What Pairs Best with Ceviche?

A few days back I posted a video showing off the Ceviche and white wine we were having.  I was all about the New Zealand White Haven Sauvignon Blanc. Then we got a requests for my Ceviche recipe. 

Go figure.

So I decided to publish my first Recipe & Pairing article including the recipe for making the dish and my recommended wine that pairs with it.

Why Cuban Ceviche?

My background's Cuban.  Cuban's don't do Ceviche. I didn't grow up with grandma making this for me.  I came up with the recipe experimenting.  I'm not claiming to be following a Mexican, Peruvian or Ecuadorian style.  Let's call it the Casual Winers style.  I will tell you it really good.

I came up with this recipe out of necessity.  My wife and I were on a cleanse diet and on day 5 or 6 of fish as our only protein, we were worn out.  We asked our foodie daughter and son-in-law for some suggestions and said, "Make some Ceviche."   It would have never occurred to me.  Several Google searches later and I was mixing my first batch.  It went over so well I make once or twice a month for the family.

Here's my step-by-step.  You can't mess it up.  Follow it closely and you'll have people thinking you're a South American guru Ceviche chef in no time.  That's a promise.

DISCLAIMER: Eating fresh raw fish is safe. I've been making it for years and no one's gotten sick.  Make sure to keep the fish refrigerated and make your Ceviche within a few days of bringing the fish home from the market.

The Pairing

I'm a big Sauvignon Blanc fan and the 2019 New Zealand White Haven Sauvignon Blanc  we had went really well with it.  It got it for under $15 at Costco.  It has a grapefruit, pineapple and lemon fruitiness to it.  It's dryness and tanginess go really well with the lemony Ceviche.  It works really well with the herbs and spices in the ceviche.

Other options would be an unoaked Chardonnay, an Albariño or a dry (not sweet) Riesling.  You want to look for a light to medium bodied, dry white wine for this dish.

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The Recipe

Ingredients:
  • 2lbs white fish.  You can use corvina, halibut, flounder, snapper, grouper, Mahi Mahi, tilapia or any light tasting white fish.  Cut these up into small pieces no bigger than the tip of your finger above the first knuckle.
  • Juice from 10 to 20 lemons and limes.  You need enough to drown the fish completely in a bowl. I prefer the sweeter lemons, but I've made it with 50/50 lemons to lime and with 100% limes too.  Whichever you pick will work fine.
  • 2 red onions finely diced .  You can use yellow onions if you like.  The violet from the red onions adds even more color to the ceviche.
  • 4 tomatoes finely diced.  You can use the equivalent amount of cherry tomatoes.  If you do,  make sure and cut them in half or quarters.
  • 20 green olives cut in half.  I use Spanish Manzanilla olives with the pimentos, but any green olives will do.
  • 3 jalapeno peppers or 5 serrano peppers minced or cut up a lot.  I remove the seeds because my daughter complains it's hot.  To spice it up a bit,  include the seeds from one or two of the peppers.
  • Two cups of finely chopped cilantro. Some places label it coriander.  This is the miracle ingredient.  Feel free to go with 3 cups if you like.  You really can't over do it.
  • (Optional) 2 yellow or orange bell pepper finely diced.  These give it a additional flavor and color.
  • (Optional) 1 medium avocado cut up the same size as the fish. 
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil. I use extra virgin first cold press. 
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ground pepper.  
  • Salt to taste.

Instruction:

  1. Put the fish in a deep bowl and drown it in the lemon / lime juice. You want to make sure the fish is completely covered.  Cover the dish with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours.  If you cut the pieces really small, the cook in about 2 hours. The are done when you cut a piece in half and it looks cooked all the way through.
  2. Mix the vegetables, except the avocado if you are using them) in another bowl.  It should look like a really pretty mix of colors.
  3. When the fish is done, add them to the vegetable.  Add about a half cup of the lemon from the fish to the mix.
  4. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper.
  5. If you are using avocado, mix it in right be for you serve it
  6. For dinner, we serve it over white or brown rice in either a big bowl or plate.  As an appetizer, you can serve it with tortilla chips.

Enjoy!


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