Welcome to another addition of Healthy Hostel Meals! Check out previous posts in this series here.
Mahi Mahi, Tuna, Snapper, Grouper, fish Fish FISh, FISH!! I love it ALLL!!
Did that get your attention?
I’m obviously a fan of the fresh fish that can be found all over Central America. Fish can be a great healthy choice when eating out, but only if it is prepared correctly. More often then not typical Costa Rican fish is breaded, fried, and comes with some sort of delicious creamy sauce. This does of course make it SUPER tasty, but it packs a caloric punch that requires several hours of surfing to wear it off.
Ceviche is an awesome healthy protein packed alternative. Raw fish is cured in lime juice and flavoured with different veggies and spices such as pepper and onion. It’s clean eating at its best! Whenever we are choosing our restaurant options, all Shaun has to say is “They have Ceviche,” and he knows I’m sold.
So, when we got to Nicaragua, and Colleen and her Mom brought home a gorgeous piece of Mahi Mahi, it seemed high time that I dive in, and attempt to create this delicacy for myself.
Now, I should preface this by saying, when it comes to cooking fish of any kind, I’m a dolt. A lack of experience has left me with enough skills to stick fish in an oven with some lemon, and inevitably over cook it. I figured since Ceviche doesn’t actually include any actually “cooking,” I should be all right.
Colleen and I trucked down to the local market to find our ingredients. I somehow knew how to say all the right words in Spanish, and managed to track everything down. Even the cilantro, which in Nicaragua, looks more like a thistle then the fluffy leaves we are used to seeing at home.
We came home with everything we needed:
- Red Pepper
- 1 Onion
- 1 Jalapeño
- Two bags of Limes
I started with the fish. We had eaten half of this gorgeous Mahi fillet the night before, and were amazed at how much was still left over. I took charge of cutting the fish into small little pieces.
You want to make sure that all of your pieces are roughly the same size so that the fish cooks evenly.
Colleen took over juicing the Limes, or Limone’s. Yes, I haven’t quite figured out what’s up with Limes in Costa Rica. From the best of my knowledge the majority of the stores carry Limone’s which look like a lime but are yellow on the inside. A hybrid of sorts. The odd time I have come across actually limes, they are very small, and very hard. Not ideal for getting a lot of juice out of.
We forged ahead though. Colleen was a trooper, getting all the juice out with her hands and a fork as we were sans juicer in this room. I went ahead and chopped up the veg nice and fine.
We combined all of our ingredients and decided our Ceviche was a little odd. The Limone’s gave it a bright yellow colour, and our lack of dishes in our apartment resulted in us having to cram our concoction into two small bowls. We were also a little doubtful that there was enough acidity in the Limone’s to get the job done. Regardless, there was no turning back. We threw out masterpiece in the fridge and started the waiting game.
While we waited, we tackled the important decision of what chip to use to dip in the Ceviche. We decided that a plantain chip taste test was in order and got 3 different varieties, as well as one bag of yucca chips.
I preferred the long thicker Cashita’s plantains, while Colleen and her Mom preferred the thinner Zambo’s. But let’s be honest, plantain chips are amazing and we are not picky! The yucca chips (in orange) were really hard, and tasted very deep fried, and we never actually opened the other bag! I’m making myself hungry.
So, the moment of truth came, and look at the masterpiece we created!
Just kidding, not only did the ceviche take a zillion hours longer to cook then we anticipated (likely a result of the Limone’s) but then we devoured it so fast that I forgot to take a picture! I guess that is a good sign right?
Regardless of a couple stumbles, I declared our Ceviche making a grand success!
If you are looking for an refreshing, healthy travel meal that is easy to prepare and packed with protein, whip up a batch of Ceviche. But maybe follow someone else’s directions…not mine 😉
Have you ever had ceviche? What do you like in it?
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I love ceviche~ My mouth started watering up as soon as I read your title.
It’s definitely a work in progress! I’ve been trying new things in it like avocado and corn.
I even made a batch of vegan ceviche using plantains! It was SO good!
My mouth is watering too!
I was confused about the cilantro too. It is actually a totally different plant – culantro http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eryngium_foetidum The locals here seem to put it in just about everything.
And, the citrus. I’ve never seen so many different types of citrus, especially the lemon/limes. As I understand it, the limon is related to the mandarin orange. I have two trees in my yard that are supposedly different types but they look and taste the same to me (and I use them a lot for limeaide, cooking, and ceviche) My neighbor has a lime tree which makes hard little green fruits that are the most “lime like” flavor of anything I’ve seen here.
It’s always interesting trying to figure out all the new things in a new area!