Ceviche is a chilled fish stew “cooked” in lime juice or other citrus. A dish from South America and eventually spread into Mexico and Central America. For starters, the seafood can differ depending on market availability. Other seafood such as shrimp, octopus, scallops or squid can be used for this dish. Leche de tigre, literally “tiger's milk,” is the citrus-based, spicy marinade used to cure the fish in classic Peruvian ceviche. Here is my take with a French twist.
A firm lean white fish is the best choice as the base for making your ceviche. It includes bass, grouper, rockfish and sole. The marinade will soften the texture of the fish, so starting with a firm variety will ensure that the finished texture is yielding but not mushy (nobody likes mushy ceviche). Opah also known as moonfish is very popular in Hawaii and shows up in eastern Pacific waters around San Diego in warm water periods. You can buy locally caught seafood at Tuna Harbor Dockside Market which is open to public every Saturday morning. Opah has a rich, creamy taste and firm, fatty texture. The flavor is a cross between tuna and swordfish — distinctive but not overpowering. An excellent choice for ceviche, fish tacos, grilled or deep fried for fish & chips...
Place filet skin side down and run your knife following the line that contains the most connective tissues like so... Skin the fish by sliding the knife right under the filet all the way through. Remove remaining blood line as well. Save the larger piece for the dish and cut into bite size strips and refrigerate. The part that contains streaks can be scraped out and used for the ceviche as well or save into steaks for later use.
Peel ginger, turmeric and garlic and blend with juices and remaining ingredients but the stock. Sieve the leche de tigre and add the stock. Readjust seasoning according to taste.
Leche de Tigre could be made creamier by adding corn pureed or coconut milk to balance acid from lime juice. Marinade fish in the leche de tigre for about 30 minutes.
Bring to a boil all ingredients together and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Refrigerate poached kumquats until ready to use.
Peel and halve red onion and cut some into thin slices using the mandoline – keep cuts in ice water. Cut grapefruit into supremes and set aside. Save the juice for the marinade if desired. Cut baby cucumber into thin rounds and keep in cold water as well. Cut chili pepper into small brunoise and soak cilantro in cold water; set aside.
In a pasta bowl or similar dish, grab some marinaded fish strips out of the marinade and place in the center and top with some of the leche de tigre. Garnish with grapefruits, poached kumquats, cucumber slices, lemon caviar, chili pepper, red onions and cilantro. Add a drizzle of EVOO. Serve ceviche with some tostadas. Enjoy!