It’s safe to say Mark and I are fans of Chef Ricardo Zarate and the bold flavors of Peruvian cuisine. Picca is now a go-to recommendation for us for friends visiting the city, and we had a great meal at the new and improved Mo-Chica last month. So when I came across this recipe for ceviche, we picked up some beautiful local sea bass at the Hollywood farmers market and gave it a go.
The results? Not quite the bright and pungent ceviches at Chef Zarate’s establishments. Somewhere along the way, something happened to make the ceviche “sauce” a bit too fruity, and a tad too sweet. I think I can tweak this so that it works better, but this first go-round was still good enough that we filled our stomachs.
- 1/3 cup honey
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3/4 red onion
- 4 sticks celery, peeled
- 1 lb + 1/8 lb fresh sea bass
- 1 cup lime juice, key lime if available
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon aji limon paste (the original recipe calls for aji amarillo paste, but we couldn’t find it)
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
I’ve made ceviches before, but never one with honey or coconut milk. As I added those ingredients to the blender along with the garlic, ¼ of the red onion (thinly sliced), the celery, the 1/8 lb piece of sea bass, the lime juice and the aji limon paste (which we found at Whole Foods), I started having misgivings about this recipe...
...but at that point, I couldn’t stop, so I pulsed the blender until the mixture was nice and smooth.
I cubed up my sea bass, tossed it with the remaining thinly sliced red onion and the cilantro, then poured the sauce over the top and let it sit in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes.
I served it up with some steamed white rice and roasted corn with lime cilantro butter. As I said, it was good (and nice and light) but not even close to Zarate good. I have to do some more sleuthing to uncover Zarate’s secrets, so…more visits to Picca/Mo-Chica? I can handle that.