Learn to Make Ceviche with Coconut Milk

Students at The Culinary Institute of America learn many methods for preparing food in their global cuisines classes—Cuisines of Asia, Cuisines of the Americas, and Cuisines of the Mediterranean. Preparing ceviche is one of the lessons taught in Cuisines of the Americas.


Ceviche with Coconut Milk

Serves 8
1 1/2 pounds red snapper, fillets (You can substitute any kind of flaky white fish as well as scallops, shrimp, lobster, clams, mussels, or oysters. See Chef’s note below.)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons Scotch Bonnet pepper, minced ** (You may substitute any kind of hot pepper such as habaneros or jalapeños.)
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper as needed
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 cups coconut milk*
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced, rinsed in hot water for 5 minutes
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup coconut flakes or fresh shaved coconut, lightly toasted
Cilantro leaves as needed for garnish

Cut the snapper with the grain of the fish. Place the fish in a glass or stainless steel bowl large enough to hold the entire recipe and place it over a larger bowl filled with ice; set aside.

Place garlic and peppers on a cutting board and add 2 teaspoons sea salt. Using the flat surface of a chef’s knife mash it together until it becomes a paste.
Add the garlic-pepper mash to the fish and stir it until it is evenly distributed. Add 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper and salt to taste. Add lime juice and coconut milk, and stir. Drain the red onion slices, add to mixture, and stir. Add finely chopped cilantro and stir. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
To serve, place ceviche in glass or stainless steel bowls that are resting in larger bowls, shallow dishes, or a large tray of ice. Top with shaved coconut and cilantro.

* You may use fresh coconut milk if desired. Break the coconut open, drain and reserve the juice, and remove the pulp. Cut the fresh coconut pulp into pieces. Shave enough of the pulp to toast and use as topping. Place the remaining coconut in a blender along with the coconut juice, cover with hot water, and purée until smooth. Strain the milk through a fine-mesh strainer. Squeeze the coconut to remove as much liquid as possible.


** Caution when handling hot peppers: Wear gloves and immediately wash your hands after removing the gloves or handling the peppers. Do not let the juice from the peppers come in contact with your eyes or skin.


Chef’s note: It is important to make sure you use the freshest fish possible and you keep it cold. When removed from refrigeration, place fish in a container on top of crushed ice covered with plastic wrap or in a bowl placed in a larger bowl filled with ice.


Surgeon General Warning: Consumption of raw or undercooked foods of animal origin such as beef, eggs, fish, lamb, pork, poultry, or shellfish may result in an increased risk of foodborne illness.


Nutrition Analysis for sauce per 6-ounce serving: 200 calories, 19g protein, 6g carbohydrate, 12g fat, 60mg sodium, 30mg cholesterol, 1g dietary fiber.


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