I promised a ceviche recipe, inspired by the freshness of the fish we ate in Costa Rica. Here’s what I’ve come up with. It’s based on a brilliant ceviche that my friend Stacey makes, but I replaced the spicy element with crunchy red pepper—not out of principle, but in keeping with the Costa Rican-style ceviche I tried.
The recipe calls for tilapia, but any firm white fish—as long as it’s perfectly fresh—will do. My Rick Stein book on seafood recommends a similar recipe, using monkfish.
These amounts will serve six as a first course, but three or four people could share it as a main course, served on tostadas. For something a little decadent but not especially authentic, but a thick layer of mayonnaise helps the ceviche stick to the tostada.
A Very Fresh Tilapia Ceviche
Adapted from a recipe by my friend Stacey
1 lb tilapia filets, cut to about the size of the tip of your finger
The juice of 6 limes
A smallish red onion, very thinly sliced
A small red pepper (bell or otherwise any mild pepper), thinly sliced
1 avocado, diced
A generous handful of chopped cilantro
A few generous pinches of salt (to taste)
In a medium sized bowl, combine the fish and the juice lime. For about forty minutes, allow the lime juice to “cook” the tilapia. Give it a good stir every so often.
About ten minutes before serving, add the red onions to the bowl, mixing them in. The lime juice will take away some of their bite.
Transfer this mixture to a large bowl by the handful, discarding the majority of the lime juice by squeezing the liquid. Add the rest of the ingredients, combine thoroughly and serve.