Rock Fish Ceviche 

Every Saturday morning, my family and I head to the biggest farmers market in our neck of the woods. It’s at a local junior college and offers at least fifty stalls. In addition to the bounty that the central coast of California offers, my favorite breakfast is to be found there. I always get the same thing: a serving of fish ceviche piled high on a crispy corn tortilla, as well as two small, fresh, raw oysters! My husband and three-year-old have also fallen in love with this breakfast, but my five-year-old refuses to even sample the goodness. Fine with me, as I already have to share with my three-year-old, who has a monster of an appetite.

Since I live on the coast and have fresh fish available to me, I decided I would try my hand at making ceviche myself. (Don’t worry, lovely ceviche and oyster ladies, I’ll never give up my weekend breakfast!)

A couple of  things I noticed when researching recipes for ceviche:

1) Some recipes call for raw fish and others recommend you freeze it for 15 days to kill off all possible parasites.

2) DO NOT use oily fish was something everyone emphasized. However, I often see salmon ceviche on menus…

For my first go I decided to play it safe and go with a white fish, rock fish. The fish monger I asked recommended it. I do not use tilapia since what I can find in my local shops is farmed. I choose not to use farmed fish. I do think there are sustainable high quality aquaponic farmed fish but most of it is NOT. I chose fresh and not frozen. I eat raw fish often and I am careful where I buy it so I felt comfortable with this.


I made sure to get fresh lemons (not meyer lemons which are higher in sugar content and taste less lemony) and limes.


I read that you only need to marinate the fish for an hour before serving it for best texture, so that’s what I tried. I was comfortable with this, especially since the fish went from transparent to white quickly and all the way through. Cutting the fish into small pieces helped this process.

You will need:

1 lb fish cut into small pieces (smaller than bite size and ALL bones removed)

1 whole tomato or a cup of cherry tomatoes, diced

2 stalks celery, finely diced

1 small or half a large onion, finely diced (red or white)

1 fresh jalapeño

1 tablespoon fermented jalapeño, very finely diced

4-5 lemons & limes (you will use the juice from fresh lemon and limes to cover your fish)

Salt (1 teaspoon, add more to taste)

Other spices if you’d like: coriander seeds, cumin, lemon and/or lime rind, oregano, chili flakes, celery seed….

With this recipe, the work is in the prep. Having to cut and dice everything takes some time.


Once that’s done, all you have to do is find a shallow dish that you can cover, and throw in all of your ingredients in a shallow layer. Cover ingredients thoroughly with lemon and lime juice.
Let it sit in the fridge for an hour or more depending on how chewy or flaky you prefer it. After an hour, take a small taste every 10 minutes or so. Stop and serve your ceviche when it tastes delicious.

I served with chips, lime wedges, and an assortment of hot sauces!




I served with chips, lime wedges, and an assortment of hot sauces!


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