Episode 21 :: Ceviche


My first taste of real Mexican street food made an indelible impression on my attitude towards the cuisine of our neighbors to the South.  It wasn’t the simple carne asada tacos that impressed me as much as it was a simple plastic cup of chilled fish salad, better known as Ceviche. Fresh white fish, cubed and cooked with fresh citrus juice, chopped fresh tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, and yellow bell peppers.  To this day, it remains my favorite Mexican dish, and a perfect Summer appetizer.  So I’m celebrating my love affair with this simple cup of fish salad.  Join me as I reminisce about my first trip to Mexico, and my first taste of real Mexican food.

Listen now.

Also in this episode:
The Lost Abbey – Carnevale Farmhouse Saison
• Emeril Legasse finds a new home on Fine Living Network
• NPR report on the new School Lunch programs in France
• A complete recap of the 2008 Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Championship
• A clip from Mario Batali’s “Unclogged” on how to properly sauce pasta
• SIDT’s ultimate weekend getaway contest – Enter Now!

Music in this episode “Someone Must Get Hurt” by She Wants Revenge.  Get it in the iTunes Store.

Listen to Episode 21 here, and download the recipe for the ceviche.

Thank you for your continued support of My Life as a Foodie.


  1. I love Stephen Colbert! “literally crap gold!”

    Thanks for the contest pimp dude! I can’t believe they canned Emiril either dude, he basically put them on the map. Maybe he is losing ratings?? Shit, school lunches for 3 bucks, that is great, i’m impressed with that guy.

    I really need to revisit some farmhouse ales, not a big fan at this time.

    Great fish shopping tips dude, live by that!

    Rachel Ray is annoying but again, with a boob job she would be smokin’ She would look better with duct tape on her mouth though…

    I always thought “competitive eating” was a bit stupid, how the fuck is being a glutton a sport? Ruled over the years by a japanese kid btw! That is just one big commercial for Nathan’s hot dogs.

    Show was waaaay too long btw! Just kidding dude, great show once again!

  2. Thanks for your post, Sick. Rachael Ray with duct tape on her mouth may just make her look much more frightening, but at least she wouldn’t be saying “Yum-O!” as much.

    Like I said, if they want to see a real competitive eater, they should invite my cat Clarke over for a tuna eat-off. He’ll show them all how it’s done.

  3. Hey Phil, great show. At first I was going to say to lighten up about the hot dog eating contest, but you make a pretty good point about the world hunger situation and food shortages. I think this was just a way for people to blow off steam on the 4th of July.

  4. Thanks for pimpin Phil!

    It’s not just grade schools but high schools and colleges that fight for the lowest bidder. Parents freak out about anything other than the “norm” because they ,themselves, are uneducated about it. I see this many times in my family. Anything with butter or oil will give you high cholesterol. chicken, even if baked, will make you fat just cuz. Cooking with beer will make kids alcoholics. You know, those kinda people.

    SIDT loves Fantôme! We drink it a lot at Jekyl and Hyde’s on Pittsburgh’s South Side

    Now see I had no idea that’s how you’re supposed to shop for fish. Then again I rarely eat it but now I can seem all smarts when I’m with Lushie.

    I can see absolutely see your point of view on this but I’m a fan of Joey Chestnut. I laugh about this “sport” because they try so hard to make this the most coveted prize in all of sports. Kinda like Rock Paper Scissors. I view it as everyone has a talent and for them it’s controlling acid reflux. ANY chance that we, as Americans, can claim some title boasting that we’re #1 we’re gonna make it a production.

    I’m bookmarking that Serious Eats site.

    Thanks again for a great Episode!

  5. Another enjoyable show. Talk about FOOD PORN! I want to eat that picture. 😉 Is the fish raw, or does the lemon juice actually cook it?

  6. Thanks for the replies, everyone.

    Leitch, the fish is cooked by the lemon and lime juice, and I should mention that you can use all lemon or all lime juice, but the combination of the two is best. It’s cooked by the citrus acid, but just through, so it never sees heat. This is why you want to make sure you’re getting fresh fish. It won’t stink, and it’s safe to eat this way. As a general rule, you should try to buy fresh fish anyway no matter how you’re cooking it.

    Spoon, I totally see your point with Chestnut. I liked him the minute he laughed at that reporter for asking him what kind of “athlete” he was. Good luck with your Weekend in Erie Giveaway!

    And Andy, thanks for posting again. I thought I’d run you off. 🙂 Yes, I know I was a bit too overanalytical of the eating competition, but at this point I feel it’s a bit much while we have serious issues happening, but I see the need for people to let their hair down, especially on the 4th.

    Cheers, and thanks again.


  7. Phil,

    Loved your long… hard… commentary. I was on vacation and could not comment the last few shows. But I am back with a vengence. I was thinking about what you were saying and I have a few things I wanted to comment on.

    First, I think it is a bit easier over here to produce gormet meals. One reason is that the food is a bit cheaper and is distributed a bit differently. Second, our schools are not as large as yours are. My daughter is in a school that only has 50 students and they get their food catered. The caterer is local and uses local ingrediants and tries to keep the menu at about 60% organically produced.

    Second, our children walk farther. The rules over here are anything over 3 km, need transportation. My daughter usually takes her bike to school, or if the weather is nice she will walk with her girlfriend. I personally, walk 15 minutes to the train station, then when I get to Mannheim, I walk another half-hour to get to the job. 1 1/2 hours of walking every day. I personally think that is the only reason I am not a big load.

    I think if the schools were not so large in America the chance for a more organized menu would not be as hard. Plus, I am on the PTA commitee and pushed for the particular caterer that they use. It costs, €1.80 per day w/o drinks. We have a slush fund for drinks.

    That business with the hotdog contest had me rolling on the floor. I was laughing so hard that people were starring at me on the train.

    I cannot wait to go to the fishmonger, I am thinking of using snapper. Looks really refreshing. I keep trying to get my wife to try Mexican food, this looks as though it could be a gateway. Her idea of Mexican food is the greasy burritos she had in Florida one time on vacation. This recipe will help prove that wrong.

    Again, loved your show.

    Take care,

  8. Ceviche is one of my favorites. Ceviche or seviche is actually a Mediterranean method of preserving raw fish. My wife has had it in Spain but it’s called escabeche there. Same thing. Marinated fish.

    Love the show. The Hot Dog Eating had me laughing pretty good. Lighten up. 😉

  9. Thanks for the clarification, Paul, and thanks for listening. I figured there had to be some Spanish influence in this dish somewhere. Didn’t know about the Escabeche.

    Kirk, again you come through with a well thought-out post. Awesome stuff! Thank you for some incredible commentary yourself. 🙂

    I see your points on the differences between school programs here and in Europe. I have doubts if there’s any chance of us adopting a lifestyle similar to those in Europe, but I will always hope for that. If we could manage to slow down a little, and enjoy life in a simpler fashion, adopt a little tolerance – I think we would certainly all see change for the better here both physically and mentally.

    Who am I kidding? There is no such thing as “The Shire,” but if there was, I’m sure we’d have developers bulldozing it, and building high rise condos on it, complete with a mini-mall full of fast food restaurants and Target stores.

    All hope is gone. 😦 Wow, that was quick.

    Thanks again for your kind words, for listening, and for your always insightful posts.

  10. Holy shit was the hot dog eating thing for real? Those announcers were funny as hell. Loved listening to that. Your commentary was great.

    Can’t say I’m much into eating raw fish, or raw anything even. Just seems that things should be cooked a little bit before I should eat it. It does look interesting tho.

    Good show!


  11. It was the Food Network’s idea to drop Emeril! I’m not a big fan, but I’m glad he’s found a spot. Mario seems to be doing o.k. on Fine Living….plus, Mario has a travel-food small series coming up on the Travel Channel. The Food Network needs to get rid of honcho Tuschman (?) before things will improve there.

  12. I am not a big fish eater. Your story about your wife’s father feeding her fish for a week reminds me of my grandfather. When I was little he would always fix salmon patties for me. It worked the opposite. I can’t turn down a salmon patty thanks to him. Had the pleasure of drinking some Lost Abbey stuff on GBS 157. It is killer.

    The hot dog eating competition was sickening. Keep up the well-produced shows. I enjoy them very much.

    Clink and Eat

  13. Very good show, lots of topics! Love the recipe, and I’ll try it soon.

    Interesting discussion about the school lunch programs here in the US. Thing is, school lunches are either paid for by the students or federally financed – mostly the latter. And, the school lunch program -is- federally mandated. Legally, the program must be retained and there would be no cost savings in eliminating it in any event.

    Regarding these same programs in prisons: not that soup and sandwiches would be significantly cheaper but unhappy inmates constitute a security concern and I suspect any changes would increase the inmate unhappiness level. Any savings in the kitchen would be more than offset with increased security and medical costs – and likely increased disability claims (for both stress and physical injury) by prison staff.

    Just my 2 cents.

  14. Hi Phil

    Enjoyed your show. I just love Mario. So happy to see that he’s on Serious Eats.

    I prefer the results achieved by saucing a warmed plate as though it were a round of unbaked pizza dough. Add a high mound of pasta then patterning the pasta with more sauce and garnishing with parsely, basil, gratings of cheese. Maybe I just like the passion evoked by the sight of a few wispy stray strands of untouched naked pasta peeking out, arouses my appetite. Can there be such a thing as Virgin Pasta Puttanesca?

    Also, I have had ceviche and I love it so much. Thanks for your recipe.


  15. Phil,
    First I wanted to complement your diatribe in regards to the world of competitive eating. I couple not agree more. It truly looks to me like rubbing the noses of the rest of the world in our affluence. Nicely done. I also would like to refer you to a nice little website called mex-recipies.com, Great recipes and great stories. Also, simply to pump my Uncle’s restaurant but there is some really good food I have had the pleasure of enjoying all my life. http://talitasmexicankitchen.com/. This is a total pimp move,

    I just tried out a new beer brewed by Dundee, there wheat is surprisingly good. They are out of Rochester NY. If you find it, give it a try.

    See you around the horn.

    As always, excellent show,

    Mr. Whiskey

  16. Man, I wish we could be as forward thinking with the school lunches. I went to my son’s school and it was cheese burgers, fries and cookies. I was surprised to see most of the kids drinking water. The school has banned the sugary soft drinks a few years ago.
    I look forward to trying the Ceviche. I hope to try some this weekend. As hot as it is it will go well with the meal on Labor Day.
    I agree with you whole heartedly about Food Network and what they have done. Emeril, and Malto have been my favorites for a long time and it is a shame to get rewarded they way they have.

    Take care bro,

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