Food Recipe Vol. 25 No. 07

Tropical Ceviche at Miami’s Hottest Brewery-Restaurant

Warmer summer weather delivered a slew of ceviche recipes into the Santé Magazine inbox.  Ceviche (or cebiche) is a traditional method of preparing fresh food throughout Central America and South America.

Ceviche is the national dish of Peru, where it originated centuries ago. Many say the technique was brought to Peru by the Spanish conquistadors in the 1600s. According to EatPeru.com, another theory dates ceviche back 2000 years to the ancient Moche civilization who marinated raw seafood in fermented juice from local banana passionfruit, noting, “The Spaniards, upon arrival, modified the dish slightly.”

Preparing ceviche is fairly simple. It starts by using the freshest, best quality fish available. Raw fish is marinated in a citrus preparation such as fresh lime juice, salt, peppers, onion with various herbs and spices. The citric acids basically cook the fish without any heat. The fish is usually sliced thin and served chilled.

Every country from Peru to Ecuador to Mexico has their own style of ceviche, as do the many chefs who have helped popularize the dish in the United States.

This recipe from Cindy Hutson, Executive Chef at Cervecería La Tropical in Miami, marinates fresh fish in Leche de Tigre (“tiger’s milk”), a spicy citrus-based marinade use in many Peruvian ceviches.

Recipe: Tropical Ceviche Bowl

Chef’s note: Make sure you buy the freshest fish possible from a reputable source (Open Blue cobia is a sustainably raised fish); see if fishmonger carries. www.openblue.com

Serves 6 – 8

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 pounds Open Blue cobia or fresh white fish
  • 1 firm ripe mango, peel and small dice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger juice, *see note at bottom
  • ¼ cup passion fruit puree, can be found frozen
  • ½ red onion, thinly slice, on mandolin, if available
  • 1 large red Holland pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 large yellow Holland pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper, or other hot pepper, deseeded and minced, to taste
  • 1.5 cups leche de tigre, from accompanied recipe
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • With a sharp knife, remove all blood line
  • Slice the filet lengthwise in 1” inch wide strips
  • Then slice horizontally thinly
  • Once you have prepped all above ingredients, place in bowl
  • Toss with the very cold leche de tigre

*hack for making ginger juice

  • Take a 2” inch piece of fresh ginger, wash but no need to peel it
  • Grate on the large hole of a boxed grater
  • With a clean hand, pick up the grated ginger
  • Hold it over the ceviche bowl and squeeze out the juice
  • Discard the ginger fibers in the garbage

LECHE DE TIGRE

Yield: About 2 quarts

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz fresh white fish, no blood line
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups fresh fish fumet, clam stock or fish stock (frozen in ice cube trays)
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 bunch scallion, washed and coarsely chopped except roots
  • 1” inch fresh ginger, washed and sliced
  • 2 stalks of celery and its leaves, cut coarsely
  • 4 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 bunch cilantro, leaves and stems coarsely chopped
  • 1 – 2 scotch bonnet peppers, deseeded (to taste)
  • 1 x 15 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk

Procedure:

  • Cut a fresh piece of snapper, corvina, cobia or fresh white fish in chunks
  • In a strong high-powered blender (Vitamix), add all ingredients, keeping the frozen fish cubes for last
  • Blend all ingredients until pureed well, feeding in the frozen fish fumet through the hole in the top of blender
  • Once totally incorporated pour through a mesh strainer over a container
  • You may need to use a small ladle to act like a plunger to push through the liquid
  • Discard the bits in the strainer and measure out the leche de tigre to mix into the ceviche bowl
  • This recipe makes more than you need but the remaining can be frozen for 3 months for future use.

An historical footnote:

Cervecería La Tropical is Cuba’s oldest brewery, established on July 21, 1888, by the Blanco-Herrera family. By 1958, La Tropical accounted for more than 60 percent of the beer production in Cuba.

At the start of the Cuban revolution in 1960, the family fled to Miami and resettled. The brewery and the family’s assets were seized by the Cuban government. Flash forward: In 1998, family members formed a holding company to build a brewery in Miami and in 2017 completed a joint-venture investment with Heineken.

Today, Cervecería La Tropical is bustling in Miami with a brewery, taproom, tropical beer garden and restaurant with a menu by acclaimed South Florida chef, Cindy Hutson. Address: 42 NE 25th Street, Wynwood, Miami, Florida.

Melanie Young writes and hosts the weekly national radio shows, The Connected Table Live, featuring conversations with global thought leaders in wine, food, spirits, and hospitality (one of Feedspot’s Top Food & Drink Podcasts to listen to in 2021) and Fearless Fabulous You!, a lifestyle show for and about women (both on iHeart and more than 30 other podcast platforms). She has contributed articles on wine, spirits, food, and culinary travel to Wine Enthusiast, Seven Fifty Daily Wine4Food, The Epoch Times, and Jewish Week. Melanie is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, Wine of the Vine & Spirits, and Wine Media Guild and a frequent event speaker and moderator on wine, entrepreneurship, and career reinvention. She formerly ran an eponymous marketing and culinary-events agency. She consulted for numerous global wine trade organizations and served as director of the James Beard Foundation Awards, which she helped create. She is the author of two award-winning books on health: “Getting Things Off My Chest: A Survivor’s Guide To Staying Fearless & Fabulous in the Face of Breast Cancer” and “Fearless Fabulous You! Lessons on Living Life on Your Terms.” www.theconnectedtable.com www.melanieyoung.com

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