- 1 pound fresh, skinless snapper, bass, halibut, or other ocean fish fillets, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice
- 1 medium white onion, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 medium-large tomatoes (about 1 pound), chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- Fresh hot green chiles (2 to 3 serranos or 1 to 2 jalapeños), stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, plus a few leaves for garnish
- 1/3 cup chopped pitted green olives (manzanillos for a typical Mexican flavor)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
- 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice or 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 large or 2 small ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
- Tostadas, tortilla chips or saltine crackers, for serving
How to make this recipe
In a 1 1/2-quart glass or stainless steel bowl, combine the fish, lime juice and onion. Use enough juice to cover the fish and allow it to float freely; too little juice means unevenly "cooked" fish. Cover and refrigerate for about 4 hours, until a cube of fish no longer looks raw when broken open. Drain in a colander.
In a large bowl, mix together the tomatoes, green chiles, cilantro, olives and optional olive oil. Stir in the fish and season with salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon. Add the orange juice or sugar. Cover and refrigerate if not serving immediately. Just before serving, gently stir in the diced avocado.
Working ahead: The fish may be marinated a day in advance; after about 4 hours, when the fish is "cooked," drain it so that it won't become too tangy. For the freshest flavor, add the flavorings to the fish no more than a couple of hours before serving.
There are many ways to serve ceviche. Here are some of our favorites: Place the ceviche in a large bowl and let people spoon it onto individual plates to eat with chips or saltines; spoon the ceviche into small bowls and serve tostadas, chips or saltines alongside; or pile the ceviche onto chips or tostadas and pass around for guests to consume on these edible little plates. Garnish the ceviche with cilantro leaves before serving.
Chile tends to be known for inexpensive reds, but the real secret is the country's terrific Sauvignon Blancs. The cold winds off the Pacific give Sauvignon Blancs like this one a finely-tuned citrus zestiness, perfect for ceviche (something else they do extremely well in Chile).