Food

Chef Anthony Cittum's Ceviche Recipe

The tastiest science project we've ever published.
IMAGE Esquire US
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Esquire reporter Francine Maroukian talks to Chef Anthony Cittum of Iron Gate for the best way to prep a ceviche with blood orange. It's a science so make sure to pay attention.

Prep the salad ingredients first so you aren’t rushing through them during the fish’s short marinate time.

  • 1 small fennel bulb
  • 1 blood orange, peeled, with as much of the pith removed as possible
  • 8 Castelvetrano olives (or other mild oil-cured Sicilian green olive), cut away from pits in quarters
  • 2 tbsp capers, rinsed
  • 6 fresh mint leaves, torn or snipped into ribbons

Remove the fronds from the top of the fennel, roughly chop about 1 tbsp worth, and set aside. Pick about 8 more fronds, but leave them whole and set aside. Discard the fennel bulb's tough outer layer and slice it as thinly as you can. Cut four 1/4-inch slices from the blood orange (reserve the rest) and cut each slice in half to form 8 half-moon-shaped sections. Set these aside.

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  • 12- to-14-oz deboned striped bass, skinned and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp tangerine juice
  • Sea salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp quality olive oil

Place the diced fish in a bowl, mix in lemon juice, tangerine juice, and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Mix very well. Refrigerate. After five minutes, the mixture will have thickened and coated the fish, and the fish should be whiter in color. Remove from the refrigerator.

When the fish is ready, fold the sliced fennel into the marinated fish. Fold in 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, chopped fennel fronds, olives, capers, and mint. Taste, then adjust the salt and pepper as needed.

To plate: Portion the ceviche onto four small plates. Squeeze the juice from the uncut section of the blood orange and drizzle it around each serving. Drizzle the remaining 1/2 tbsp olive oil and garnish with the oranges and fennel fronds. Sprinkle with sea salt.

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Eat now. Serves 4.


How to skin a fish

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  • Buying skin-on fish lets you see how it was treated, because you can check the skin for blemishes or discoloration. It should be shiny and smooth. Skin also protects the delicate flesh from direct contact with ice displays.
  • Without cutting through the skin, make a cut about a half inch from the tail straight down.
  • Angle the heel of the blade to 20 degrees while holding the tail with your other hand. Using a fluid motion, pull the knife toward you from heel to tip while moving down the body of the fish.
  • As the knife moves away from the tail, use your other hand to gently pull the flesh up and away from the skin as you slice.
  • After you’ve completed a stroke, lift the fish, place the heel of the knife at the point where the skin and fish are still joined, and start again, using long smooth slices. Pinkie extension optional.

This article originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of Esquire Philippines. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Francine Maroukian
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