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 red snapper ceviche salad is aesthetically gorgeous and its sharp and tart flavours appeal to all seafood lovers!
- Why You’ll Love Red Snapper Ceviche Salad
- Origins of Ceviche
- What Are The Best Fish For Ceviche?
- Is Ceviche Really Cooked In Lime Juice?
- How Long to Marinate Ceviche?
- Recipe Overview
- Variations and Substitutions
- How to Make This Salad Perfectly (Expert Tips)
- What to Serve With Ceviche?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why You’ll Love Red Snapper Ceviche Salad
It is absolutely delicious! So refreshing, summer-worthy and incredibly easy to make.
Red snapper fillets are so mild in flavour, delicate and slightly sweet. The perfect candidate for a ceviche recipe.
This recipe plays on some Asian flavours and uses the likes of red pomelo, coconut and an Asian-inspired coconut milk and lime dressing. Truly the best companion for hot summer BBQs, shoved in a taco or scooped up in droves with tortilla chips.
Origins of Ceviche
Ceviche is Peru’s national dish. It is the process of using lemon or lime juice to cure diced cubes of raw fish.
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.
But just 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. If you’re wondering what other raw ingredients you can put in ceviche, you can try tomatoes, chilli, avocado, bell peppers, onions, etc…
What Are The Best 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 saltwater fresh fish to use include red snapper, sea bass, fluke, halibut, rock fish and flounder.
Is Ceviche Really Cooked In Lime Juice?
Cooking technically requires heat; therefore, saying that the fish in ceviche is cooked is not quite the right word.
The correct name for this process is called denaturation which is the reaction of the citrus juice from freshly squeezed limes that causes the red snapper to become opaque and firm. This happens because the citrus acids break down the protein in the fish and then coagulate them together.
This denature process does the same thing to the fish as when you apply heat to it so it gives the appearance that the snapper fillets are “cooked”.
How Long to Marinate Ceviche?
Depending on the size of the fish, the optimal time is between 30 minutes or 2 hours. But definitely no longer than that, I wouldn’t be marinating it overnight.
Be sure the fish is completely submerged under the lime juice.
Flavour/Texture: The red snapper is a delicate flavoured fish that is also mildly sweet. Marinated in freshly squeezed lime juice, the snapper ceviche is tart.
Served up with some slightly bitter yet sweet red pomelo, lightly toasted shredded coconut, it is perfectly rounded off with the sweet and creamy coconut milk and lime dressing.
The red snapper fillets are soft yet firm and the shredded coconut adds a little crunch to the salad. The whole mouthful is just a delight.
Ease: Ceviches of any kind are easy to make. Dump in a bunch of fresh and raw ingredients and they are ready to serve up.
Time: Do most of the prep work while the red snapper is marinating. A minimum of 30 minutes will be required for that process and longer if you want it to be firmer.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make Red Snapper Ceviche Salad with Pomelo:
Red snapper fillet: Fresh is best and on the day purchase is ideal. It would also be better to buy from a fishmonger rather than a pre-packaged version from the supermarket.
Red pomelo: If you can’t find this in your supermarket, you can try Asian grocers. Always super popular during Chinese New Year when making Yee Sang so they will be everywhere at that time of the year.
Limes: Please use limes and not the lime juice from the bottle.
Shredded coconut: Frozen shredded coconut would work really well for this recipe. It’s a fantastic addition to any salad recipe or even in your breakfast bowls.
Chilli: Just a small one will suffice to give the snapper ceviche a little bit of heat to spice things up!
Coconut Milk: Just one small can of coconut milk will do. The can ones are great as they are nice and creamy which gives the traditional ceviche recipe an Asian twist.
Variations and Substitutions
Other fish/seafood: Some other white fish you can use for this ceviche salad include sea bass, fluke, halibut, rock fish and flounder. You can also use other seafood such as prawns/shrimp or scallops.
Lime substitute: Limes can sometimes be extremely expensive. You can use lemons instead but it will be a much more tart flavour.
Other ingredients: There are plenty of other everyday staple ingredients you can add to the snapper ceviche salad. You can try cherry tomatoes, red bell peppers, onions, cucumber, avocado, jalapeno and olives.
Step by step instructions for how to make Red Snapper Ceviche Salad with Pomelo:
How to Make the Snapper 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 Red Pomelo
Lay the red pomelo on its side and slice off the top of the stem.
Stand the red 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.
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.
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 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.
How to Prepare the Salad
With the desiccated 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 Milk and Lime Dressing
Juice 1 lime.
Add the coconut milk, fish sauce and brown sugar and mix until well combined.
How to Assemble the Salad
Remove the fish from the fridge and drain the lime juice.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, add red pomelo, desiccated 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.
How to Make This Salad Perfectly (Expert Tips)
Marinade time: Can you overcook ceviche? The answer to that is yes! Many people think that the longer they place the fish into the lime juice, the more tender it becomes when in actual fact, it makes it less fresh as the citrus acid continues to break down the protein.
The perfect amount of time is between 30 minutes and 2 hours. This is dependant on how thinly you cut up the fish. Thin cuts will require less time.
Fresh fish: If you’re wondering if you can use frozen fish for ceviche, the answer is yes although the preference is always to use fresh snapper fillets. As the ceviche tends to rely on the flavours of the fish, it is important that it’s super fresh.
If you do use frozen fish, ensure that it is well defrosted before marinating in the freshly squeezed lime juice.
Serve immediately: Snapper ceviche is best served straight away. While it is safe to eat it the next day, it’s definitely not as good. In order to do the recipe justice, serve it the moment the denaturing process is completed and tossed through the ingredients and salad dressing.
What to Serve With Ceviche?
What to serve with Red Snapper Ceviche Salad? Try these delicious South American recipes:
For a lighter meal or another side dish, these Colombian patacones or green plantains might just be your thing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pomelo, or citrus maxima, is not the same fruit as a grapefruit, although they both have the same lineage. The pomelo is the largest citrus fruit in the family and is popular in Southeast Asia.
It is a fruit species on its own, while the grapefruit is actually a hybrid fruit of a cross between a pomelo and an orange.
You can store ceviche in the fridge for up to 2 days but no more than that. While the acidity from the lime juice will make the fish safe to eat, it must be consumed within this timeframe.
As a traditional ceviche recipe uses raw and fresh fish and vegetables, it is inherently healthy. It is devoid of processed foods and is marinated in fresh lime juice. It is important to use the freshest of fish to avoid the possibility of getting sick.
This South American inspired snapper ceviche salad is sharp and slightly tart with bitter overtones.
The coconut milk and lime 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 Salads with Fish
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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
Click on the toggle below for conversion to US Cooking Units.
- 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.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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