On a recent trip to DC’s Maine Avenue Fish Market I spied some huge and beautiful scallops. They were at a very good price and as fresh as can be found. I bought some with no definite plan for how I would use them.
Later in the day I was flipping through some emails and came across a restaurant review for a Caribbean restaurant which featured, among other things, several styles of Ceviche. Yes! I would make scallop ceviche
The concept is pretty simple, mix fresh fish with the lime juice and other flavor ingredients and let it cure for some amount of time. I did a little research and found that the amount of time varied widely. Some called for only 20 minutes. This is fine but would more closely resemble sushi. Other recipes called for letting it sit overnight! Maybe if you had like a shark! Any delicate fish would turn to mush if allowed to sit in lime juice overnight.
I concluded that 1-2 hours was both sufficient, and not too much.
The other ingredients can be varied as well. Typically they include some sort of onion either thinly sliced or finely chopped. I like red onions mostly for the visual appeal. Cilantro is a must in my book. I know lots of people don’t like cilantro but for this dish it is a signature flavor. Scallions are also critical to both flavor and appearance. One other key ingredient is the heat. I used a jalapeno because I wanted heat, but nothing crazy. You could easily use dry cayenne pepper, or other favorite chili’s as desired.
From there it is really just a one-step dish. Chop everything and mix well. (OK, two steps).
Here is what I used for this recipe:
- 5 enormous scallops (finely diced)
- 2 scallions (slit length-wise and sliced)
- ½ of a large red onion (finely chopped)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- ½ bunch cilantro (chopped)
- 1 jalapeño (seeded and minced)
- ½ of a container of hothouse grape tomatoes (halved)
- One turnip (cut into matchsticks)
- Juice of 5 limes (about a half cup)
- Soy sauce (about a tablespoon—this replaces salt)
I served it as tacos with warmed soft corn tortillas, fresh baby spinach, and cold beer!
Ceviche (suh-vee-chay) is a style of cooking which uses acid instead of heat to cook fish or shellfish. Usually that acid is in the form of citrus, and most often lime juice. Typically it bears the bright fresh flavors of the Caribbean, Central and South America.