Florida Trend's Cynthia Barnett recently sat down with Vic Dunaway, founding editor of Florida Sportsman. You probably won't find a more avid fisherman in the state. Sit back, turn up your speakers and hear this living legend in his own words.
To the uninitiated or overly suspicious, seviche appears to be raw fish. Actually, fish in seviche has been just as thoroughly cooked in a bath of lime or lemon juice as it would have in a pan of boiling oil. You don't believe lime juice can substitute for fire? Look closely at the finished fish. It's white. Raw fish would be opaque. And your taste will confirm that it's "cooked."
Seviche is served either as a first-course seafood cocktail or as a snack with cold beer. Although fire plays no part in the preparation of seviche, considerable heat is to be found in nearly all of the many recipe variations seen throughout Latin America. Regardless, the chili peppers and Tabasco sauce listed in the following recipe may be reduced by the timid or increased by the bold.
1 pound white-meat fish, cut in bite-size pieces
1 large onion, chopped or sliced
1 tomato, chopped fine (remove seeds)
1 small green pepper, chopped fine
2 chili peppers, chopped fine
Tabasco sauce--a liberal sprinkling
Juice of 4 to 6 limes (lemons can be substituted)
If you plan to serve your seviche the same day, proceed as follows: Salt the pieces of fish liberally and stack them loosely in a crock or glass container. Add the other ingredients, stir well and add fresh-squeezed lime juice to cover. Marinate for a few hours, until all pieces are white, with no pinkish centers. As an appetizer, this serves six or eight. Serves fewer when offered as a snack with crackers and drinks.
A slightly different approach is needed if you plan to store your seviche in the refrigerator for nibbling over the next few days. In that case, do not include the other ingredients but simply marinate the salted fish in lemon juice until it turns white. After marinating, drain off the lime juice (this prevents further "cooking), add the chopped vegetables and other ingredients and mix well. Seviche prepared in this manner will stay firm and tasty in the fridge for several days.
Source: "Anglers Cookbook" by Vic Dunaway