The first time I tasted ceviche, I loved the fresh, spicy tang of this perfect summertime fish dish. The combination of citrus and seafood always appeals to me and red onion, cilantro and avocado are the perfect complement. I was at first amazed by the chemistry of the lime juice actually “cooking” the fish—but that’s exactly what happens—so if you haven’t made this before, don’t panic—you didn’t skip a step. The only trick to this dish is to buy the freshest fish available—and if there isn’t any to be found—don’t make this. I only serve this for special occasions—fresh halibut in my market can cost $20 or more a pound, so this is a splurge—but worth every bite.
1 pound very fresh boneless, skinless halibut or other firm light fish
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 small ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
2 to 3 tablespoons cilantro leaves
1. Cube the fish into ½-inch pieces and place in a glass bowl.
2. Add the red onion, black pepper and lime juice. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for an hour, stirring about every 15 minutes.
3. Just before serving, add a teaspoon of kosher salt to the ceviche and mix well.
4. Spoon the mixture into a shallow bowl or deep serving platter and gently stir in the avocado and cilantro leaves. Serve in small glass or ceramic bowls with small forks.