Kona Kampachi Ceviche

As I’d mentioned, I was very fortunate to receive a very generous gift from the kind folks at Kona Blue, so as promised, I thought I’d share with you all the ways I put this delicious fish to good use. Today, I opted for another raw preparation of this sushi-grade, tender, fish that really lets it shine: ceviche.

Also known as “cebiche” and “seviche,” the idea to this dish is simple: high quality, fresh fish, “cooked,” but without heat. Instead, you chemically cook the fish by employing a brief bath of acidic marinade composed of citrus. Each country in Latin America puts their own twist on this, but essentially you have a seafood salad where the fish becomes tender and takes on the flavors of the marinade and the other sharply flavored vegetables you mix into this. Plus, talk about simple to put together–have you ever marinated something? Yea, its really that easy.

My take on this dish (based on what I’ve read–please correct me if I’m wrong!) seems closest in style to Panama and Chile as I opted for lime and grapefruit in my marinade as well as a bit more heat (I used habaneros) and while the fish of choice isn’t the same, its kind of similar in style. Semantics aside (I only get myself in trouble by doing this), this was very tasty. It wasn’t spicy, fishy, or any one flavor–you’d think something so simple wouldn’t result in such a coherent flavor, but it surprisingly did. It just tasted bright, fresh, juicy, acidic, warm, and like the sea. Its a tough one to accurately describe, but if you like strong South American flavors and good fish, this is for you.

  • ~1/2 lb Kona Kampachi
  • 2 limes
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 ear of corn
  • small knob of butter
  • handful cilantro
  • 1 habanero
  • 1 cayenne
  • 1 serrano
  • 1 avocado
  • salt

Begin by juicing the citrus. Squeeze the lime and grapefruit juice in a bowl.

Just a friendly reminder about who the star of the show is.

Chop the fish into bite-sized pieces, roughly 1/2 inch or so in size. If you’re working with a whole fish like I was, this is a great opportunity to use some of your less beautiful, awkward sized cuts of meat. Nobody will be the wiser, so don’t let it leave this room, ok? 😉

Submerge the fish chunks in the juice and set this aside in the fridge for 30 minutes. The longer it marinates, the more it “cooks.” Feel free to do less, too.

Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. Only one item here needs any cooking: the corn! So start with that–husk it, remove the silk, try not to get too excited in the process, cut off the kernels, and briefly sauté in a hot pan with a small melted knob of butter for about 5 minutes.

And now, simply dice up the rest of the veggies to your liking. Finely chop the peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, cut rings of the shallot, and smallish chunks of the avocado. Add this to the marinating fish mixture and let this continue to rest for about 30 more minutes so that these flavors can join the party.

Before you dig in, optionally drain off the liquid, let things come back up to room temperature, season to taste, and dig in. Consider serving it with lightly toasted tortillas and/or sweet potatoes.


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17 Responses to “Kona Kampachi Ceviche”

  1. Sam Says:

    It looks like a great combination of flavours, sounds tasty!

  2. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) Says:

    How long did you keep the fish after you received it? I’m just wondering about the storage and freshness, if it was not frozen when it arrived.

  3. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy Says:

    The ceviche looks great! It is a favorite of ours, but I never make it at home because I can’t ever find sushi quality fish. I’m so jealous of your Kona Kampachi. I’ve been seeing it everywhere except my own table! I’ve searched all over town and no one carries it. Sigh…I’ll just have to drool over yours. 😉

  4. Ivy Says:

    All those flavours sound great together and would make a lovely flavourful ceviche.

  5. clumbsycookie Says:

    That fish did not know what was going to happen to him, lol! Delicious Mike!

  6. pam Says:

    I love ceviche, but I can’t get fresh enough fish. This sounds wonderful!

  7. Susan from Food Blogga Says:

    Mmm… you got another recipe out of that Kona Blue, huh? Looks wonderfully fresh and flavorful, Mike!

  8. Bellini Valli Says:

    IC that you are still enjoying your fish Mike….sounds delicious!!!

  9. kittie Says:

    Your ceviche looks amazing – I love the strong flavours you’ve got in there. I got the freshest cod imaginable a few days ago, I wish I had thought to do a ceviche with it!

  10. grace Says:

    cooked fish turns me off; raw fish scares me to death. on a more positive note, awesome pepper use. :)

  11. Sandie Says:

    This may be one of my favorite recipes yet. Am I the only one who was surprised by the addition/use of grapefruit in the ceviche? Regardless, this looks truly delicious. Give me a big spoonful right now!

  12. Peter Says:

    You dish the kampachi justice and this ceviche is my fave of your Kona series…that taco is Scrump!

  13. Judy Says:

    Looks really good Mike. I love ceviche!

  14. noble pig Says:

    So beautiful Mike, love all the colors and the taco, PERFECTION!

  15. Bunny Says:

    I’ve heard of “cooking “with the citrus marinades but have never done it. This wonderful.

  16. Deb Says:

    Hi Mike! Yep, I am trying to get back into the swing of things. Your site looks fantastic!
    This dish is served alot down here in the Keys, but yours looks mouthwatering! I have not tried to make this myself but you make it look quite easy. I just might have a go at it!

  17. linda Says:

    I love a good ceviche, and this one looks delicious! Should try making some myself one day.

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