It’s already nearly the end of March (what!?), and we’re sad to say goodbye to Melbourne restaurateur Matt Lane of Hotel Jesus! Today, Matt and his head chef Yasser Garcia sign off with their Colima Ceviche, a dish taking its name from the West Coast Mexican state.
This no-nonsense fresh fish dish perfectly encapsulates what Hotel Jesus is all about – punchy, authentic flavours, heavy on the zesty lime, chilli, and coriander, and not a refried bean in sight.
Colima Ceviche is a dry-style ceviche and I had never tried until our head chef at Hotel Jesus, Yasser Garcia, introduced it to me. My association with ceviches had mainly been from sitting on the beach eating them out of a plastic bag! White fish, pico de gallo and lime juice, these ceviche’s had so much liquid that you’d be drinking them at the end.
Instead, the Colima Ceviche does not sit in any liquid, and the fish is minced before being marinated with ingredients that are similar to a typical Mexican ceviche.
I have to say, I’m totally converted. This Colima version is a super fresh tasting dish that is in no way overpowered by the lime juice like some other ceviches. Draining the liquid also ensures that the fish is cured to it’s optimum point and doesn’t keep cooking in the juices.
Served up on some dehydrated tostadas, to me, this is another example of simple, fresh Mexican food done incredibly well.
Ingredients (Serves 4 as a starter)
For the cured fish
- 250g fresh snapper fillets
- 100ml fresh lime juice
For the ceviche
- 125g tomato
- 80g red onion
- 1 carrot
- 60g cucumber
- 15g green chilli
- Half bunch coriander
- Pinch of salt
For the garnish
- 1 avocado
- 8 tortilla chips (11cm tostadas)
For the cured fish – mince the snapper fillets, by chopping with a knife (or if you have it, a mincer) straight into a bowl and cover with the fresh lime juice. Set aside to cure for 60 minutes.
For the ceviche – mix together: diced tomatoes (it helps to drain them after you have finished dicing them), diced red onion, grated carrot, diced and de-seeded cucumber, diced green chilli, roughly-chopped coriander, and a pinch of salt.
Once the fish has cured (it should all be white in colour) drain, and with your hands lightly squeeze out any excess liquid.
Mix the fish into the bowl with your pre-mixed ceviche vegetables. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
With a big serving spoon, top each tostada with the ceviche and garnish with a couple of slices of avocado, a drizzle of olive oil, and lime juice. If you want some more spice, add some Mexican Valentina salsa (hot sauce).