Bubba said, “Shrimp is the fruit of the sea.” Lindsay says: “By golly, truer words have never been spoken!”
However, Bubs, I believe you were a bit negligent when you detailed different shrimp dishes for Forrest (“Dey’s uh, shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan-fried, deep-fried, stir-fried…”). In the four days that you droned on about nothing other than shrimp, how exactly did you forget to mention the ever-so-tantalizing shrimp ceviche? You’ve left me with no other choice than to talk about it here.
Piggybacking on both my last entry and Bubba’s incomplete train of thought, here is the long-awaited recipe for Ecuadorian ceviche de camarones (shrimp ceviche). My friend’s mom is part Ecuadorian, and she has graciously agreed to disclose her famous recipe to us. About a year ago, my friend described the dish to me for the first time. As she reminisced about eating it, my mouth watered and I couldn’t wait to get my grubby paws on the recipe. Without further ado, here it is!
Ceviche Ecuatoriano a la Manabita
- ½ white onion thinly sliced
- ½ red onion thinly sliced
- 3-4 green onions, sliced
- ½ bunch cilantro, chopped
- 2 pounds cooked medium shrimp (see note below)*
- 5-6 large limes, juiced + more cut up for garnish and taste
- 1-2 large lemons, juiced
- 1-2 Valencia oranges, juiced
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1 ½ tablespoons ketchup
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
For garnish, put in little bowls:
- chopped tomatoes
- chopped red peppers
- chopped jalapeños or any hot chilies
- avocado chunks
- lime slices
- bottled Louisiana hot sauce
- Put the thinly sliced white and red onions in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let cool down while you prepare the rest.
- *Cook small batches of the peeled and deveined shrimp in a very small amount of salted water. Remove each batch as soon as the shrimp turns pink. Keep cooking more shrimp in the same water and reserve this shrimp water for later.
- Let the shrimp cool down completely and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Mix lime, lemon, and orange juices with the mustard, ketchup, salt, pepper and sugar. The mixture should be balanced, and the taste of the ketchup and mustard should not be overbearing. If one taste is more predominant, add more lime juice to adjust the flavor.
- Add white and red onions after cooling and draining them. Add the chopped green onions and cilantro, being sure to reserve some for garnish. Keep tasting mixture and adjust if you feel it’s not balanced.
- Add some of the reserved shrimp water. The water that settles at the bottom has more shrimp flavor. You should add no more than a ¼ cup of the shrimp essence.
- A half hour before serving, add the shrimp. Put out garnish bowls with the ceviche so people can add what they’d like.