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Sunday, 5 January 2014

Tilapia ceviche with lime, coconut and chilli

Adapted from Thomasina Miers’ Mexican Food Made Simple

Happy New Year!

I can’t quite believe that I have been consistently blogging for three years. It really is the longest that I have ever stuck with any kind of extra-curricular activity, and I am so proud of myself. I love reading old posts and seeing how much I have learnt and grown over the past three years. It is good to see that my photography has become a little better, although I am still rubbish at remembering to take photos (as you will see here).

I made this recipe for friends after Limmud conference, where we were all feeling a little fragile (the Limmud-hangover lasts for days), and in desperate need of fresh, healthy and light food. I have never cooked with tilapia before – Thomasina Miers’ recipe called for sea bass, but when I was at the shop the tilapia fillets were much cheaper, and I thought that I would give it a chance.

According to the Good Fish Guide, tilapia are rated ‘1’, meaning that they are the most sustainably produced seafood. They are also omnivores, and “have a low requirement for fishmeal and fish-oil in their diets, making them net producers of fish protein and therefore a valuable aquaculture species.” They also don’t have such an amazing flavour, which means that they are excellent for dishes that have a lot of marinade or strong flavours, such as this recipe. 

Because I am a bit of a smug show-off at times, and a bit lazy, whenever I entertain I always take into account the ease:impressive-ness  scale – how easy something is to make, versus how delicious and impressive it is. Hands-down, this recipe wins on all counts. It is super easy to make, very impressive, and absolutely heavenly to eat.

Serve this to guests and they will go absolutely bananas.

Serves 5-6 as a starter


5 tilapia fillets (no skin), diced into 2cm (ish) chunks (or use sea bass)
Juice of 4 limes (you could, if you like, zest them before squeezing and dust the ceviche with a little zest just before serving)
½ can coconut milk
½ tbsp olive oil
Pinch sea salt
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 red chilli, finely diced (seeds in or out depending on your preference – to be more authentic you could use half a habanero chilli, but they are too spicy for me)
Handful roughly chopped coriander leaves
½ avocado, diced (squeeze some lemon or lime juice over the avocado to stop it discolouring)

Serve with tortilla chips (or lettuce cups for healthy people) and lime wedges


About an hour (max. two hours) before you want to eat the ceviche, combine the fish, lime juice, coconut milk, olive oil, salt, red onion and chilli in a glass bowl, and stir well (careful not to mush the fish). The coconut milk might look like it is splitting a bit in the lime juice, but don’t worry about it. Cover the bowl with cling film and stick it in the fridge.

When ready to serve, drain the ceviche of some of its liquid (you don’t want it too dry though), and mix with some of the coriander. Scatter the rest of the coriander and avocado on top.

And that’s it! “oooo” “aaahhh”

(sorry about the lack of photo)