Tropical Beach Ceviche

ivoryhut tropical beach ceviche

Ceviche is basically raw seafood “cooked” in an acid such as vinegar or citrus. We call it kilawin in Tagalog and it is a popular dish in the Philippines. Our cuisine is rich in seafood and understandably so, with over 7,000 islands and the fourth longest coastline in the world (our 22,500+ miles of coast is almost double that of the US). And so it shouldn’t be a surprise that there are as many versions of ceviche as there are different ways of making adobo.

So when I saw a tweet from Chef Rick Bayless a few weeks ago that read like some mysterious secret code that looked like ceviche, I took notice.

8oz slicd raw scallops+1c grapefrt j:45 min.Drain;blend 2/3c juice,1-2 chipotles,4 rstd grlc,2T br sgr.Mix w scal, red on,trop fruit,jicama

As I dug a little deeper, I found that it was part of a four-week contest he was running, with a new recipe tweeted every Monday and photos judged every week. And that was how I found myself the happy recipient of a signed copy his latest cookbook, Fiesta at Rick’s: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends, sent right to my door. The book is beautiful and quite hefty, with gorgeous photography and enticing recipes like Tequila-Infused Queso Fundido, Grilled Tostadas with Chorizo, and Chocolate Tres Leches Parfaits. Fiesta indeed!

Let me tell you something about this Twitter recipe for Tropical Beach Ceviche: It was one of the best ceviches I’ve ever had. Believe me, I don’t throw that around lightly. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been eating ceviches my whole life. I’m quite picky. Ceviche has to have all its flavors spot on right from the get-go. If I taste something and start thinking the acid is too sharp, or too weak, it usually goes downhill from there. The texture, spices, and flavors all have to bring their A-game and play well together, because you usually only have a small serving with which to impress.

And impress this did. The sweetness from the hint of brown sugar and the not-too-acidic grapefruit, the crunch from the finely diced onion and jicama, and smoky heat from the chipotles, and the freshness of the tropical fruit all came together wonderfully. It was a ceviche that was unlike anything I’ve had before, mostly because we don’t really use chipotle in traditional Philippine cuisine. But you can be sure I’ll be thinking of other ways to use it in my Filipino dishes. After all, although it’s widely known that the Philippines was under Spanish rule for over 300 years, we were actually influenced more by Mexico because Spain administered us by way of Acapulco.

ivoryhut roasted garlic

The photo above shows my new favorite way of roasting garlic. I was glad I discovered it before making this recipe, because honestly, as much as I love roasted garlic, I find the traditional method a pain to go through. I know, I know. It’s not that difficult to wrap a whole head of garlic in foil, drizzle it with oil, then stick it in the oven for 30-45 minutes. But I admit that I’m usually too impatient to do it and will sometimes choose not to make a recipe that calls for roasted garlic simply because I don’t want to bother with that extra step. But doing it in a pan takes a mere 5 or so minutes, and I’ve since used the same method for hummus and roasted garlic spread.

As with any ceviche, you have to start with the freshest ingredients. I’ve also successfully used frozen bay scallops for this, but I prefer the taste and texture of the larger sea scallops. For the tropical fruit, I used a mixture of ripe papaya and jackfruit, finely diced. And finally, I suggest you start with one chipotle pepper and check the heat level first before adding another one. If you use two peppers, this will be quite spicy.


Tropical Beach Ceviche
from Rick Bayless
Serves 6


8 ounces raw scallops, sliced
1 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1 – 2 chipotles in adobo sauce
4 cloves garlic, roasted
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup finely diced red onions
1 cup finely diced tropical fruit
1 cup finely diced jicama

Marinate the scallops in the grapefruit juice for 45 minutes. Drain, reserving 2/3 cup of the liquid. Blend the reserved juice, chipotles, roasted garlic, and brown sugar. Mix with the scallops, red onions, fruit, and jicama. Serve immediately.

ivoryhut tropical beach ceviche

Thank you, Rick Bayless, for an excellent recipe. You really do know where the fiestas are at.

This is a ceviche like I’ve never had before, and it’s fast becoming my ceviche of choice. It’s incredibly easy and trust me, serve this at your next gathering and your guests will be duly impressed.


12 Responses to Tropical Beach Ceviche
  1. Paula
    August 28, 2010 | 5:36 am

    wow, can`t wait to try this! that colour is awesome!

  2. JenniferA
    August 28, 2010 | 12:36 pm

    I have only tried ceviche once but I was very intrigued. I have been a little scared to try it myself, but if you and Rick Bayless say it is okay, it must be!

  3. Amy
    August 30, 2010 | 9:11 am

    Yum! I’ve only had conch ceviche fresh out of the water. It was fantastic but a little too spicy. Have never thought about making it at home, but may just have to surprise my seafood loving hubby with this one.

  4. Brooke
    August 30, 2010 | 9:32 am

    Yum. I’m a big fan of crawfish seviche they serve in a Mayan restaurant in town.

  5. Tracy
    August 31, 2010 | 9:43 am

    What a gorgeous dish! I’ve never had ceviche before so I will definitely have to try yours. :-)

  6. Liam O'Malley
    August 31, 2010 | 10:54 am

    I love a good ceviche.. I always thought it was raw until recently learning about the science behind the acid actually cooking the food a bit – pretty fascinating imo. I love stuff like that.

  7. LimeCake
    August 31, 2010 | 8:23 pm

    that’s a really neat idea with the garlic. I’m going to try that! your ceviche looks vibrant and delicious!

  8. Pam @ Cookingworld
    September 2, 2010 | 1:22 am

    I love Rick Bayless! He is simply amazing. I love how you displayed Ceviche in elegant way!

    I am vegetarian so I wonder if i can modify and make it without the seafood? I wonder….

    • Brian
      March 29, 2011 | 2:50 pm

      Not sure if anyone has said this, but try mushroom ceviche. I hear it is great.

  9. Sean
    September 5, 2010 | 7:49 pm

    Just found your blog through! I made this too!

    You’re right, it’s a really good ceviche, even when butchered the way I did. I was participating in the contest also, but won in week 4 with the Chipotle Glazed ribs.

    @Pam: I’d definitely delete the scallops and just eat it like a yummy salsa if you’re vegetarian. It’d be amazing with chips.

  10. Juana Lotze
    June 4, 2011 | 11:34 am

    It’s is my 1st time to the site,Fantastic post! You’ve created many really interesting statements and I enjoy the time you’ve taken within your composing. It’s clear to find out that you purely have an understanding of what you are talking about. I’m researching frontward to studying a lot more of your web sites content material. Nice share!

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I write, cook, play music, and make pictures. Not necessarily in that order. I was born and raised in the Philippines, and it shows. That means I eat rice with every meal, love my cousins like my own siblings, and firmly believe that avocados are best eaten with cream and sugar.

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One summer night in 2010, our house burned to the ground and we lost everything we had. This is the story of what happened and how life and hope can always rise from ashes.