Someone pinned this recipe last year and I've had over 10,000 unique viewers to this page ALONE! I hope everyone's enjoyed this fan favorite. If you haven't tried it yet, put it on your short list! And by all means, repost, pin, and share the yumminess!!
Learning to love new foods is an interesting process, because if you don't KNOW what's in a dish, usually you're much more likely to enjoy it.
That can be a bad thing if you're eating chicken nuggets, but if you're eating something healthy, ignorance is helpful. Such is the case with ceviche.
In case you've never heard of this dish, ceviche is a seafood dish typically made with raw fish that has been marinated in citrus juice and spiced with chili peppers and a little cilantro. I discovered this dish at a little dive restaurant in Santa Monica when I was in college and it was love at first bite. However, this dish has one big problem when it comes to making and serving it at home. Can you guess what it is?
Here's a hint: it starts with "rrr" and ends with "ahh."
Yup. Many people I know don't have any desire to eat fish because they've been scared by fish sticks that they had as a kid. Even those that got out of childhood unscathed by soggy, breaded fish, aren't always game for eating fish raw. So would it ever be a good idea to serve ceviche to a party?
Oh yes it is!
In fact, this is one of the favorite appetizers that I make (thanks to my friend Heather!) and there's one big distinction between this and your classic ceviche; it's made with imitation crab meat (like you find in California rolls) so you get all of the great taste of ceviche without having to convince anyone to each something that isn't "technically" cooked.
Here's the skinny on what you need for Heather's Ceviche:
- 1 lb imitation crab meat
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1/3 bunch of cilantro, chopped
- 2 avocados, diced
- 4 limes
- Salt & Pepper
After you chop/dice your assorted ingredients, toss them together into a bowl. If you're not serving the dish immediately, wait to add the avocados until you're close to the serving time. Otherwise their color browns and it makes the dish look a little less appealing. The taste is still great, but the optics are a tad shoddy.
Also, when you're dicing an avocado, try to do it while it's still in the skin, cutting at 3-4 different angles so that when you scoop out the flesh it's all diced to the size you like. Personally, I like bigger chunks of avocado, but you should adjust as you like.
The classic ceviche recipe would use fresh cut peppers for the "heat" of the dish but, like any California native, opt for a dash of Tapatio. (In the south you'll find this in the "Ethnic" food section of the store.) The peppers are a more gourmet touch and definitely kick the dish up a notch, but the Tapatio shortcut isn't much of a sacrifice.
Adjust the seasoning to your taste. I use a fair amount of Kosher salt and my trusty lemon pepper from Trader Joe's (though regular, freshly ground pepper works too). You should probably taste A BUNCH of times, just to make sure you get it EXACTLY the way you like it : )
If you have leftovers, I highly recommend topping a salad with the ceviche for an instant meal!