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Friday, February 15, 2008

Kona kampachi Ceviche: Recipe

TKona kampachi ceviche
I know, it's February and I ought to be singing the praises of cabbage and turnips but frankly I'm not in the mood. The sun is shining, the weather is warm and I feel like celebrating with something tropical and refreshing. I need a break from Winter. Right now. And ceviche is just the ticket.

Knowing that the ocean's resources are rapidly being depleted, we should all be concerned with the sustainability of our seafood. The problem with seafood harvested in the wild is that it has the potential to drop below sustainable levels. You probably know what has happened to cod populations and tuna may not be far behind. Also in some instances the pollution and chemical levels in wild fish is not very healthy. On the other hand some farmed seafood practices can lead to pollution and disease which can harm wild populations. There is no hard and fast rule. In some instances we should buy wild, in other instances farmed seafood.

Kona Blue, the company that produces Kona kampachi was founded by two marine biologists who wanted to find a way to raise fish that would be healthy for the the ocean, the fish and for human consumption. For me, tilapia is mealy and bland though inexpensive and sustainable. While Kona kampachi is relatively expensive, it's worth every penny. Similar to a type of Jack or Kahala, it's high in healthy fat, has fantastic moist firm texture and luscious flavor. While it is not local, the company is looking into different locations around the world to minimize shipping distances and lower cost.They are also working to help establish organic standards for farmed seafood.

I've had the chance to try this fish cooked and raw and while it's good cooked, it's just amazing raw. I hesitate to give a recipe for ceviche because you really should make it to taste. This is how I make it, but by all means, add, subtract, experiment and make something yummy. I tried it with red chile flake, with yuzu kosho and with a combination of both and it was delicious every which way. Chilling the fish to make it easy to dice.

Kona kampachi Ceviche
makes 2 cups


1 cup Kona kampachi, diced (about 6 ounces)
3/4 cup corn, cooked (fresh or good quality canned or frozen)
1/2 avocado, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped (or more to taste)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil (I used a blood orange olive oil for more flavor)
1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes, fresh chile, yuzu kosho or combination.


Gently combine all the ingredients and allow the fish to marinate for at least 10 minutes. Serve with plenty of tortilla chips.