Cured fish with lime and tequila (and crisp plantain)

Cured fish with lime and tequila (and crisp plantain)

By
From
Citrus
Serves
4
Photographer
Mowie Kay

Curing your own fish gives you a lot of control over how you flavour it. Most of the recipes I have tried use salmon, but I realised that I didn’t really want a cold water fish being cured with flavours I associate with the tropics. Instead I use a white fish, which also has the advantage of curing in hours as opposed to days.

Lime is integral to this dish – it’s in the cure and the salsa, and stops the plantain (if using) from turning black. If you don’t want to make the plantain, serve on tostadas (small rounds of lightly fried tortillas) instead, or simply layer on a plate and pile some of the salsa in the middle.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the cured fish

Quantity Ingredient
100g flaky sea salt
50g soft light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon allspice berries, crushed
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
2 limes, Finely grated zest
50ml tequila or rum
1 thick fillet of white fish, around

For the salsa

Quantity Ingredient
1 mango, finely diced
1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1/4 red onion, finely diced
1/2 lime, Finely grated zest and juice
a few mint leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon tequila or rum, (optional)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, sugar, allspice, peppercorns and lime zest. Sprinkle half of this over the base of a dish large enough to hold the fish. Drizzle the tequila or rum over both sides of the fish, then place on top of the salt and spice mix. Sprinkle over the remaining salt and spice mix. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to cure in the refrigerator for around 6 hours, then rinse thoroughly and pat dry – don’t worry, you will not be rinsing off the flavour with the salt; it will have impregnated the flesh. Slice into thin slices at an angle.
  2. For the salsa, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl with a very little salt (the fish will still be quite salty) and some pepper.
  3. To serve, pile the fish onto the plantain or tostadas and top with the salsa.

For the plantain (optional)

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 lime, juiced
2 large, green plantain
vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Method

  1. Put some cold water in a medium bowl and add the lime juice.
  2. Peel (or in practice cut through and break off) the skin from the plantain. Cut into 2cm diagonal slices and drop into the water as you go.
  3. Heat enough oil for deep-frying in a large, heavy-based pan or fryer, to about 160°C. Drain the plantain, then par-fry them in the oil for around 3 minutes, until very lightly coloured and slightly softened.
  4. Remove the plantain to kitchen paper then squash each slice flat under something heavy, such as a heavy-based frying pan; they should be around 0.5cm thick with a much larger surface area.
  5. Reheat the oil to around 180°C. Dip each plantain slice into the limed water, shake off the excess (but don’t pat dry; they should be slightly wet) and drop into the hot oil. Fry until they are a rich golden brown, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Juice of 1 lime
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