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Archive for June 28, 2017

FOOD FUN: Deconstructed Ceviche & The Different Types Of Raw Fish Dishes

Deconstructed Ceviche
[1] Deconstructed ceviche at Seviche | Louisville.

Ceviche Trio
[2] A trio of ceviches with different mixes of seafood and vegetables, from Chef Ingrid Hoffmann.

Sea Bass Ceviche
[3] Sea bass ceviche with traditional ingredients from Coya | London.

White Fish Tiradito

[4] Tiradito: a fusion preparation with sashimi-cut fish and a non-traditional garnish (fried capers), at Raymi | NYC.


June 28th is National Ceviche Day, so let’s have some fun with it.

Ceviche is delicious “health food.”

  • Fish and seafood are high in protein.
  • Citrus juice is high in antioxidants including vitamin C; and is a good source of potassium and folate.
  • There’s no sugar or added fat.
  • Ceviche is low in calories. Most fish have 30-40 calories per ounce; shrimp and lobster have 30 calories, bay scallops 25 calories and octopus 35 calories per ounce. Other ingredients such as chile, cucumber, herbs, onion and tomato add negligible calories.
    And perhaps most important to some:

  • Ceviche is not raw fish. The fish is cured by marinating in citrus juice.

    Seviche Restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky serves a different ceviche any day. While there are traditional presentations, they’ve also served it deconstructed (photo #1).

    Instead of serving it traditionally—in a bowl or other container, resting in its marinade/curing liquid and topped with garnishes—the deconstruction in Photo #1 comprises:

  • Slices of cured fish set directly on a plate.
  • Topped with minced vegetables, instead of diced vegetables mixed in with the fish.
  • The marinade becomes a sauce, artistically place on the plate.
  • The plate is garnished with non-traditional garnishes—herbs, edible flowers, jicama, radishes, etc.—instead of cilantro or parsley, diced avocado, lime wedge or sliced onions.

  • Carpaccio is Italian for raw fillet of beef, not fish. Crudo is the term for raw fish or seafood. You will find fish “crudo” on restaurant menus, but that doesn’t make it correct. While raw fish consumption is ancient, beef carpaccio was based on the Piedmont speciality, carne cruda all’albese (raw beef Alba-style), created by Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice. Using fine Piedmontese beef, he originally prepared it for a countess whose doctors had recommended that she eat raw meat. At the time, there was a local exhibition of the 15th-century Venetian painter Vittore Carpaccio; hence the name of the dish.
  • Ceviche, seviche or sebiche, from South America, is a marinated raw fish dish that date to pre-Colombian times. Then, seafood was “cooked” (acid-cured) with a fruit called tumbo (Passiflora tarminina, a relative of passionfruit). The Incas cured fish in salt and fermented corn. The Spanish brought onions limes, which are essential to today’s ceviche.
  • Crudo is analogous to sashimi—plain raw fish, although the fish is cut differently.
  • Escabeche is not raw, but seared fish (or meat) that is then marinated it in a vinegar-based sauce redolent of herbs and spices. As with ceviche, there is always an acidic marinade. It is served cold or at room temperature.
  • Poke is a Hawaiian dish that recently has made its way from coast to coast. A mix of raw fish and vegetables are served as an appetizer or salad course. It is different from tiradito or ceviche in that the fish is cubed with a soy sauce and sesame oil dressing, and Hawaiian garnishes like roasted crushed candlenut and limu seaweed, along with chopped chiles. It is pronounced poe-KEH. Here’s more about it.
  • Sashimi is Japanese-style sliced raw fish, generally served with a bowl of plain, steamed rice (not sushi rice, which is prepared with vinegar and sugar). The word literally means “pierced body.” No one is certain of the origin, but it may have come from the former practice of sticking the tail and fin of the fish on the slices, to let it be known which fish one was eating.
  • Tataki is a fillet of fish that is lightly seared: Just the surface is cooked, with the majority of the fish eaten in its raw state.
  • Tiradito is a more recent dish, fusing the concepts of ceviche and sashimi. Fish is sliced in pieces that are longer and thinner than sashimi. They are artfully arranged on a plate on top of a light sauce, and garnished (with cilantro, fresh corn kernels, thin slices of hot chile, etc.). The name derives from the Spanish verb tirar, which means to throw (i.e., throwing together raw fish with a sauce). Here’s a recipe.
    Don’t worry if you can’t keep these straight: We saw a dish called carpaccio at New York City’s top seafood restaurant, that was clearly tiradito (with sauce and chile garnishes).



    In South America, marinated raw fish dishes date to pre-Colombian times, when seafood was “cooked” (acid-cured) with a fruit called tumbo (Passiflora tarminina, a relative of passionfruit). The Incas cured fish in salt and fermented corn.

    In the 16th century, the Spaniards arrived with limes, onions and bell peppers, three essential ingredients in basic modern ceviche. Lime juice cured the fish, and marinating the sliced/diced onions and bell peppers mixed in with the seafood. Large kernels of roasted Inca corn are a common garnish.

    Ceviche is found in almost all restaurants on the coast of Peru, typically served with camote (sweet potato, which originated in Peru). It has been called “the flagship dish of coastal cuisine,” and is one of the most popular dishes in Peru [source].

    Over time, fruits were incorporated; most popularly, tomatoes (native to Peru) and mango.

    The influx of Japanese immigrants to Peru in the 1970s brought with it chefs who cut and treated the fish in the manner of sashimi. A fusion dish developed called tiradito, with seafood cut sashimi-style (but thinner and longer), a spicy dressing incorporating Peruvian chiles, and more elaborate garnishes.

    Ceviche is variously spelled with a c or an s, with a v or a b.

    In Peru, cebiche is the spelling in Lima; although ceviche is used elsewhere in the country, and is the most common internationally.

    However, seviche was actually declared the proper spelling in 2004, by Peru’s National Institute of Culture.

    Additionally, historical texts refer to the dish as seviche, including those by the Academia Peruana de la Lengua (Peruvian Language Academy), founded in 1887 [source].

    Since even in its homeland, the national dish has multiple spellings, don’t argue with anyone over which one is “correct.”

    Lobster Ceviche recipe
    Make Your Signature Ceviche Recipe
    More History Of Ceviche
    Shrimp Ceviche Recipe
    Trout Ceviche Recipe
    Wasabi Ceviche Recipe


    Ceviche MartinI Glass
    [5] Presentation in a Martini glass with plantain chips, at Elegant Affairs Caterers.

    Ceviche Grilled Lime

    [6] A modern update garnished with fresh tarragon, fried Chinese noodles and a grilled lime wheel.



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    TIP OF THE DAY: Uses For Smoked Fish

    Soba Noodles With Smoked Trout Recipe
    [1] Soba noodles with smoked trout. Here’s the recipe from Food Network.

    Smoked Trout Canapes Recipe
    [2] Canapes or snacks: Granny Smith apple slices with smoked trout. Here’s the recipe from Cooking Light.

    Smoked Trout Tartines

    [3] Here’s the recipe from Dang That’s Delicious.


    Do you have tins of smoked fish in the pantry? Do you need inspiration to use them?

    We opened our cupboard and found a few tins that came in a gift basket two years ago. They were still there because when we need smoked fish, we buy it fresh-smoked at the smoked fish counter (we’re fortunate to live a few blocks from a store with a large supply of smoked fish, hand-sliced to order).

    While canned anchovies, tuna and sardines don’t sit for long on our shelves, canned smoked fish requires some thought. So we thought:

    Rather than come across the same cans in another two years, we’ll make lunch with them until we use them up. The list of options we drew up is below, along with a recipe for avocado toast with smoked trout.

  • Types of fish that are sold smoked (although not necessarily canned): bluefish, chubs, cod, herring, mackerel, sable (black cod), salmon, sturgeon, trout, tuna, whitefish and whiting.
  • Napoleon Bonaparte is the indirect father of canning. He is responsible for the initiative that led to the canning of food. Here’s the history of canning.


  • Bagel with cream cheese and onion.
  • Scrambled eggs or Eggs Benedict.

  • Green salad with yogurt-dill dressing (mix yogurt with seasonings and dill; thin with milk or lime juice as desired).
  • Mixed with mayonnaise, like salmon or tuna salad.
  • Sandwich: regular, open-face (a.k.a. tartine—photo #3) or wrap with cream cheese or dill-sour cream/mayo spread and raw vegetables (arugula, sliced radishes, snow peas, whatever).
    Appetizers & Snacks

  • Canapés, on a base of apple (photo #2), cucumber or toast.
  • Dip with crudités.
  • Mixed with cream cheese, sour cream and dill and and stuffed into celery or endive leaves, or atop cucumber slices, or served with crackers.
  • Rillettes (recipe).
  • Smoked trout mousse (recipe).

  • Asian broth bowl with noodles and vegetables (photo #1).
  • Brandade, a French dish of smoked fish with mashed potatoes (recipe).
  • Fish tacos or tostadas.
  • Mixed with rice or other grain and vegetables (recipe).
  • Pasta, tossed with olive oil and lots of fresh-cracked pepper. We also threw in vegetables at hand: mushrooms, peas and scallions.


    Here’s a variation for lovers of avocado toast: avocado butter.

    The mashed avocado is mixed with soft butter for a richer spread, that pairs perfectly with smoked or grilled fish.

    We received this recipe from the California Avocado Commission, developed by Jessica Koslow. “Smoky trout and creamy avocado butter combine perfectly for a delicious breakfast,” she says.

    For lunch, we adapted it with a layer of marinated onions—delicious with both the fish and the avocado.

    Ingredients Per Serving

  • 3 teaspoons shallots, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 ripe, Fresh California Avocado, seeded and peeled
  • 1/4 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, divided
  • 1/8 tablespoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 tin (3.9 ounces) oil-packed smoked trout, drained
  • 1 slice 3/4″-thick rye or seeded bread
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 3 teaspoons Italian (flat leaf) parsley
  • 1/4 tablespoon fried capers (see make-ahead recipe, below)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Optional: marinated onions
    For The Fried Capers

  • 1/4 tablespoon capers in brine
  • Canola oil, as needed
    For The Marinated Onions


    Avocado Butter On Toast
    [4] Avocado butter on toast with smoked trout. Photo courtesy California Avocado Commission.

    Halved Avocado

    [5] A ripe, creamy California avocado. Photo courtesy California Avocado Commission.

    These onions are a wonderful garnish for just about anything. We suggest making more than what is required here. They’ll keep in the fridge for two weeks or longer.

  • 1 small sweet or red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • 1 tablespoon red wine or apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • Pinch of salt

    1. MARINATE the onion an hour in advance or overnight. Place the slices in a container and top with the oil, vinegar, parsley and salt to taste. Cover and shake to combine; then let sit at room temperature until ready to use (or refrigerate overnight).

    2. MAKE the fried capers. Place the capers on a paper towel and set aside to dry for 30 minutes. Then, add an inch of canola oil to a pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add the capers and fry until no bubbles appear around them. Remove and place on a plate lined with paper towels.

    3. PLACE the shallots on a paper towel to drain, and set aside. (You can do this while waiting for the capers to dry.)

    4. MAKE the avocado butter by thoroughly mashing the avocado, butter, 1/4 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Blend until smooth.

    5. DRAIN the liquid from trout and set aside.

    6. BRUSH the bread with the melted butter and lightly toast each side.

    7. SPREAD the avocado mixture onto the toast. Place the trout on top of the avocado; layer the shallots and parsley on top. Sprinkle with the remaining lemon juice and garnish with the fried capers and lemon zest.


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