for 15 minutes for incredibly tender fish. See note above about marinating times. Marinating for longer will result in more “cooked” fish.
- While the fish marinades, combine the cucumber, jalapeño, cilantro, and red onion in a large serving bowl and season with salt.
- Slice the remaining 2 kumquats into thin rings.
- Once the fish is done marinading, add it to the vegetable bowl and toss to combine. Add the olive oil and taste. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Add more yuzu kosho if desired. Top with the kumquat slices and serve with tortilla chips.
- Find yuzu kosho and kumquats at your local asian market. You can also find yuzu kosho online