If you want to know the sciencey ins and outs, you won't get them from me. Something to do with the lime juice in the marinade curing the seafood? All I know is a) it works, and b) it is delicious.
I've gone for scallops because they're on offer in my local Tesco and I'm a sucker for a scallop. Preparing them in this way is a Good Idea, because overcooking a scallop is heartbreaking yet oh-so-easy to do. There's no chance of doing that here because we're not cooking, are we? You'll end up with fat, juicy, flavoursome scallops which simply melt in your mouth. That, combined with the perfect combination of mango and avocado, makes this a heavenly summer starter or light lunch.
Mango & Avocado Scallop Ceviche (serves 6 as a starter)
You will need:
- 160g fresh scallops, corals removed
- ½ red onion, finely diced
- Juice and pulp of 2 medium limes
- 1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes (or the equivalent of finely chopped fresh chilli)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small mango, cubed
- 1 small avocado, cubed
- Large handful fresh coriander, roughly torn
- Salt and pepper
- Slice the scallops lengthwise at least once - plump scallops could require slicing up to four times so that they're thin enough to 'cook' in the lime juice. Pop them in a wide, flattish bowl so that they're evenly spread over just one layer.
- Add the red onion, lime juice and pulp, ginger, chilli and olive oil, stir thoroughly, then cover with clingfilm and leave to chill in the fridge for at least two hours (overnight is perfectly fine, if you're being startlingly organised).
- Once the ceviche has done its sooking up of flavours, add the mango, avocado, coriander and salt and pepper to taste. Mix gently so as not to bruise the soft fruits.
- Serve each portion on a scallop shell* (Martha gave me the idea!) if that's your sort of thing, and indeed if you're the kind of person who fills their pockets with shells every time they go to the beach (me). I won't cry if you decide to just go for a plate or bowl, but I will think less of you.
- Garnish with a little more coriander. Sit back and watch your guests gasp in awe at your pretty scallop shells.
- This ceviche also tastes awesome served on Little Gem lettuce leaf - get everyone to dig in and help themselves!
- I love having hot potatoes with cold food - if you feel the same, may I suggest some fried potatoes with a little chorizo stirred through?
- Check out Sara's ceviche recipe for a salmony take on it.
* WASH THE SHELLS FIRST PLEASE.