I love a little fruity kick in ceviche! Yes Habanero peppers are hot but they also have a great fruity flavor which I adore. I will warn you up front: do not touch your eyes after you mince one up unless you want to suffer for a few hours….
I once cooked a meal for my college roommates with Habanero and we pretty much cried our way through dinner. This was way before my cooking career; I thought the little wrinkly bright orange shape of the pepper was cute so I bought a whole bunch and chopped them up and tossed them in a stir fry. We inhaled the dinner because it tasted good (and we were starving students) but tears streamed down our faces all the while.
I hope I’m not scaring you? They really do have a fantastic flavor and kick. And I really like hot stuff.
Ceviche, as you probably know, is cooked in the acidity of citrus. Normally a combination of lemon and lime or just lime juice will do the trick. I like to use true snapper which is a beautiful mild yet flavorful white fish. Make sure your fish monger is actually selling real snapper because there are plenty of imitations out there. You can add just about anything including shellfish to this recipe. I like to use scallops and shrimp and even baby octopus.
If the idea of eating fish that’s cooked in lime juice is revolting to you, you can flash sauté it first and then add it to the lime juice mixture. There are plenty of ceviches in Mexico that are made that way although I prefer this type.
I think ceviche makes a great starter or fun mini appetizers for parties too…
- 2 pounds red snapper, boneless and skinless, cut into 1/2-inch bites
- 1 habanero pepper seeded and minced
- 1/2 red pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 green pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 yellow pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 mango, diced
- 1/4 red onion finely sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
- Garnish: homemade corn tortillas or popcorn
In a big mixing bowl combine all the ingredients and allow them to marinate for two hours in the refrigerator. Check seasoning (salt) and adjust to your liking.
Serve ceviche alongside homemade corn tortillas or with popcorn. You can also put a little gaucamole in the bottom of the dish!