I wasn’t sure what to do with the sweet potato slices that Brys Stephens includes with his Peruvian-style flounder ceviche in his cookbook, The New Southern Table. They didn’t seem to go well with the delicately pickled fish to me.
Then I pretended to grab a slice with my hand, as if it were a tortilla chip. Genius. The boiled potatoes’ sweet starchiness provided a much better blank canvas for dipping than salty chips, balancing the heat of the chiles and the tanginess of the lime juice.
Why I chose this flounder ceviche recipe: I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see how sweet potatoes would work in this dish.
What worked: I’d never made ceviche before using this method, but I’m now a believer. I liked that the best fish in the final dish didn’t have to sit in the citrus juice for long before serving; instead of turning white and chewy, it stayed silky and soft.
What didn’t work: There were no issues at all.
Changes that could be made: Instead of flounder, any flaky white fish could be used. Sole was available at my local fish market, so I used it. Cod is also a good option.
How To Make Flounder Ceviche Recipe
Ingredients For Flounder Ceviche Recipe
- 1 pound (455 g) sweet potato (about 1 large
- 2 ears fresh sweet corn
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced, divided
- 2 pounds (905 g) flounder fillet, trimmed to make square edges, scraps reserved
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 stalk celery, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 aji limo chiles or 1 habanero chile with seeds and ribs removed for less heat, thinly sliced, divided
- 2 teaspoons (12 g) kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 cup (16 g) sliced fresh cilantro leaves
Directions to Make Flounder Ceviche
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, add the sweet potato, turn down the heat, and gently simmer 30 to 35 minutes, or until just cooked through but still slightly firm. A few minutes before the sweet potato is done, add the corn and simmer 5 to 7 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove the ears, cool, and cut the corn from the cob. Cool, peel, and slice the sweet potato. To mellow the flavor of the sliced onions, soak them in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes, then drain.
- To make the leche de tigre (sauce), place the flounder scraps in a large glass bowl along with the lime juice, half of the red onion slices, the ginger, garlic, celery, and two-thirds of the sliced chiles. Set this mixture aside for 20 to 30 minutes, then pass through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing firmly on the fish, onion, and aromatics to release their flavorful liquid, then discard everything but the strained liquid. Season to taste with salt.
- To prepare the fish for the ceviche, cut the squared off flounder pieces into even strips, 2 to 4 inches long and 1/4-inch thick. Cut these strips in half, and place them in a medium-sized glass bowl set in a larger bowl filled with ice. This will keep the fish cold. Sprinkle the fish with the 2 teaspoons (16 g) kosher salt, and stir several times to coat evenly. Let this mixture sit for 20 minutes, gently stirring every few minutes to the salt will penetrate and season the fish.
- Add the remaining one-third sliced chile, the remaining one-half red onion, and the cilantro to the fish, and stir to combine. Slowly add the leche de tigre, stirring several times. Pour the flounder ceviche into a serving bowl, and serve flounder ceviche with the sweet potato slices and a mound of the corn on the side.
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