Ceviche, cebishe, seviche… however, you wish to call it, we’re excited to incorporate this well-known south American dish with the glorious red pomelo. This Ceviche Salad is aesthetically gorgeous and its sharp and tart flavours appeal to all seafood lovers!
What is Ceviche?
Ceviche is Peru’s national dish. It is the process of using lemon or lime juice to cure diced cubes of raw fish. The reaction of the citrus juice “cooks” the fish causing it to become opaque and firm. This denaturing process also allows the fish to absorb all the natural flavours of the lemon or lime.
Ceviche is extremely popular in the coastal towns of Latin America such as Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Ecuador. Its origins date back to the era of the Incas with many theories about how it started, such as the use of fermented juice from local banana passionfruit to marinate their fish.
Like many of the smoking and curing processes of the world, they were born out of the need to preserve their fresh produce longer.
Over the years, there have been many variations of ceviche. The only common denominator is fresh fish and lime juice. You can build the rest of the dish with other fresh ingredients like tomatoes, chilli, avocado, onions, etc…
What are The Best White Fish For Ceviche?
White, firm, flaky fish is optimal for making ceviche. The texture of the white fish enables the curing process to work best and absorbs the flavours more easily.
Some of the best fish to use include snapper, sea bass, fluke, halibut, rock fish and flounder.
How to Make Fish Ceviche?
This process is so much easier than you can imagine. Essentially all you’re doing is cutting up the white fish into cubes and immersing it into a bath of pure lime juice.
Different recipes seem to call for different time durations and I have seen anything from 30 minutes to 2 hours. For a small amount, 30 minutes will suffice. I do like a small element of rawness left in the fish rather than having it cured right through.
How to Peel A Pomelo?
Unlike other similar fruits such as grapefruit or an orange, it’s not so easy to peel off the outer skin without using a knife to cut it first. The skin of a pomelo can be up to 2 inches thick.
Step 1. Lay the pomelo on its side and slice off the top of the stem.
Step 2. Stand the pomelo back on its base. From the top of the pomelo, use a knife to score down the fruit until you reach the base. Make the incision deep to get through the thick skin. Do this all around the fruit about 4-6 times.
Step 3. With your thumb, push through the top and peel the first section of the skin off until you reach the base. Continue for the rest of the fruit and eventually you’ll end up with a flower like base. Discard the skin.
Step 4. Time to remove the pith. If you’d like the entire segment to remain intact, you’ll have to do this carefully. I normally use a small paring knife to nick open an opening for me, so I can peel the pith back. If you’re not fussed, such as for this recipe, just use your fingers and pull the flesh out.
And that’s it!
If you love pomelo as much as we do, you’d no doubt love our Thai Pomelo Salad with Roast Duck too!
Why I Love Pomelo Ceviche Salad
I absolutely adore ceviche. How could something so simple taste so good! And I love being able to mix it up with all sorts of different fresh ingredients to create the dish that I’m after.
You can’t go wrong with a traditional ceviche, but I do like putting them in tacos or making them into small bite-sized canapes. Using them in a salad is by far my favourite way of eating ceviche.
Pomelo is a fruit that I grew up with. I remember that I struggled to peel it, so I’d have to patiently wait for my mother to do it for me. Now, I’d grab a big bowl, sit in front of the TV, peel it slowly and I’d smash the whole fruit in one sitting.
I seem to have passed the love for the red pomelo onto my daughter as she now sits next to me, doing the same thing.
The red pomelo and ceviche is a great pairing. Mix it through with this non-dairy salad dressing of coconut milk and the saltiness of the fish sauce and it’s a salad I could eat all day long!
How to Make Pomelo Ceviche Salad
How to Make the Ceviche
When selecting your fish fillet, be sure to get a boneless and skinless red snapper. If you’re unable to do so, ensure you remove the skin and de-bone the fish before curing.
Instead of cubing the fish, as you normally would for a traditional ceviche, slice it, like you would sashimi. It just presents better as a salad. Place the fish in a small mixing bowl.
Juice 4 limes and pour over the fish. Ensure that the fish is completely submerged in lime juice so that all the fish is cured evenly.
Place it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
How to Peel A Pomelo
With the pomelo, lay it on its side and slice off the top of the fruit.
Stand it back up on its base. Cut the outer skin from the top to the bottom. The skin is about 3 cm thick so don’t be afraid to embed a knife in a bit more than normal.
Do this about 4-6 times around the red pomelo.
With your thumb, pierce the skin on the top of the pomelo and pry the skin open by pulling downwards. If you made 4 incisions, you’d get 4 portions of the skin come off.
Remove all the pith of the pomelo and extract the pink flesh. We do not need the entire segment to remain intact so just pull them apart.
How to Prepare the Salad
With the coconut, I bought mine frozen from the Asian grocer. Allow it to defrost before toasting them. Inevitably it may be a bit watery from defrosting so ensure you pat it dry.
In a small fry pan, dry toast the coconut for 4 minutes or until a little brown. Set aside.
Cut the chilli in half and remove all the seeds. Cut into thin slices, lengthwise.
Roughly chop ½ a bunch of coriander.
Remove the skin off the shallot and cut into thin slices.
How to Prepare the Coconut Salad Dressing
Juice 1 lime.
Add the coconut milk, fish sauce and brown sugar and mix until well combined.
How to Assemble Pomelo Ceviche Salad
Remove the fish from the fridge and drain the lime juice.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, add red pomelo, coconut, chilli, coriander and shallots. Pour in dressing and toss the salad until well combined.
On a large platter, place half the tossed salad portion. Place ceviche fish on top. Select the ones that don’t look as good or have broken off into bits.
Place a quarter of the remaining salad and add the rest of the ceviche fish on top of that.
Finish off with the last quarter of the salad.
This South American inspired salad is sharp and slightly tart with bitter overtones. The coconut salad dressing is slightly creamy which rounds the salad perfectly and is fantastic to serve on a special occasion or if you’re entertaining outdoors.
More Fancy Salad Recipes:
- Beetroot Cured Salmon Salad with Black Fish Roe
- Lobster Tail Salad with Mango Dressing
- Green Bean, Truffle Butter Breadcrumbs and Quail Egg Salad
- Balsamic Honey Roasted Figs and Halloumi Salad
- Baby Cauliflower and Spiced Chickpeas with Beetroot Tahini
Easy Salad Dressing Recipes:
Pomelo Ceviche Salad
- 250 g red snapper fillet
- 4 lime
- 1 red pomelo
- 80 g coconut, sliced
- 1 chilli, small
- ½ bunch coriander
- 1 shallot, small
- Slice red snapper fillet about 2 cm in width and place in a small mixing bowl.
- Juice 4 limes and pour over the sliced fillets. Ensure the fish are all submerged under lime juice for the curing process to occur. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- With the pomelo, lay it on its side and slice off the top of the fruit. Stand it back up on its base. Cut the outer skin from the top to the bottom. The skin is about 2 inches thick so don’t be afraid to embed a knife in a bit more than normal. Do this about 4-6 times around the red pomelo. With your thumb, pierce the skin on the top of the pomelo and pry the skin open by pulling downwards. If you made 4 incisions, you’d get 4 portions of the skin come off. Remove all the pith of the pomelo and extract the pink flesh.
- In a small fry pan, dry toast the coconut for 4 minutes or until a little brown. Set aside.
- Cut the chilli in half and remove all the seeds. Cut into thin slices, lengthwise.
- Roughly chop ½ a bunch of coriander.
- Remove the skin off the shallot and cut into thin slices.
- Juice 1 lime.
- Add the coconut milk, fish sauce and brown sugar and mix until well combined.
- Remove the fish from the fridge and drain the lime juice.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, add red pomelo, toasted coconut, chilli, coriander and shallots.
- Pour in dressing and toss the salad until well combined.
- On a large platter, place half the tossed portion.
- Place ceviche fish on top. Select the ones that don’t look as good or have broken off into bits.
- Place a quarter of the remaining salad and add the rest of the ceviche fish on top of that.
- Finish off with the last quarter of the salad.
- Most white is suitable for ceviche. Semi-firm fish such as sea bass, grouper, sole or flounder could work. Avoid oily fish.
- Red pomelo can be replaced with white pomelo. If you can’t find pomelo, you can use ruby red grapefruit although it will be more tart and bitter. Consider increasing the fish sauce and sugar levels of the dressing to counterbalance the flavours.
- You can use flat leaf parsley if you’re not a fan of coriander.
- A light version of the coconut milk will work just fine.