(Note: this post was originally published on May 17, 2020. The date above reflects migration to the new platform.)
Who's up for a fresh, summery, vibrant, Mexican-inspired appetizer? Oh, pick me!! That basically describes my central philosophy around food. If you're liking the sounds of this, then I think you'll be excited about this unique plant-based ceviche.
Have you ever had ceviche? I never have... because it's typically made with seafood. Ceviche (or sebiche, or seviche, or cebiche) is a classic dish in many countries including Mexico, Spain, and throughout South America. It refers to a raw seafood that is essentially cooked in acid, specifically the acid of citrus fruits.
Ceviche is fresh, light, bright, vibrant, and packed with flavor. Or at least I think it is, but again I've never had it, because it's always done with fish. I haven't eaten fish since I was about ten and having microwaved fish sticks, so I really feel like I've been missing out on the joys of ceviche.
However, I wanted to reinvent ceviche in a plant-based way, and decided to use jicama as the seafood substitute. Jicama is an edible root used in Mexican cooking, although it's available at most American grocery stores. Its a bit starchy, very crisp, refreshing, and can be eaten raw. Yet it's strong enough to hold up to some big acid, which is key in a ceviche; many other veggies would wilt or turn to mush. And while the citric acid won't "cook" the jicama in the same way it does seafood, it infuses the jicama beautifully with bright, fresh flavor.
This is definitely a dish for spring and summer! Fresh citrus, fresh herbs, and crisp jicama combine to create a lovely, light, crunchy appetizer. These are all the flavors I love most!
The other thing I love about this ceviche is how easy it is. Just dice up the jicama, toss it with some grapefruit and lime juice, and let it sit covered in the fridge for a day or two. The citrus slowly infuses into the jicama, packing it with flavor. Finish it off with some fresh cilantro or mint and you have yourself a wonderful summery bite.
Ceviche is typically eaten on its own. But if you want to go renegade, I've integrated this jicama ceviche into salads numerous times with great success. Or, better yet, make the ceviche for a deck party, then have the leftovers in salads or lettuce wraps or burrito bowls the next week. It just gets better the longer the jicama marinates, so don't hesitate to double the recipe.
Note, however, that this is a recipe that cannot be rushed. It will take all of 15 minutes to prepare, but you need to think ahead! If you don't give the ceviche 24-48 hours in the fridge, you'll just have jicama cubes in a citrus dressing. The magic won't happen. On the upside, this is totally a make-ahead dish, which always makes things easier when entertaining. This would be great as a light appetizer at a summer BBQ!
Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.
How will you enjoy this ceviche? As an appetizer for a summery deck dinner? As a side dish to tacos? In a tropical burrito bowl? However you use this ceviche, it will bring so much freshness and brightness to your meal.
For my vegetarian friends especially, I can't wait for you to try this! I feel like I've heard so darn much about ceviche and have always missed out. No more!! This dish is total proof that the concept of ceviche can translate to plants as well.
I'm really excited about this recipe, and I have a feeling I'll be using it again and again this summer.
It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.
An unexpected and refreshing plant-based riff on ceviche, this dish uses jicama in place of fish. It's loaded with citrus and herbs, and gets even more flavorful as it sits. The perfect summer side or appetizer!