Today´s recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group is „Tuna and Mango Ceviche“, a lovely fresh dish, inspired by the cuisine of Senegal.
Ceviche is, at its most basic, raw fish marinated in citrus juice and spices. The acid in the juice denatures the proteins in the meat in much the same way as cooking would. The flesh becomes opaque, the texture firmer and dryer, yet the flavors remain bright and fresh. It seems to be the perfect dish for a warm autumn day.
It goes without saying that any fish served raw should be spanking fresh, but, in general, there is no single species that is particularly favored for ceviche. It makes sense to use the local „Catch of the Day“ and the species you use should change depending on availability. While Dorie´s recipe calls for sushi-grade tuna, the recipe works equally well with scallops or sea bass, for example. In theory, any white fish can be used, but many fragile fish can become rubbery or totally dissolve in the lime juice.
The cut is also important, and suggestions range from largeish chunks (Dorie´s recipe calls for 0.5 inch cubes) to slicing the fish as thinly as possible. It is often said that dicing, rather than slicing, will ensure a good distribution of raw fish and fish cooked on the outside.
The chief marinating ingredient is, of course, citrus juice. Lime is most commonly used, but lemons and even Seville oranges are sometimes used. It seems absolutely vital to use a generous amount of citrus – that way you get a good spoonful along with the fish. And as far as the addition of the onion is concerned, I think soaking it in iced water briefly before useing it seems to be an excellent idea – although the red onions are somewhat sweet by nature, they should not overtake the taste of the other ingredients.
Fresh and light, Dorie´s recipe also calls for diced sweet mango and creamy avocado, as well as minced fresh ginger, minced red chile pepper and some tabasco for heat, extra-virgin olive oil, white rum, salt and pepper. All those ingredients taken together will certainly wake up your taste buds. You can make the ceviche in advance, but no more than an hour or so. You could add fresh cilantro just before serving if you wish - I added fresh cress instead.
To see how much the other members of the French Fridays with Dorie group enjoyed this recipe, please go here.
For copyright reasons, we do not publish the recipes from the book. But you can find the recipe for the “Tuna and Mango Ceviche“ on pages 178-9 in Dorie Greenspan´s "Around my French Table".