3/4 pound sushi A-grade yellowfin tuna
2 medium shallots, peeled and minced
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into fine dice
1 serrano chile, trimmed, seeded and cut into fine dice
1/2 bunch scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced on a diagonal
Fine sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
Juice of 1 lime
2/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk (see note)
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves removed, cut crosswise into fine ribbons (chiffonade)
2 sprigs of fresh mint, leaves removed, cut crosswise into fine ribbons (chiffonade)
Trim away any sinew from the tuna. Cut the tuna into neat 1/4-inch dice, and put in a medium stainless bowl. Add the shallots, pepper, chile and scallions. Season well with salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne. Add the lemon and lime juices, coconut milk, cilantro and mint and combine gently. Marinate for 2-3 minutes. Check seasoning. Serve immediately.
To make ahead, simply refrigerate the tuna until guests arrive. Have the vegetables ready (store the serrano separately from the others). Toss, then create the marinade and stir it fresh for your guests. Serve with pita crisps or a sturdy corn chip, if serving as an hors d’oeuvre.
Note: Because the tuna is cut in a small dice, it marinates very quickly. It doesn’t have to sit for a long time, as a more traditional method of preparing ceviche requires. Unsweetened coconut milk is available at Asian groceries.
Wine suggestion: Viognier
Adapted slightly from “The Manhattan Ocean Club Seafood Cookbook” by Jonathan Parker