I initially tried this dish at the Singapore Street Food Congress, just after meeting the one and only Anthony Bourdain. In one of his TV shows, he visited a street-food cart in Mexico run by two amazingly talented ladies who also happened to be at the event, so I was able to try their brilliant ceviche.
It reminded me of a really good, spicy Bloody Mary. It also took me back to a trip to the Philippines when I tasted a giant clam version, which was simply cut from the shell and marinated in lemon juice with some shallots.
Arguments still prevail over where the dish originated from, with Polynesia, Spain, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama and Guatemala all laying claim.
However, as the Stone Roses’ front-man Ian Brown once said, “It’s not where you’re from, it’s where you’re at”, so here is my 2014 version, which will happily feed at least half a dozen hungry souls.
In a bowl combine the following:
2 litres of tomato juice
6 roughly chopped shallots
5 roughly chopped garlic cloves
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of Tabasco sauce
A handful of roughly chopped coriander
250ml of chicken stock
A good pinch of cracked black pepper and salt
Stir and pop it in the fridge to get the flavours mixing.
Take a firm white fish fillet (I used snapper) and slice it thinly. Place it in a bowl and cover with lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Into the fridge with that too.
Take some de-shelled prawns – say, three for each person. Simply boil these until pink and then set aside to cool. The boiling process should take about five minutes.
Take three squid or sotong and remove the tentacles and the clear plastic quills from inside. Give them a good wash and then cut into rings. I gave each of the rings a little bash with a tenderising hammer before cooking to make them extra soft, almost like butter. Add to boiling water for two to three minutes until the rings puff up. Drain and set aside to cool.
That’s all the prep done. When everything is cooled, simply add all the ingredients together (excluding the lemon juice that the fish was “cooking” in).
Then serve up in individual cups or glasses. Guaranteed to impress.
Read more of Brian’s food adventures here.