My first encounter with ceviche carries a lot of emotional baggage - at the age of 18, living in Mexico, over 10,000 km away, the furthest I'd ever been from my family, I tried food I had never encountered or even heard of before... and this initiation into a new cuisine not only opened my eyes, but also my palate to a whole new world of flavours for which I am entirely grateful.
I set out on an intercultural adventure which turned as much into a culinary journey and I soaked up everything like a sponge - I tried just about everything, some things with hesitation (it admittedly took some mental preparation before I could stomach chapulines, aka grasshoppers, or huitlacoche, a mouldy black fungus growing inside corn cusks) and others I embraced fully from the first minute. Ceviche was one of them and I whenever I took a trip to the seaside that year, I would invariably end up gobbling it down by the bucketload.
The following recipe forms part of our New Year's Canapé Parade and it is incredibly easy to prepare. The corn cups look all the part but are one of the simplest canapé bases you can have.
Now, I appreciate that a raw fish salad might not be a concept at which everybody rejoyces, but this combination of mellow mango and tangy lime, with the addition of crunchy red onions, fiery chillies and that favourite herb of mine, coriander, is a heavenly game. Even late adopters of fish like my husband are easily intrigued by it's fascinating flavours and you can use almost any type of resonably firm fish you like. Just make sure you snap the fish up while it's still at its freshest and don't be afraid to snatch it away from your fisherman as if your life was in danger... as always, make no compromises when your food is involved!
Tuna ceviche in corn cups
16 cornflour tortillas
100 g yellowfin tuna fillet (sashimi grade) (or other fairly firm fish)
1 tbsp finely diced red onion
2 tbsp finely diced ripe, but firm mango
2 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
½ heaped tbsp finely chopped red chilli (seeds & membranes removed)
1 tbsp fresh coriander (chopped)
salt, freshly ground black pepper
coriander leaves to garnish
mini muffin tins
Cut 4 rounds of ca. 8 cm diameter out of each of the tortillas with a cookie cutter. Make 3-4 incisions on the rim, not more than 1 cm deep, and arrange the tortilla rounds inside the mini muffin tins to form neat cups. Put into the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes at 150 C. You can prepare the cups 3 days in advance and store in an airtight container after leaving them to cool completely.
For the ceviche, dice the fish finely (ca. 3-5 mm) and combine with all the ingredients except the coriander. This can be prepared about 12 hours ahead, but only add the fresh herbs just before arranging.
The canapés can be assembled about 1 hour in advance of serving, after which your tortilla bases will start get wet and soggy.