LECHE DE TIGRE-CEVICHE LIME MARINADE
Amazing marinade for all sorts of seafoof dishes, specially ceviche.
- ¼ lbs. WHITE FISH scraps (flounder, cod, mahi)
- 2 CHILES (jalapeno, limo, habanero etc)
- ¾ cup chilled WHITE FISH stock
- 1/2 cup fresh squeeze LIME juice
- ¼ cup chopped CELERY
- 1 heart of a RED ONION
- 1 GARLIC clove
- 1 GINGER nugget
- ¼ cup chopped CILANTRO
- White Fish Stock:
- ¼ lbs. fish scraps (flounder, cod, mahi)
- ¼ cup chopped carrots
- ¼ cups chopped celery
- 1 heart of red onion
- 1 ginger nugget
- Step 1 Start by making the fish stock, in a medium size pot get all the ingredients listed for the stock, fill with water and bring that to a boil, after that simmer for 20 minutes and strain into a medium size mixing bowl. Refrigerate immediately and use only when it’s chilled.
- Step 2 Next, cut all the limes in half and squeeze each half of lime only half way, don’t squeeze the lime all the way because the oils of the skin and inner part get on the juice and that’s what makes it go bitter in just a few minutes.
- Step 3 After you have the lime juice and the fish stock ready, put all the other ingredients in a blender, cover with the lid and just pulse everything many times. I’ll say pulse the marinade for at least 25 to 30 times, then you can strain through a fine mesh or strainer into a medium size mixing bowl.
- Step 4 At this point you want to taste for salt, the marinade has to be salty, so don’t be afraid of going heavy on the salt until you taste and feel you have enough salt.
- Step 5 This marinade is widely used for ceviche, tiraditos and “crudo” style seafood, there’s many recipes that called for leche de tigre or something similar, once you try it, you’ll come up with ideas.
- Make the stock in advance, maybe a few hours are just enough
- Serve with fresh oysters or make oysters shooters with it
- It’s perfect for nice fish like flounder, cod and mahi
- Don’t try to cook shrimp on this marinade it will take too long
In todays culinary landscape, Peru holds one of the main stages in the world and is not only because of their food but also because of their people. Peruvians are very proud of their food and heritage; we can surely say that the entire country has been pampered to delicious dishes that everybody knows and are often the start of phenomenal conversations. I’ve always said that the best way to know a culture is to ask the people about what they eat, and trust me when I tell you, if you ask a Peruvian about food, you’ll have a lot to talk about.
In all its great culinary gallery, Peru holds one dish very dearly, you can say is the favorite across the country and is as important as the national flag. That dish my friends, is called ceviche.
Now, I now you’ve probably heard or even tried ceviche somewhere, but if you haven’t had traditional Peruvian fish ceviche, you just don’t know ceviche yet. I’m sure you’re asking yourself, what does ceviche has to do with this recipe? Well is everything and more. You see, ceviche is more than just a recipe, for those of us that love a good ceviche is more of a ritual and must be consumed at least twice a week. I’m serious, you ask anybody in Lima how many times a week they eat ceviche and they’ll confirm my statement.
Ceviche must be made with fresh fish, they use flounder and sole, for the traditional preparation. The fish is cut into small cubes and then cooked in “Leche de Tigre” which literally translates to “Tiger’s Milk”. Of course, that’s just a name! No one in their right mind is going to find a tiger and try to milk it, that’s just crazy.
What leche the tigre is in realty, is a lime-based marinade to cook the fish in, nothing else. Now, I want you to think on the following concept, if you cook a chicken breast in boiling water, how does that taste? Blend right, no flavor at all, you have to add the flavor by adding ingredients to the water and then cook the chicken. Well, when you cook with lime juice you can do the same. Leche de tigre is made with lime juice, ginger, garlic, celery, red onion, fish stock, fish trimmings and salt, a lot of salt. That way the marinade not only cooks the fish but can also be serve as a chilled delicious full of flavor sauce.
The recipe I’m sharing with you comes from the great master chef Gaston Acurio, if you have the time to go and read about him and his books, restaurants and tv shows you should because he is one of the most revered chefs in the world and his food is just amazing.
I learned this recipe at his restaurant Astrid y Gaston, they opened a property in my hometown Quito, and I had the opportunity to work there as the Ceviche cook for over a year. Do I really need to tell you the importance of my job at the time? Most sought out food in the city, one of the best chefs in the world, flagship dish for the restaurant and the entire country. I think you get the picture.
After a wonderful experience and truly understanding the importance of leche de tigre and ceviche, I carried this recipe around for a long time and never disappoints.
Trust me, if you want to make ceviche or just an awesome marinade to cook fish, scallops, oysters and delicate seafood, look no more! This is as amazing as it gets in my foodie world. So please, get youringredients ready and LET’S GET COOKING!!!