Hold the beer batter

PETER MEIER spreads his net to snare an international catch

Hold the beer batter

Ceviche serves 4

Seafood eaten raw is an acquired taste for many, but in certain countries it forms part of the everyday diet – and offers some classic dishes for international consumption.

Gravlax is a popular dish throughout Scandinavia. Slabs of raw salmon fillet are cured in a mixture of rock salt, sugar and dill then served thinly sliced with a variety of accompaniments.

A favourite through the Polynesian islands is poisson cru – a French term meaning raw fish, in which cubed pieces of raw, slightly oily fish such as Cod, Mackeral or Shark are marinated in lime juice then mixed with chopped capsicums, tomatoes, onions and hard-boiled eggs in a rich coriander and chilli-seasons coconut cream.

A somewhat similar dish, but with a totally different dressing, is ceviche. Popular in Mexico, the recipe is probably Spanish in origin, going back to the days when the Spanish conquered Mexic. Traditionally, it is served accompanied by guacamole.


  • 400g blue eye cod or some other firm=fleshed, which fish like Snapper, cur ito 3cm cubes
  • 100ml lemon juice
  • 1 small red capsicum, cored and diced
  • 1 small yellow capsicum, cored and diced
  • 2 ripe, but firm, roma tomaotoes, diced
  • 1 medium Spanish onion, diced
  • 1 dozen green olives, diced
  • 2 stems of green shallots, coarsely chopped including the green part
  • 1 small bunch of coriander, leaves coarsely torn and stems finely chopped
  • 2 tblsp ginger, chopped



  • 2 tblsp light olive oil
  • 2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tblsp white wine vinegar
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Chilli, finely chopped to one’s taste


Put fish in a ceramic or stainless steel bowl, pour over the lemon juice, combine well, cover with cling wrap and leave to cure in the refrigerator for two hours. Strain fish and pat pieces dry with a paper towel.
Combine dressing ingredients and coriander stems, mix well. Place fish and remaining ingredients in a bowl, pour over dressing. Toss lightly.
Serve ice cold in chilled plates or, as it is traditionally served in Mexico, in individual deep glass bowls farnished with sprigs of coriander.


  • Article first published in the Sunday Star Telegraph, 8 October 2000.  To view or download PDF of this feature CLICK THIS LINK —> Hold the beer batter