Even before we were married, my Australian husband, David, and I shared a cruising dream. Just after our wedding, we decided to take an extended honeymoon, and we bought Ensemble, our Fountaine Pajot Salina 48 catamaran, in La Rochelle, France. We crossed the Atlantic with the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, and we liked it so much we decided to continue, joining the World ARC to head west across the Pacific before arriving home in Sydney.
I’ve always had a passion for good food and cooking, so when sea conditions allow, the galley is where you’ll find me! During our cruise, I enjoyed developing new recipes that fused my native Belgian food customs with local cuisines that we experienced along the way.
During one passage, we caught a 15-pound mahimahi, or dorado. I made this ceviche using the ingredients that I had available on the boat, employing a traditional Pacific Islands technique: To “cook” the fish, they soak the chopped pieces in fresh lemon or lime juice. The fresh vegetables used here are long-lasting, and the capers are perfect in sauces, tartar sauce, salads, and fish recipes. Bon appétit!
Pacific-Island Ceviche Recipe
Makes two servings
1/2 pound fresh white fish, filleted*
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
Parsley, chopped, to taste
1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon ginger,
peeled and grated
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup alfalfa sprouts (optional)
* See “Ceviche Safety Tips,” below.
Chop the fish carefully into 1/4-inch cubes. (The size is important). Put the fish and lemon juice in a closed container, shake to completely submerge fish, and cool in the fridge for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold fresh water. Dry with paper towel. In a small bowl, gently combine fish with remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. To serve, invert onto a plate or into a bowl and garnish with whatever is available—lemon slices, say, or parsley. (I used alfalfa sprouts.) Serve as an appetizer with crackers or toasted bread.
Ceviche Safety Tips
While the process of “cooking” fish in citrus juice is a traditional preparation method in many cultures, food experts warn that, unlike conventional cooking, this method of fish preparation doesn’t kill all potential parasites. For this reason, it’s recommended that you only use freshly caught fish from clean waters to make ceviche. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration suggests freezing raw, bought fish before use to eliminate possible parasites. If you’re in doubt and have a freezer aboard, freeze and store fish at minus 4 degrees F (minus 20 degrees C) or below for seven days before using it to make ceviche. If you don’t have a freezer and you’re not sure that the fish is absolutely fresh, don’t take the chance—cook it!
-Lynda Morris Childress