Wednesday, December 18, 2013

My Fresh Ceviche + Sashimi Lesson

Up until this point, I was almost convinced that fish came in those perfect cut squares packaged in plastic and styrofoam at the grocery store. Ok – not really. But I had never been up close and personal with my fish before or seen one cleaned for that matter

During my recent trip to the Four Seasons Resort in Punta Mita, Mexico I watched the whole ocean to plate process!  Three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, the resort hosts a presentation featuring ‘The Catch of the Day’. Local fisherman go out the night before or in the early morning to catch local fish and brings their bounty right up to the beaches of the Four Seasons Punta Mita. The chef will purchase the fish and guests can inform the staff of which fish they would like to eat for lunch or dinner and how they would like it prepared. Chef Ramon Bramasco (above) walked us through the different types of fish caught that day.

For villa guests who have access to a full-kitchen, the resort can clean the fish for you and send it to your room for you to prepare at home. It’s a pretty impressive service. The rest of the fish will be integrated into the menus of the resort’s three on-site restaurants. As the hungry journalists that we are, our group was treated to a fish cleaning presentation by Chef Jesus Medina with fresh sashimi and ceviche for lunch. The sashimi lesson occurs on Thursdays only at the resort.

Chef Jesus cut the fish in half, removed the cavity on the inside and took off the head and tail. With a very sharp knife, he removed the bones and using a sharp knife he took the skin off the fish that all that was left was a perfect filet-o-fish. Having gone to med school for a year before pursuing a career in the culinary arts, Jesus had fantastic precision that left nothing on the skin.

The Freshest Sashimi of MY Life – The fish is then sprinkled with a little bit of salt & pepper to enhance the flavours. Do not miss this step – it really does make a big difference in the taste. The sashimi is served with a side of pickled ginger (a palette cleanser) and wasabi (for heat). The fish is so soft and fresh – literally the freshest sashimi I have ever eaten.

Ceviche Anyone? With all this fresh fish at our disposal, Jesus made fresh ceviche searing chunks of fish with lime juice and enhancing it with micro greens, cucumber and tomato. All of the ingredients complimented the fish while allowing its true flavour to shine through. When making ceviche at home, always use a non-reactive bowl to avoid any after taste.
More fresh sashimi made an appearance at our dinner at Bahia Restaurant by Richard Sandoval that night. It was wonderful to eat so much fresh and local food during my visit to the Four Seasons Resort – Punta Mita, Mexico. I’ll be sharing more stories and photos over the next week or two, so stay tuned!

This article by Lisa Ng, first appeared on This Beautiful Day.

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