My dear friend Pilar lives in Madrid, Spain. I lived there for a year and — just by chance my study abroad program placed me in her apartment. We became close friends instantly and we felt like sisters. Everyone actually thought we were sisters — twins even!
I’ve been back to visit her a few times over the years, and she’s been here, but it’s been about seven years now since we’ve seen each other, and I don’t know when we last spoke. Even so, I feel like we talked this morning, and if I saw her tonight for dinner, it would seem as if no time had passed.
I can’t eat shrimp in any form without thinking of Aguadulce in the south of Spain, where Pilar’s family has a home. In the summer, we’d sit by the beach and eat unbelievably fresh shrimp right out of the shell — practically right out of the ocean!
While this ceviche is made up of several ingredients, it has that super refreshing quality I love when I eat shrimp. It’s the perfect first course or appetizer for your Cinco de Mayo festivities this weekend!
(Clearly Spain has nothing to do with Cinco de Mayo, but really I’m all about the shrimp here!)
- ½ cup fresh lime juice (from about 3 limes)
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- ¾-pound fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined, and finely chopped
- ⅓ cup finely chopped tomatillo (about 1 large tomatillo)
- ⅓ cup finely chopped tomato, seeds removed (about 1 medium-sized tomato)
- ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 tablespoon super finely chopped Serrano pepper, seeds removed
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- Mix the lime and orange juice in a medium-sized glass bowl. Add the shrimp, cover with plastic wrap, and let it marinate for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator.
- Remove the marinating shrimp from the refrigerator and gently mix in the tomatillo, tomato, onion, pepper and cilantro, cover and return to the refrigerator to marinate for about 1 more hour, or until the shrimp appears to be "cooked." It should be completely opaque and slightly pink.
- Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season generously to taste with salt and pepper.
Are you wondering how the shrimp in the ceviche is "cooked?" Wonder no more! The acid from the citrus actually changes the structure of the proteins in the seafood, essentially "cooking" it without using heat.