I love ceviche! The traditional Mexican made with tomatoes, red onions, jalapenos, lime juice (sometimes with lemon), avocados, cilantro and the secret ingredient...good, ol' garden variety tomato ketchup! Yep, it's just sweet enough to balance the tartness of everything else. I allow my seafood to "cook" in the citrus...it stays very tender and succulent that way. If you pre-cook it, even for a minute (and to that I ask...why?), it changes the texture. So, please trust me...the seafood/fish really does cook in the juice...no worries.
I also love Thai flavors...in fact, most all Asian flavors...so I was delighted when I found this recipe in the latest Food and Wine. I have changed it a little (surprise) and made it last night (we had a giant snowstorm, okay it is Oklahoma but we did get 7 inches of snow on top of ice, in the last couple of days so did a lot of recipe testing). This version is really flavorful and just different enough from the Mexican version that I think it's worth adding to your repertoire. I think it also gives you some jumping off ideas for other versions of ceviche...maybe Italian use swordfish with olives and lemon, or French bistro...rouget with some artichoke hearts and garlic cloves...who knows where it could lead you and your favorite flavors...?!
Thai Inspired Ceviche
You can use a combination of seafood or fish whatever you like, really. I use scallops and shrimp but you could use squid (bodies and/or tentacles), snapper, any combination or just use one...it's up to you!
3/4 lb of seafood, total
1/2 cup plain coconut water (not milk! and easily found at Whole Foods in the water section)
1 tsp grated lime zest
1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 small red onion, minced
1 shallot, minced
1/2 to 1 whole jalapeno, minced and seeded
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 - 3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp golden brown sugar, packed
1 heaping tsp Sriracha chile sauce
1/2 cup cucumber, diced (peeled if it's not an English cucumber)
1/3 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut, dried or fresh (be sure it's unsweetened!)
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup Thai basil, chiffonade (if you can't find Thai basil, use ordinary basil)
Cut all seafood into medium dice so that each morsel is a small bite. Set aside.
Combine next ten ingredients in a large plastic resealable bag (or a bowl) and mix until sugar dissolves.
Refrigerate for at least two hours (this is when the fish/seafood "cooks"). Turning the bag occasionally so the cooking is even. You want the seafood to be firm and still tender. Do not allow it to overprocess or it will become mushy (the acid breaks down the proteins).
Before serving, add the cucumber and coconut to the ceviche and mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pour into a bowl and garnish the top with shredded basil.