Every once in a while, I can get my hands on some sushi-grade Ahi (tuna) - usually at Wegman’s. I love tuna close to raw, but if it’s not labeled sushi-grade or sashimi-grade, you’ll have to cook it. Those high-grade classifications tell you that the fish was caught, cleaned, and frozen quickly at a very low temperature while still on the boat.
From a flavor and texture perspective, it’s best closest to raw, but the wrong fish can contain parasites, so it should be cooked until it reaches 145 degrees in the center. At that point, why bother? Go get a can of BumbleBee.
. Ceviche is fish that has been marinated, or “cooked”, through the use of an acid like lemon or lime plus additional flavor elements. The cuisine comes from South America with various forms of seafood ceviche (or cebiche) varying from country to country. The acid from the citrus acts to denature, or alter, the texture of the fish.
½ lb raw sushi grade Ahi tuna, diced into small cubes
⅓ cup red onion, finely sliced or diced
⅓ cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
⅓ cup roma tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon jalapeño, seeds removed and finely diced
½ teaspoon lime zest
1.5 tablespoons good tequila
½ avocado, diced, optional
kosher salt, to taste
chips or baguette slices, for serving
Combine all ingredients (except avocado) in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally. Don’t let it marinate for more than 2 hours or the meat will become tough.
Just before serving, gently fold in the avocado and season with salt. I love avocado and it’s a traditional ingredient, but it does tend to get a bit mushy, especially if you like your ceviche on the wetter side, which I do, (also why I serve with baguettes instead of chips - to sop up the awesome juice!)
Taste to adjust flavoring, and add more lime and cilantro if needed.
The onion, jalapeno and tomatoes provide a lot of flavor and texture, but have fun and add some crunch or heat if you like.
If you have leftover tuna that you haven’t cubed, it’s great seared on all sides, sliced and placed over a salad or just by itself.
Season all sides (not just top and bottom) with salt and any combination of spices:
Garlic & ginger
Chili powder & lime
Sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds
Heat a pan to medium high and put a little toasted sesame oil in the pan. Sesame oil doesn’t have a very high smoke point and can burn easily. So don’t go too high on the flame. With tongs, sear the top and bottom just until you see the white start to color the pink flesh. Turn it over and do the same to the other side.
Keep using the tongs and lightly sear all the way around the sides of the tuna.
You could enjoy a nice Reisling with this, but hey, why, when there’s good Tequila around?