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Rick Bayless: How to choose fish for ceviche

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Rick Bayless: How to choose fish for ceviche

Last week, at the Cayman Cookout (click here to learn more), I attended a seminar, taught by celebrity chef and restaurateur, Rick Bayless, where he shared his top tips for choosing the right fish for a classic Mexican ceviche. Rick Bayless Cayman Cookout 2014 Many people are intimidated by the idea of serving raw fish, so it was nice to know that there are foolproof tips for choosing fish safely. Chef Bayless noted that it's much easier to choose fresh fish when it's still whole, because there are obvious markers for freshness in a whole fish: 1) It should smell like the ocean, not a fish market. 2) The eyes should be bright and clear -- not flat, dull, grey or cloudy-looking. 3) The gills should be bright red inside, not faded. But what about when you're buying fish that's already been filleted? There are no gills, and no eyes! 1) The  smell rule still applies. Like the ocean, not fishy. 2) The flesh should glisten. 3) When you touch it, the flesh should be resilient and spring back readily. Also, he noted that high-quality fish and seafood that has been frozen right on the boat is some of the freshest you can find and is perfectly suitable for ceviche, as long as you defrost it properly. Defrost in the fridge slowly overnight - not quickly on the counter or using water. The texture will be exactly as it was when it was fresh. And don't be afraid to ask your fishmonger what is the freshest fish at the counter. He or she should know his or her inventory best... and using the freshest possible fish is the most important factor. Any fish that you'd eat raw will work in a ceviche -- so be creative! Chef Bayless prepared three different types of ceviche and they were all superdelicious! One, a classic lime and chili base, was bright, acidic and clean; one, tossed with a Mexican-style cocktail sauce, was rich and savoury; and one, featuring shrimp, olives and dried tomatoes, was briny and complex. Rick Bayless's ceviche trio To read about some other highlights from the Cayman Cookout (like Chef Martin Picard's tips on how to make poutine), click here! Photography: Annabelle Waugh
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Rick Bayless: How to choose fish for ceviche

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