When the sizzle of summer hits, and preheating an oven is the last thing anyone wants to do, it's wonderful to have a few dishes on standby that are refreshingly bright, ridiculously simple, and require absolutely zero heating of any kitchen appliances.
Full of fresh, bright, citrusy, summertime flavor, shrimp ceviche is the perfect healthy dish to cool you down after a day of splashing in the pool and trying to beat the heat. The versatility of this dish is also fantastic. Serve it with tortilla chips, spoon some on top of flatbread, or put it inside taco shells for a quick and delicious dinner.
Traditionally a Latin American dish, ceviche is served all over South America and many other parts of the world, often having different variations according to location. In Peru, ceviche is made with sea bass, cooked sweet potato, and corn. In the traditional Ecuadorian version, it's usually finished with a crunchy, wonderfully surprising topping — popcorn! And while we can't wait to try that version, this shrimp ceviche recipe is a more Mexican-style version, featuring shrimp, lime, tomato, hot sauce, and peppers.
The cooking method of ceviche is a bit unusual, if you're not used to it. In traditional ceviche, the fish (in this case, shrimp) is cooked by marinating in acid, such as lime juice. The acid changes the protein structure in the shrimp and cooks it through without the need for heat.
While this may make some people a little nervous, you can rest assured this is a perfectly safe way to cook this seafood. Shrimp cooked this way looks the same as shrimp cooked using heat — the color will turn from gray to pink, and there should be no translucent bits showing.
Another benefit to cooking shrimp this way is the incredible flavor it takes on. As the shrimp cooks in its acidic bath, it is also busy soaking up all of those wonderfully zippy lime notes. You'll be amazed at the incredibly intense flavor when biting into one of these citrus-soaked beauties. However, take care. While it may seem strange to think of food overcooking without the application of heat, in this case, it's entirely possible. If left too long in the lime juice marinade, shrimp can become tough and rubbery. Be sure to remove your shrimp from its lime juice bath as soon as it cooks through.
While the shrimp takes about 2 hours to cook, the rest of this ceviche recipe comes together in just a few minutes. While the shrimp is marinating, prep all the other ingredients (except for the avocado) and combine them in a bowl.
When the shrimp is done marinating, simply toss everything together, adding the avocado just before serving.
Step 1: Peel and devein the shrimp, cut it into roughly 1/4-inch pieces, and place them in a bowl.
Step 2: Add lime juice to the shrimp, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours until the shrimp cooks through.
Step 3: When the shrimp is cooked, drain about half of the lime juice, keeping the remaining juice with the shrimp. Mix together with all other ingredients.
Step 4: Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!
With all of its health benefits, cooking versatility, and delicious flavor, it's no wonder shrimp is a summertime star of the dinner table. And while we love a wonderful shrimp scampi, or to do as the Australians do and throw some shrimp on the barbie, perhaps this week, try bringing something a little different to the table.
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