It's not everyday your dinner falls into your lap.
Just over a week, Ruth and I drove out to Murdering Beach, just north of Dunedin for a run. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, our only company on the beach were circling seagulls and lapping waves. We had only run one length of the beach when out of the corner of my eye I saw splashing at the edge of the water.
Was it a shark?? Was it a sea monster??? Oh no, that splashing turned out to be a humongous silvery fish - very alive but very stuck on its side, at the edge of the lapping waves. Holy mackerel! We literally caught the fish with our bare hands and took it home for tea - no floundering around! (Full credit to Ruth who actually did all the grunt work - Go Hunter Gatherer Woman!)
Fishing had never been so easy.
Google images helped us identify the catch of the day as a Skipjack Tuna. Youtube helped us work out how to fillet it. Oh the glorious interweb.
Even with youtube's help, I don't think we would make the cut at a fishmongers...we ended up almost butchering the poor thing.
We had some as sashimi and some as Tuna Ceviche with Coconut Milk, Coriander and Pickled Red Onions, a dish inspired by the Samoan dish "Oka I'a". It's basically a ceviche where the fish is "cooked" by marinating it in lemon juice and salt. The result is something pretty amazing: the fish ends up with a texture halfway between cooked fish and sashimi (raw fish), and bathed in a coconutty creamy sweet and sour sauce lifted with a zing of fresh coriander. It's fresh, light and summery and a total breeze to throw together.
The picked red onions, are also a great accompaniment to curries, salads or cheese.
Even Ruth and Greg, who don't usually like raw fish, loved this dish! You could say they fell for it hook, line and sinker. So I would totally recommend those who have been wanting to try raw seafood to give this dish a go as a halfway house.
Just give it a go for the halibut. Oh I crack myself up.
Tuna Ceviche with Coconut Milk, Coriander and Picked Red Onions
500g fresh tuna, or any firm white fish fillets (like trevally), cut into 2 cm cubed
1 teaspoon salt
zest and 1/2 cup lemon juice (~3 lemons)
zest and juice of 1 lime
2 tomatoes diced and seeded
400ml coconut milk (light works just as well, or you could go all out and use coconut cream)
large handful of coriander, roughly chopped
1 small red chilli chopped
1 capsicum diced
1/2 cucumber, seeded and diced
Picked red onions
1 large red onion, very finely sliced (use a mandolin if you are lucky enough to have one)
2 Tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt (or 1/2 teaspoon normal salt)
3 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
1. In a large bowl, add the fish, 1 tsp salt, lemon juice and lime juice. Mix well and let it sit in the fridge for 1 - 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
2. In a separate bowl, mix the red onion, sugar, salt and rice wine vinegar/lemon juice and let that sit for an hour as well.
3. Add the coconut cream, tomatoes, chilli coriander, capsicum and cucumber to the marinated fish. Add the red onion and all the juices of the picked red onion. Mix well and serve cool over rice with a fresh leafy salad.