Obscured in the mess of nutrition pseudoscience wank is the apparent truth that human beings thrive on a mixed diet that includes animal proteins. Here in the land of excellent beef, it is very easy to eat a lot of beef. But as great as beef is, there are are a number of non-bovine animals that deserve at least the occasional honor of becoming dietary protein. One way to get that protein is ceviche.
Ceviche is a simple thing. You take clean protein from one or more sea creatures. You cut the protein into smaller pieces, add salt, and then bath it in organic acids. The salt is critically important for powering the violation of the protein by the acids that will cook it. The protein's already arranged into an engine that will embrace this violation, the salt's simply here to activate the pumps.
In the smaller picture there is a local retailer that reliably stocks vacuum packed frozen cuts of tuna. This is clean, attractive protein, but it simply isn't from the prime part of the fish which would make it a good candidate for sushi or sashimi. For the acid, a dozen limes will do. add chopped garlic, red onion, and a bit of hot sauce made with "ají" because the peppers themselves aren't locally available in a reliable manner.
Hygeine is important! Any fish or seafood that is unsuitable for sushi due to concerns about cleanliness is right out. This means working with big chunks of whole muscle that were in a sterile space when the critter was alive. After safely thawing the tuna it gets cut into smaller pieces roughly the thickness of a pencil. While cutting, it is important to look for signs of exceptional parasites. In the case of this tuna this was a remote possibility of low concern. On the other hand, this has been a concern with the locally available farmed salmon of Chilean origin, and for that reason the salmon was passed over.
With the cutting done it is time to place the fish into a glass1 vessel. Salt and mix in your onion, garlic, parsely. Finally cover with the juice of many limes. The cooking begins immediately. After 20-30 minutes it hits a delightful medium rare. After an hour it hits well done. Since this is a chemical process the cooking cannot be stopped, but it can be slowed through refrigeration and by discarding some of the delicious juice.
After 24 hours the leftovers look like:
Visually the tuna has taken on a bit of a canned or cat food appearance, but unlike heat cooked tuna it still tastes like delicious ceviche. That the texture has moved into "overcooked" territory, but still tender. I can't speak to time horizons beyond 24 hours nor do I expect to become capable of doing so. If there's ceviche in the fridge approaching the 24 hour mark, I'm going to eat it.
Thank you for reading today's Republican capture of culture from Inca.
- Ceramic can be fine, but we are dealing with acid here. Metal and plastic are right out. [↩]