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On one of my casual walkabouts along Isla Murejes’s waterfront I happened to meet a group of fishermen at Enrique Unique Dives making ceviche with fresh caught snapper. They were hosting a ceviche feast for friends, family, and soon to arrive, some very hungry and thirsty divers.

You need lots of lime to cook the fish. It only takes 30 to 60 minutes for the acidic juice to alter the structure of proteins and the longer it’s marinated the firmer and more opaque the fish becomes.

Mix lime juice and fish.

Some important ingredients including the cerveza for the cooks and one for their new amiga – me.

Almost ready

Add chips and a Habanero.

And dig in! But watch out for that pepper – it’s hot.

I was offered a handful of minced Habanero – all in good fun, which brought much laughter and some “just kidding”.  Definitely a great time!  Would have hung around for another icy cerveza and delicious ceviche but I was stuffed.

Eat ceviche, drink cerveza, and enjoy the view with my new amigos; what else could be better!

Except, maybe a refreshing swim!!!

Fishermen Ceviche:

Use machete to hammer that fish apart; pass fillets to another to cut in cubes; discard bones, heads, and other fish parts in a pail for making some awesome fish soup; squeeze the hell out of the limes for all that flavorful juice, add and stir into the fish; and add chopped tomatoes, red and white onions, cilantro, salt, and don’t forget the habanero. Finally, quench thirst with cold cerveza, tell some good jokes, and enjoy!

For a good home version try:

Red Snapper Ceviche

Recipe courtesy Alejandro Ayal from Foodnetwork.com

Ingredients

Ceviche:

  • 8 ounce skinless red snapper fillet, cubed
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 small tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 serrano chile, seeds removed, cut into 1/8-inch dice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

To make the ceviche:

Combine the snapper and lime juice in a bowl and macerate in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Drain the juice and put the snapper in a bowl. Add the tomato, onion, cilantro, olive oil, chile, and season with salt and pepper.

Gracias Jose Carlos, Capitan Blacky, and everyone else for the great experience and delicious ceviche. And check out Enrique Unique Dives for some interesting Isla Mujeres history at: http://www.divingislamujeres.com/page,art,id,198.html