Ceviche with Toasted Coriander & Mustard Seeds
The day we ordered ceviche in Lima, lunch was supposed to be the first stop in a short eight-hour swing through the city. When our flight was canceled eight hours later, we ended up with quadruple the time and the ability to see streets beyond of Miraflores, the oceanside neighborhood where we ate lunch that reminded me of L.A.
But as we waited for La Mar to open, then sat in the open-air cafe crunching on sweet potato chips and whittling our potential ceviche orders down to two, we thought we had to soak everything in as fast as we possibly could.
As it goes, we ended up with time to visit the markets, see Chinatown, and eat our fill of new-to-me picarones. We had come from Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Machu Picchu, and Cusco, and Lima felt like a welcome return to the big city. We walked to the sea and through a park, then climbed up to the top floor of a department store.
I remember the afternoon in Miraflores because of the ceviche. I remember a lot of trips and events by the meals I eat. They’re like bookmarks. But I don’t remember the actual details of most of those bookmarks, exactly why we ordered how we did, what the first bite tasted like, what it felt like to snag the last lime-drenched piece of white fish from the bowl and know you didn’t have room for any more. This meal in Lima comes right back to me though.
I know sometimes I want to let the best memories sit undisturbed, and maybe that’s why I never made ceviche upon our return, even though I had loved every bite so much. At La Mar, not all of the ceviches hold onto Peruvian flavors. They draw upon seasonings from around the world to flavor the tangy, lime-cured pieces of fish. Here, I’ve tacked a few favorite Indian ingredients onto a straightforward ceviche recipe. Toasted mustard and coriander seeds and some grated ginger make this dish as homey and soul-warming as it is cool and low key. It’s comfort food for summer.
You can fork mouthfuls straight from the bowl, or use Stonefire’s delicious naan crisps as scoopers. For a fancier serving suggestion, use two teaspoons to arrange a few pieces of fish and vegetables on top of a crisp before a party.
- 1 large filet very fresh flounder (about ½ pound)
- ¾ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 4 juicy limes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 serrano, seeds and stem discarded, pepper minced
- 1 medium radish, diced
- ½ teaspoon ginger, grated (from about ½-inch knob)
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
- about ⅓ cup fresh cilantro, minced
- ½ ripe avocado, cubed
- 1 bag Stonefire Authentic Flatbreads Naan Crisps (Original)
- Marinate the fish: Cut the fish into about a ½-inch dice and place in a non-reactive bowl. Add the lime juice. Mix to combine, cover, and marinate in the fridge for about 25 minutes, until the fish has become more opaque.
- Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add the oil, then add the mustard and coriander seeds and cover with any lid you can find. The seeds will start popping. When they stop, 30 seconds to 1 minute, turn off the heat and pour the oil and seeds into a small bowl. Set aside.
- When the fish is "cooked," drain off most of the lime into a small bowl, leaving about 1 tablespoon (don't discard the extra yet in case you want to correct the seasonings.) Add the shallot, serrano, radish, ginger, salt, and cilantro, then toss well. Taste, adding more salt, lime, or oil if needed. Then add the avocado. Toss again and serve, with plenty of naan crisps for scooping. If you want to be fancy, you can serve spoonfuls of ceviche already on the crisps.