The concept of ceviche can create a little bit of a block for many people, “so you like soak raw fish and stuff in lime juice and then eat it?” The lime juice is like a pickling liquid that ‘cooks’ and preserves the seafood. Yes it’s considered to be cooked in its own way, even though it is never heated. In fact, just as if you were boiling shrimp, the lime juice will turn the shrimp from gray to bright lobster red. And it is most certainly safe to eat as the lime juice will destroy bacteria and any parasites. In fact, it’s much safer to eat than raw fish as in sashimi, which is of course a widely accepted safe food – but if raw fish scares you, don’t equate sashimi and ceviche because they are truly very different.
The reason ceviche is such a healthy dish to incorporate into your life is primarily because of enzymes. Enzymes are an essential component of food that most people are drastically lacking, especially with the widespread pasteurization of dairy products, juices, etc. which at one time were almost always served fresh, unheated, and teeming with enzymes. So having a few raw staples in your life is vitally important, and the quantity of enzymes that you’re receiving can best be measured by calories, not by quantity. Most people attempt to get raw foods from lettuces and vegetables, but these have the lowest enzyme contents and don’t get you too far in meeting your raw food quota.
As I’ve mentioned many times in the past, your best sources of enzyme-rich foods are high-calorie goodies like full fat raw dairy products, avocadoes, coconut, lacto-fermented foods, raw and rare meats, raw seafood, and ripe fruit in moderation (never eaten alone). Fresh squeezed juices, raw honey, and dried fruit are also potent sources of enzymes, but should certainly be consumed in very limited amounts as most people desperately need to recuperate from a lifetime of sugar over-consumption. I personally have gorged myself on sugary enzyme-rich foods in an attempt to eat mostly raw natural foods, but I eventually crashed and burned until switching gears on my sources of raw calories.
Without going any further on yet another rant about enzymes, here’s how to make ceviche at home, in a manner which will, what did I say, “make every citizen of Mexico kneel before your bowl?”
Ceviche (4 servings)
Ceviche is basically a seafood salsa that can be served alone (smile) as an appetizer or even an entrée, or eaten with chips (frown) or on a tostada (scowl).
½ pound raw shrimp; peeled and finely chopped
½ pound other seafood; diced (sea scallops and white fish like Halibut are the best)
Fresh juice from 6 limes
5 Stalks celery, diced (unless your name is Pippa)
1 small onion, diced
1 large tomato, diced
Kernels freshly cut from 2 ears of corn (optional)
1-2 avocadoes, cut into large chunks
Large handful of cilantro, leaves and stems, chopped roughly
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1T or so of Celtic sea salt
1T Hungarian paprika
Cayenne pepper, chipotle powder, or sauce from canned chipotles to desired spiciness
1. Mix the first 3 ingredients together and let soak, refrigerated, for at least a couple hours.
2. In a separate bowl, mix the remaining ingredients together like a nice chunky salsa.
3. Once the seafood and lime mix has soaked long enough, mix the two bowls together and get down on it.
Ceviche is well preserved by the lime juice and will keep for a week or so without its quality decreasing. It is easy to prepare, it only requires some chopping and squeezing – no dirty pots and pans, and it is muy rico when it’s done just right. So please give it a shot. It’s truly hard to screw up and I promise you won’t die.
Ceviche is also served in most Mexican restaurants (where it also won’t kill you), but I’ve never been overly impressed with it except in Mexico (where it almost did kill me, actually, on second thought, it was probably the giant mound of raw oysters I ate with it…some people like to learn the hard way I guess). Still, it’s a great thing to order if you’re looking for healthy food at a restaurant. Guacamole I might mention, while we’re on this here Mexican food tangent, is also a fine, enzyme-rich nutritious home and restaurant item. And by the way, if you omit the celery, lime, and raw seafood and add a bunch of mashed avocadoes and extra sea salt to the above recipe, you got yerself a damn fine bowl of guac.
And, before departing from the world of ceviche, I’ll also mention that drowning your ceviche in tomato juice and adding some whole cooked shrimp will make a fine Mexican- style seafood cocktail.
May all who read this have the huevos to try this at home, and I welcome any and all feedback as always. Buen suerte amigos…