Most culinary scholars, myself included, credit Peru with giving us ceviche. Although, there are many, very similar recipes all around the Pacific Rim. In fact, I’ve done a Tuna Poke clip which is really the same thing. Basically what happens with ceviche is the protein in the scallops (or any fish for that matter) is “cooked” with the acid in the marinade. Lemons, limes and other acidic ingredients can be combined in countless ways according to your tastes, but the chemical process is the same. So, yes, you are technically eating “raw” seafood (sushi anyone?) but it’s not really “raw.” The acid causes the proteins in the scallops to become what’s called “denatured.” What is “denatured?” This sounds like a job for Wikipedia!
Here is the official Wikipedia definition (which means it could be completely wrong): “Denaturation is the alteration of a protein shape through some form of external stress (for example, by applying heat, acid or alkali), in such a way that it will no longer be able to carry out its cellular function. Denatured proteins can exhibit a wide range of characteristics, from loss of solubility to communal aggregation.” Aren’t you glad I cleared that up? Bottom line; it looks great, it tastes great, you can do a million different combinations, …and you cook stuff without heat! As Rachael Ray would say, “How cool is that?” Enjoy!
2 lbs Bay scallops (or other diced fish in similar size pieces)
1 ripe mango
1 red bell pepper
1/2 bunch cilantro
1/3 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp schezchan pepper
1/2 tbl cumin
*Note: since I used seasoned rice vinegar (which has salt in it) I didn’t add any to the recipe. You, of course, will taste and adjust. Also, many ceviche recipes call for diced onions which I don’t like since I feel they tend to over-power the seafood.