Thursday, March 11, 2010
Tofu “Ceviche” Peruvian Style
Eating Ian’s food last night made me think of one of my favorite dishes he makes when the weather turns warm. There is nothing like his Rockfish Ceviche Peruvian style, which must have been inspired by his latina wife. This has always been a favorite of ours. I considered using jackfruit and hearts of palm but in the end decided to use tofu to provide protein. Next time I may add one or the other for the textural variation.
For those of you that don’t know what ceviche is I will explain. You take seafood, normally a mild white fish (sea bass or scallop are used quite often) and denature the protein with citrus (usually lime but it can also be lemon). The acid will actually turn the fish from opaque to white and the texture will change from soft to firm, as though it is cooked. It is a great dish for the warm weather since it is served cold and is light. Peruvian ceviche is different from the usual variety we see in the US due to the inclusion of sweet potatoes and corn. You can make this dish as mild or hot as you choose depending on the heat of the pepper you add. If you like it really spicy (like I do) add some cayenne for a little extra zip. I intentionally added more veggies in this dish than it normally contains. This was done for both nutrition and to make this more of a one dish meal.
Tofu doesn’t need to be “cooked” like seafood. You are using the marinade to flavor the tofu in the style of ceviche. The texture of the tofu won't change from being marinated like fish does. For those of you that don’t like the texture of raw tofu, you may want to skip this recipe. But I hope you give it a try. Here is what I made today.
Tofu “Ceviche” Peruvian Style
5 limes, juiced (3/4 cup of lime juice)
1 teaspoon coriander seed, ground
1 teaspoon cumin seed, ground
¼ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1 jalapeno, finely minced (leave out the seeds if you want it milder or use serrano or habanero if you like heat)
1 clove garlic, smashed, peeled and finely minced
2 tablespoons onion, peeled and thinly sliced (red onion is the prettiest but any will do) or substitute thinly sliced green onion
14 ounces extra firm tofu, cut into small pieces (somewhere between ¼ and ½ inch bits)
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes (approximately ¼ inch or less)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely minced
1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely minced (substitute parsley if you think cilantro tastes soapy)
freshly ground black pepper and/or cayenne, to taste - optional
Combine the lime juice, coriander, cumin and salt and whisk to combine. Add the jalapeno, garlic, onion and tofu and refrigerate in a covered container. Turn the container often to make certain all the tofu has a chance to absorb the seasonings. You want to marinate the tofu for at least 5 hours, but 8 hours is not too much.
Steam the sweet potato until soft and cool to room temperature, or refrigerate.
When it is time to serve the ceviche drain the marinated tofu add the remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine. To serve drain the liquid (mostly it doesn’t have be dry) from the tofu and serve it on greens (romaine or butter lettuce leaves) or with corn tortillas, crispy wonton crisps or crunchy pita triangles. Be certain to taste the ceviche for seasoning before serving. You may have to correct it for your taste. I added a little black pepper and cayenne.
If you have any leftovers store it without the lime juice. The lime juice will soften the veggies too much if they are in the citrus too long.
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 225.34
Calories From Fat (32%) - 71.28
Total Fat - 8.53g
Saturated Fat- 0.81g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 199.12mg
Potassium - 613.18mg
Total Carbohydrates - 26.43g
Fiber - 4.72g
Sugar - 5.04g
Protein - 16.1g
How does this compare to ceviche with fish? Well, it is definitely tofu and not fish. But it does hit the same flavors as ceviche, which made me happy. When we first went vegan I don’t think this would have been close enough to the original for me. Our tastes have changed now and this worked out just fine with me. Even my hubby, the guy who does not love tofu, thought this was good. Sounds like a success to me.
Today has been a long day so this will be my last post this evening. I didn't get everything accomplished that I had planned. Oh well, tomorrow brings another opportunity. I will be back tomorrow once I exercise and go to the grocery store. Have a great evening and talk to tomorrow.