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Watermelon tuna ceviche

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The fishing boat in question was the Linda Fiesta, a 26-footer from Top Anglers Sportfishing. I’m pretty sure the captain was Ernesto and the mate, Enrique. But it could have been the other way around – it was, after all, 6:30 in the morning.

Top Anglers offers big game fishing trips that take you over the horizon, beyond sight of land, for sailfish and other trophy fish. But we were fishing for lunch. We stayed within sight of the shore and within a few hours, had reeled in an impressive catch of bonita, mid-sized, predatory members of the mackerel family, related to tuna.

When we got back to the marina, the ever resourceful Rose (our host for the trip) found someone to clean the fish, feeding the skeletons and heads to waiting pelicans, sometimes scratching them on the heads like puppies. Then we were off to the Wyndham Cabo San Lucas Resort, a short walk across the marina. Our catch was whisked away to the kitchen, and we toured the resort.

A short while later, we settled into a long outdoor table at the hotel’s outdoor No Worries restaurant, overlooking the marina, for a leisurely lunch featuring bonita prepared three ways. All were delicious, but the one that really caught my eye was a ceviche with cubes of watermelon that mimicked the red-fleshed fish and tiny black charnushka seeds filling in for the absent watermelon seeds.

Ceviche is a seafood dish in which raw seafood is marinated in citrus juice – usually lemon or lime or both. The juice “cooks” the fish and produces a fresh, clean taste. Ceviche is perfect for summertime entertaining, because you don’t heat up the kitchen.

This recipe is my take on the colorful, fresh flavored appetizer we had at the Wyndham. I substituted easier-to-find fresh tuna for the bonita. Since the fish is barely “cooked” by curing with citrus juice for a few minutes, it must be absolutely fresh. Ask for sushi-grade tuna and don’t be afraid to ask to give it a sniff test.

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