Tumbo, a fruit native to Peru in the same Passiflora family as maracuyá, or passion fruit, was probably employed in the making of the first ceviches. It is not as acidic as lime or lemon but it is sufficiently tart to marinate fish. Today Peruvians still use the fruit to make the dish, but because it is unlikely you'll find tumbo in any grocery store north of Lima, I've used, grapefruit and lime juice here; I add passion fruit juice at the very end to make sure its distinctive taste stays clear.
12 ounces grouper fillets
1 cup fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 Scotch bonnet chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced Kosher salt
1 small ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/2 small red onion, minced
3 tablespoons finely diced black olives
2 scallions, white parts only, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1/3 cup passion fruit juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cut the grouper into 1/6-inch-thick bite-sized pieces. In a bowl, combine the grapefruit juice, lime juice, and Scotch bonnet. Add the fish and marinate, covered, for about 10 minutes in the refrigerator.
Drain the fish in a strainer, pressing firmly to release as much moisture from the grouper as possible. While the fish is still in the strainer, salt it evenly.
Transfer the fish to a bowl, add the remaining ingredients, and stir well. Serve.
Recommended Wine: For a dry wine with some initial fruit offerings, such as an Arneis from Piedmont, or, for more fruit, a big-style Soave from Veneto.
New World Kitchen
Latin American and Caribbean Cuisine
by Norman Van Aken
Hardcover, 336 pages
$34.95; $53.95 (CAN)
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created October 2003
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