I’m always on the lookout for party food recipes, and it’s an added bonus when the leftovers can be used for meals for the rest of the week. This tilapia ceviche is one of those dishes: your guests will eat bowls of it, and if you have any left over, you’ll be blessed with a healthy, protein and vegetable-rich treat. It is, after all, made with fresh fish, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, bell peppers and cilantro. Savory and juicy, this ceviche is a substantial yet refreshing appetizer. I like the Marcela Valladolid recipe — it’s easy to follow and isn’t too juicy. I’ve just simplified it even further.
Prep time: 30 minutes
2 pounds tilapia fillets (about 8 fillets), cut into small cubes
1 cup lime juice (from about 10 limes, or buy lime juice)
3 tomatoes, small cubed
1 cucumber, small cubed
1/2 medium-sized red onion, small cubed
1 green bell pepper, small cubed
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (about 1/3 of a bunch), finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 serrano chile, finely chopped (optional)
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced or cubed
Tortilla chips (for serving, optional)
1. In a medium bowl, pour the lime juice over the cubed tilapia and mix gently to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until the fish is white and opaque, about 1 hour. (Or, you can start this recipe a day before, and leave this overnight.)
2. Remove fish from the refrigerator and drain the lime juice. Discard the juice. Mix in the tomato, cucumber, onion, bell pepper and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Mix in the chile, if using. If desired, mixed in the cubed avocado. Or, garnish the top with avocado slices.
3. Serve with tortilla chips or corn tostada.
What I did differently: Rather than measuring out the quantity of each vegetable, I figured it was easier to go with actual vegetables quantities. It doesn’t need to be precise, and it’s easy to grab and chop 3 tomatoes rather than measure our an exact cup or half-cup. I also added green bell peppers — the added crunch and color makes it a perfect addition.
Aren’t you supposed to cook fish?! Technically, by immersing the fish in lime juice, you are cooking it. More specifically, you’re denaturing the proteins. So don’t worry — this tilapia is cooked thoroughly. Just make sure before adding the vegetables and seasonings that it’s opaque and white all over.