Tuna Ceviche with Ginger, Lime and Chilli

Post date:


tuna ceviche sonia cabano blog eatdrinkcapetown
Fresh sliced tuna marinating in lime juice, herbs, ginger, tomatoes and chilli

Ceviche is a dish of South American origin, whereby spanking fresh fish straight from the ocean is bathed in citrus – mostly lime – juices to lightly ‘cook’ it. The lavish addition of finely chopped fresh coriander, sweet red and yellow peppers and chilli is standard; some recipes also include tomato, celery and mint.

One of the quickest, easiest and most delicious fish recipes you’ll ever come across!

As many variations of this delicacy exist as there are cooks. You can use just about any kind of fish and seafood, including crayfish, oysters, mussels, prawns and calamari, as long as it’s fresh and has never been frozen before. (Except, of course, prawns and shrimp which are always deep frozen at sea as soon as they’re caught; just make sure you thaw them in saltwater beforehand, peel and clean thoroughly before marinating.)

For my 30th birthday party, which had a South American theme, a chef friend made a very lavish ceviche that included lobster, oysters, scallops and prawns with sea bass, and we feasted like royalty – a never-to-be-forgotten experience.

It goes without saying that ceviche is incredibly healthy and good for you! The zingy, sparkling tastes and crunchy textures combine with the melting tenderness of the tuna to take your tastebuds for a whirl.

It’s low in fat, too, even when you drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil, as I like to do just before serving.

Most recipes warn you not to use oily fish like tuna or mackerel, but as usual, I threw caution to the wind yesterday when I got a delivery of two beautiful, thick-cut tuna steaks from my favourite fishmonger, Julie Carter of Ocean Jewels Fish. (What a perfectly evocative name that is, hey? Julie’s sustainably caught fish and seafood can truly be said to originate from Neptune’s treasure chest.)

The results: spectacular.

Adding fresh ginger is not strictly speaking traditional in ceviche, nor are sesame oil and soy sauce, but those three ingredients make such a perfect support act for tuna, that I added a tablespoonful of each to the marinade. Magic!


500g -625g tuna will serve 6-8 as a starter depending on portion size; 4 as a main course.

I took one of the steaks, weighing in at about 625g, cut it across the grain into slices about half a centimetre thick, and made a marinade of the following:


juice of 4 limes

2 small red chillies, very finely chopped

a thumb of fresh ginger root, peeled and cut into minute matchsticks

1 tablespoonful each of soy sauce and sesame oil (preferably use light sesame oil and Japanese soy or tamari, as they are all lighter and will add to the overall freshness of this gorgeous dish)

Stir marinade ingredients together and pour this over the sliced tuna in a shallow, non-reactive dish. Best to use a dish wide enough to accommodate the slices side by side, as you want to make sure each slice has maximum contact with the lime juice, and don’t stir or fiddle with the tuna, to prevent it breaking up.

Leave in the refrigerator for no longer than 1 hour, otherwise the fish will ‘overcook’.

Now scatter over a small punnet of sliced baby rosa tomatoes, a generous handful each of chopped fresh mint and coriander leaves and half a bunch of finely sliced spring onions. Prod gently with a wooden spoon to wiggle the ingredients in between the tuna slices and let stand another 15 minutes before spooning onto a pile of crunchy dressed salad leaves. To table immediately! Fantastic with ice cold beer.

tuna ceviche sonia cabano blog eatdrinkcapetown
Fresh sliced tuna marinating in lime juice, herbs, ginger, tomatoes and chilli
marinated tuna salad with ginger, lime chilli sonia cabano blog eatdrinkcapetown
Spoon marinated tuna onto a pile of crisp, dressed salad leaves and serve immediately
[td_block_social_counter style="style10 td-social-boxed td-social-colored" facebook="eatdrinkcapetown" youtube="channel/UCm5dqHXUdqC25-M-WYSoKfQ" twitter="lusciousct" custom_title="STAY CONNECTED" block_template_id="td_block_template_9" instagram="eatdrinkcapetown_"]


Error decoding the Instagram API json
Celebrating life with food, wine, friends & happiness! Writer, cook and blogger. Author of four cookbooks. Passionately South African, proudly Capetonian.