Halibut Ceviche

Halibut Ceviche

Photograph by Laurie Constantino

Halibut Ceviche

Serves 8 as first course or 12 as an appetizer

Recipe by Meg Simonian
Citrusy Halibut Ceviche is one of my favorite appetizers, and Meg’s version is a winner. Orange and lime juices “cook”  the halibut and leave it tender and juicy. It is perfectly fine to make ceviche with frozen halibut, but when it’s fresh, halibut adds a balancing hint of sweetness to the ceviche.

Ceviche:
1 pound skinless halibut fillet
1 Tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 Tbsp. finely grated lime zest
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup diced red onion, 1/4” dice
1/4 cup diced tomatillo, 1/4” dice
1/4 cup diced tomato, 1/4” dice
1/4 cup diced mango, 1/4” dice
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper, 1/4” dice
1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Garnish:
2 Tbsp. chives, chopped, or green onions (green parts only) thinly sliced

Serving:
Tortilla chips (see NOTE below)
Green cabbage or butter lettuce leaves

Cut halibut into 3/4”-1” pieces. Mix all ceviche ingredients together in a glass or pottery bowl. Refrigerate to “cook” for at least 1 hour if halibut is cut small or 2 hours if it’s cut into larger chunks.

For an appetizer, partially drain ceviche and put in attractive bowl. Garnish with chives or green onions. Heat tortilla chips in microwave on high for 30 seconds and distribute on tray around bowl. Serve immediately.

For first course, separate butter lettuce leaves and put one leaf on each of 8 plates. Drain and divide ceviche into 8 portions. Spoon ceviche into center of each cabbage or lettuce leaf. Garnish with chives or green onions.

NOTE: Meg fries her own tortilla chips while the ceviche is in the refrigerator “cooking.” She thinks homemade chips are key: “I like the way homemade chips are just a little soggy.  I think they deliver more of the juice, and also hold a heaping pile better.” Meg is no doubt right, but I hate deep-frying so use store-bought chips and heat them before serving. To make Meg’s tortilla chips, quarter 24 corn tortillas. Add peanut oil to large pan until it’s 3” deep.  Heat peanut oil to 350°F. Fry tortillas 4 triangles at a time, until golden brown. Remove from oil and salt chips. Add the next batch and continue until done.

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