Port Mansfield Redfish Ceviche

Simple ingredients are all that’s needed to make this healthy, delicious dish.
Simple ingredients are all that’s needed to make this healthy, delicious dish.

This recipe is courtesy of Capt. Marshal Hardin of Semper Fi’sh Adventures in Port Mansfield, Texas. His dad and I have exchanged fish and game recipes for years, and he offered this one at the conclusion of our recent fishing adventure. It was originally intended to be made with trout, but the windy weather muddied the water and made us switch species.

This healthy recipe simply calls for a few vegetables, some lime and lemon juice and the freshest fish possible. Seriously, a couple of these fish were still active when placed on the cleaning table. Check with your doctor if you have any doubts about the health benefits. Doctors and nutritionists agree that eating a diet containing a fresh fish is good for us and it doesn’t get any fresher than this. I hadn’t thought of red drum as the main ingredient in ceviche prior to this, but I will from now on. It tasted very good and I’ll recommend trying it.

Redfish ceviche

According to Wikipedia, ceviche, also sometimes called cebiche, seviche, or sebiche, is a Latin American seafood dish thought to have originated in Peru. It is typically made from fresh raw fish cured in fresh citrus juices, most commonly lemon or lime, and spiced with ají, chili peppers or other seasonings including chopped onions, salt, and coriander. Because ceviche is eaten only with the curing of the citric acids and not cooked with heat, it must be prepared and served fresh.

This ceviche was made using red drum, but it works well with almost any fish. Capt. Hardin had originally planned to use speckled trout, but they weren’t in their usual haunts. Redfish became a willing substitute. I noticed it required a little more time for the redfish to “cook.” Most anglers know places to catch their own redfish, but they are also available in many fish markets. Other species also work well in the event redfish are reluctant biters or not available from your favorite fishmonger.

Capt. Hardin made a suggestion he often uses so charters can enjoy some fresh ceviche before heading home. Purchase a quart of Pico de gallo from your favorite Mexican restaurant instead of taking the time to chop the vegetables and peppers. I can verify this worked well and tasted great.

Using the Pico de gallo, the ingredients are ready to mix and have the lime and lemon juices added as soon as the first fish is cleaned. It can be “cooking” quickly and is ready to eat once all the fish and boat are cleaned.

TIP: A hand-held juicer made for lemons and limes extracts the maximum amount of juice without struggle.

TIP: Kick up the spice factor a notch or three on this recipe by adding jalapenos or other peppers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Fresh redfish fillet (1-1 1/2 pounds),
  • 1 Medium sweet onion,
  • 2 Medium-large tomatoes (about 1 pound),
  • 10 Fresh limes,
  • 3 Fresh lemons,
  • 2-3 Fresh jalapenos (personal preference,
  • 1/3-1/2 Cup chopped cilantro,
  • 2 TBL extra-virgin olive oil,
  • Salt and pepper to taste,
  • Chips and/or crackers

Optional:

  • 1/3 Cup chopped pitted green olives,
  • 1/3 Cup orange juice,
  • 2 Ripe avocados

*Substitute Pico de gallo from your favorite Mexican restaurant instead of chopping and mixing the vegetables.

Served with tortilla chips, this dish works great as a light snack, appetizer, or a complete meal.
Served with tortilla chips, this dish works great as a light snack, appetizer, or a complete meal.

Preparation:

  1. Chop the tomatoes into 1/2-inch pieces.
  2. Chop the onion into approximately 1/2-inch pieces.
  3. Remove the seeds and finely chop the jalapenos (2 for mild palates and 3 for more robust palates).
  4. Chop the cilantro and save a few full leaves for garnish.
  5. Squeeze the limes and lemons and combine the juice. (Add orange juice if you like).
  6. Mix the tomatoes, peppers, onions, cilantro, olives (optional) and olive oil in a large bowl.
  7. Cut the redfish into approximately 1/2-inch pieces.
  8. Mix the redfish pieces and the lime, lemon and orange (optional) juices into the bowl.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to personal taste.
  10. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator or on ice to keep the mixture cool while the fish “cooks.”
  11. Peel, pit and cut the avocados (optional) into approximately 1/2-inch pieces.
  12. Stir in the avocado just before serving, being careful not to crush it.
  13. Garnish with a few cilantro leaves before serving.

Serve a bowl of ceviche on a plate with tortilla chips. You can pick up a bag of real tortilla chips from the Mexican restaurant if you choose to use Pico de gallo. I really like this with blue corn tortilla chips.

Most folks serve ceviche as a snack or an appetizer, but I like it a lot and sometimes eat it with a green salad or lettuce wedge for a light meal.

The preparation for this dish really begins on the water as soon as you catch fish. Ice them immediately once on the boat.

This is especially true for those fish intended to be used in ceviche. Push the fish, nose first, down into the ice so it is totally covered and cools quickly. This simple step really helps with the flavor and texture of the ceviche.

Capt. Hardin introduced a hand-held juicer, made for limes and lemons, that gets an incredible amount of juice from each with no struggle. I came home with one and will need fewer limes and lemons when making ceviche in the future.

The post “Port Mansfield Redfish Ceviche” first appeared on CarolinaSportsman.com.

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About Jerry Dilsaver 127 Articles
Jerry Dilsaver of Oak Island, N.C., is a freelance writer, as well as a former national king mackerel champion fisherman. Readers are encouraged to send their favorite recipes and a photo of the completed dish to possibly be used in a future issue of the magazine. E-mail the recipes and photos to Jerry Dilsaver at captainjerry@captainjerry.com.

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