Triggerfish Happy


If you fish in Florida you know what a triggerfish is.  And if you’ve been offshore fishing you have probably caught one, or two, or whatever the limit is because there’s lots of them. And when you have a husband who offshore fishes every weekend, you get creative with the triggerfish.   So today I bring you triggerfish ceviche.   Crunchy and soft, tart yet sweet, and oh so satisfying when the heat index is 103.


But before we get to the recipe, allow me to digress about a recent trip that inspired this ceviche.  Last week my husband and I were in Key West for vacation and ate our way through South America via ceviche.  Cuba to Peru, each versions was devoured.  Not one meal passed where we didn’t eat ceviche.  And I was oh so happy because ceviche is one of my favorites.

But I must admit, as much as I love it, I have never made it myself.  It intimidates me.  I assumed, like in restaurants, ceviche isn’t ceviche without octopus or conch or tuna or scallops involved.  And acid cooking worries me because I don’t want to make anyone sick.  So I just order at restaurants and savor the deliciousness.   So imagine my surprise when my friend makes triggerfish ceviche after the boys come back from a fishing trip.  And it was so easy.


I have been percolating on my perfect triggerfish ceviche since this revelation, and have relished in the ceviche test batches all week long while Jasper has watched (see picture above).  So here it is, a recipe for you fellow ceviche lovers with too much triggerfish, adapted from my favorite ceviches eaten throughout Florida,  from Jacksonville to Key West.

*For those who are not familiar with triggerfish it is a firm, white; you can substitute any firm white fish for this recipe.*


1-2 fresh triggerfish fillets in medium dice

2-3 limes

1-2 lemons

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 minced jalapeño

1 thinly sliced radish

  1. Juice limes and lemon into a bowl.
  2. Add the onion, jalapeño, radish and salt to taste.  Let marinate while you dice your triggerfish.
  3. Add triggerfish cubes and toss with other ingredients.
  4. Gently press the fish into the bottom of the bowl so that the fish is covered with the citrus juices.  Add more juice if needed to cover fish.
  5. Once covered allow the fish to marinate in the citrus for a minimum of 15 minutes.
  6. Enjoy eaten alone or with corn chips

*Ceviche is best after 15-30 minutes of acid cooking, but it is perfectly edible if cooked longer.  Refrigerate if you are allowing to cook longer than 30 minutes.


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