Yay or nay? Ceviche made with previously frozen fish.
March 29, 2012 1:19 PM   Subscribe

Yay or nay? Ceviche made with previously frozen fish.

I love ceviche/cebiche, but have only eaten it while travelling. I live in a prairie city where almost all seafood that's affordable is previously frozen (other than trout possibly). I'd like to make some ceviche at home this summer. If I were do so with previously frozen fish and seafood, will it be totally gross?

I'm not expecting it to be as lovely as when I'm near the ocean, but I'm worried the freezing --> thawing --> marinating process might make the texture weird.
posted by Kurichina to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Most raw fish you eat in the US, regardless of proximity to water, is previously frozen. It's not quite as firm as the fish you might find in ceviche outside the US, but it is still, when done right, delicious.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:26 PM on March 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've made ceviche with fish (and shrimp, for that matter) that I put in the freezer and later defrosted on top of the likely freezing it took to get to my grocery store with nary a problem. Texture is a little weird, but not offputting.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:35 PM on March 29, 2012


I think the texture would be gross. You might as well just cook the fish.
posted by Ideefixe at 1:45 PM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Go for it, my friend makes a delicious Mexican style ceviche with frozen tilapia from Trader Joe's. It won't be gross!
posted by wilky at 1:49 PM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm thinking of a clip of Julia Child where she thaws a whole salmon on a bed of ice in the fridge for a day. The upshot — provided the fish were frozen correctly in the first place, the slow thaw's the key to mitigating texture mush.

Plus freezing has the bonus of killing parasites.
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 2:05 PM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah Nthing Lyn Never. The vast majority of fish, sold anywhere commercially, has already been frozen. It is frozen on the boats, and also frozen for transport. I mean, unless you're eating local-caught, estuarine or bay fish, and you're getting it straight off the trawler or from someone who got it straight off the trawler themselves (very rare outside of fishing communities in my experience) it's almost certainly gonna be frozen so I wouldn't worry about it too much.
posted by smoke at 2:58 PM on March 29, 2012


99% of American sushi fish is previously-frozen and certainly not gross in texture. I've done this many times and it was just fine.
posted by luriete at 2:59 PM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, that most fish is previously frozen means you want to buy fish that is still frozen at the store unless you're going to cook it right away. You only want it to thaw once.
posted by rhizome at 4:29 PM on March 29, 2012


Slow thaw on a little rack or something so that the water and juices will run off and do not soak the fish. You should end up with some steaky feeling fish. If it is slimey but still meaty, rinse it off in cold water. If the meat is mushy or crumbly, then it was bad when it was frozen.

Generally speaking there is nothing wrong with frozen fish and your ceviche should end up being awesome.

If I was you, I would make a small batch right now to see what needs tweaking and tuning.

If the available fish doesn't work out, you can always make kelaguen. Despite what wiki says, it does cook the chicken too and is delicious!

Good luck!
posted by snsranch at 6:23 PM on March 29, 2012


Balance of opinion seems to be that it's OK. Thank, hivemind!
posted by Kurichina at 12:52 PM on April 2, 2012


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