Is it safe to each my ceviche yet?
July 24, 2010 5:43 PM   Subscribe

Is it safe to each my ceviche yet?

I just made ceviche by improvisisg from a few recipes off the internet. I cut up sea bass into chunks of around 1/2" cube, and let that sit in a mix of lime and lemon juice for around 40 min. Then I added a bunch of other stuff (Cilantro, Tomato, onion, avocado), and threw it in the fridge.

I'm hungry! Mrs ManInSuit is hungry! We want to eat this Ceviche! But we do not want to get sick.

Can we eat this now? It is safe to eat? I have no idea how the lime "cooks" the fish. Some recipes say just 10 minutes, some say, like hours. Some say overnight (which I assume is more about the flavors coming toghether than the fish cooking).

I am an idiot about cooking. Online sources say it is ready when the fish is white. But it was white to start with.
posted by ManInSuit to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
(Grrrr: I meant: Is it safe to eat my ceviche yet?

I am typing badly because I am hungry!)
posted by ManInSuit at 5:44 PM on July 24, 2010

I was thinking it was itch or etch, but eat is maybe better.

Ever had sushi? Ever had suzuki? It was safe an hour ago, dig in.
posted by Some1 at 5:51 PM on July 24, 2010

-- but it will absorb more of the marinade's flavors the longer you wait.
posted by Some1 at 5:55 PM on July 24, 2010

I don't think the citrus juice is going to kill enough germs to make a difference if the fish was bad to begin with. If it was safe before, it's safe now. If it was bad before, you now have some bad fish with a new and more pleasant texture.

I'd eat it.
posted by oreofuchi at 6:06 PM on July 24, 2010

My understanding was that it has to do with the fish's opacity. You know how raw fish is kinda translucent, like a frosted windowpane, but cooked fish is solid, like ... (metaphors failing me)... a flaky, white-colored refrigerator door? How opaque is it?
posted by salvia at 6:14 PM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Unless it's sushi grade fish, I would wait a few hours.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:51 PM on July 24, 2010

I leave mine over night and through the day. You prolly shouldn't touch yours for 3 or 4 hours. The citric acid still needs to "cook" the fish.

Also, your supposed to do the fish and fixin's at once then add the juice. You want the flavors to truly soak through.
posted by loriginedumonde at 6:55 PM on July 24, 2010

All depends on the quality of the fish.
posted by special-k at 7:09 PM on July 24, 2010

I'd eat it. The 40 mins of lime only is what you need to cook the fish. It will taste better if the other flavors are allowed to permeate the fish as well, but safety-wise, you're probably fine. If you want to be super-sure, cut the fish into even smaller pieces, maybe 1/4" dice, and soak another 10 minutes.
posted by judith at 7:24 PM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Unless it's sushi grade fish

In the US, at least, "sushi-grade" is not a legally defined term and therefore more or less meaningless.
posted by pecanpies at 8:00 PM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

We ate it! After 40-60 minutes of "cooking". It tasted pretty good and so far we feel a-okay. Next time I make ceviche I will plan differently, and give the mix a few hours to work its flavor magic.
posted by ManInSuit at 8:10 PM on July 24, 2010

I leave mine over night and through the day. You prolly shouldn't touch yours for 3 or 4 hours. The citric acid still needs to "cook" the fish.

loriginedumonde, you're just guessing, and that isn't helpful.

As judith mentioned, 40 minutes is all that is needed. Much longer can make the fish tough.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:39 PM on July 24, 2010

When I took a sushi course, we made pickled mackerel in much the same way - acid to cook the fish. In our case, it was vinegar, and it only sat for a half hour or so.

Perfectly safe to eat. Let it sit too long, and it's going to have a consistency like overcooked octopus.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 9:27 PM on July 24, 2010

If you are going to get something from tainted meat/fish/vegetables, it won't likely set in for 4 to 8 hours. If you wait much more than a couple of hours for marinating fish, it will start to break down and become mealy, or become really tough so eating it after about an hour or 2 is preferable.
posted by TheBones at 9:51 PM on July 24, 2010

I've seen numerous recipes that only call for soaking it for 15 minutes. Saw it again on a cooking show the other day. This has applied to fish, shrimp, and scallops. The impression I've gotten is that that's about the minimum and you can do more if you want, but that there's an upper limit that you'll find the hard way. And "minimum" is not set in stone given that so many of these things can be eaten raw as sushi without any problem.
posted by Askr at 11:42 PM on July 24, 2010

Time in this instance is only for denaturing protein and soaking in the flavor. The lemon juice probably kills some bacteria, but not like heat does.
posted by cmoj at 8:13 AM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

You'll be okay, but be advised that next time you can leave it on the fridge overnight and it will taste amazing by morning. But leave just the fish. No veggies on the mix!
posted by cobain_angel at 11:18 AM on July 25, 2010

Not to be a wet blanket, because Yay Raw Fish! (no, seriously, yum....try fresh trout sashimi from a fish straight from the stream!), but any time anybody pops in here about Chilean Sea Bass (aka Patagonian toothfish), I always ask them to consider something different next time. Definitely eat fish! Just avoid the Sea Bass and the Orange Roughy! (and the farm raised salmon...etc.)

posted by TomMelee at 11:09 AM on July 26, 2010

For a future reference, the fresher, the better.

In Peru (cevicheland) we prepare it in 5 minutes-no joke. You just put the raw fish with the lime juice in a bowl and mix like it's going out of fashion, for like 5 minutes. Then add the rest of ingredients.

Waiting for it to macerate is prety much like overcooking a delicious roast beef. You usually get the over cooked ceviche for a lot cheaper than the fresh one.
posted by Tarumba at 11:21 AM on August 10, 2010

« Older What kind of bed do I want?   |   You-are-not-a-doctor-but-I-will-ask-anyway rash... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.