Ceviche of Cod

With Cucumber Lime, Tomatillo, Basil and Mint


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in



By Peter Gordon

Published 2005

  • About

Ceviche – fish ‘cooked’ in a marinade of citrus juice – can be made from almost any fish, but fish fillets that are too thin can fall apart and look a little sad. Ideally, choose a sustainable fish that has some grunt to it, something with generous flakes and flavour, such as haddock or snapper.

Tomatillos, also known as Mexican tomatoes, are actually close relatives of the cape gooseberry or physalis fruit. Round and green, sometimes ripening to yellow, they have a delicious flavour of lemons and apples. Increasingly widely available here, like their fruity relative they come shrouded in a protective husk that needs to be removed.

This is the perfect summer meal to follow a bowl of chilled gazpacho.


  • 600 g cod fillet, skin and any small bones removed
  • 1 teaspoon of finely grated zest and 100 ml juice from 3–4 juicy limes
  • sea salt
  • 1 cucumber, about 25 cm long
  • 3 large tomatillos, husks and stems removed
  • ½ red or green chilli (the heat level is up to you), finely chopped
  • 1 grapefruit, peeled and segmented
  • handful of basil
  • small handful of small Thai basil leaves
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced and rinsed in cold water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Cut the cod fillet into strips about 2 cm thick, then cut these into cubes and place in a non-reactive bowl. Add half the lime zest, half the juice and ¼ teaspoon of salt, and mix well. Cover and place in the fridge for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, peel the cucumber and slice lengthways, then scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon and discard. Cut the cucumber into rough 2 cm cubes and mix in a bowl with ½ teaspoon of salt. Toss well, cover and place in the fridge.

About 20 minutes before serving, take the fish and cucumber from the fridge. Carefully tip the fish into a colander and discard the juices that run from it. Drain the liquid from the cucumber, rinse it briefly under cold water and then tip on top of the fish and leave them both to drain for 5 minutes.

Cut the tomatillos into slices about ½ cm thick, then toss with a teaspoon of the lime juice, a few pinches of salt and the chilli.

Put the fish mixture into a clean bowl, add the remaining lime zest and juice, together with the chillies and tomatillos, and mix together. Cover again and put in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Just before serving, add the grapefruit, basil, Thai basil, spring onions and olive oil, and mix gently. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary, then divide between 4 bowls.