Cook’s Notes – Making the Flounder Ceviche Recipe

Flounder Ceviche Appetizer Recipe  -  Cooks Notes

Honestly, at its heart, the Flounder Ceviche is small pieces of fish marinated in citrus juices. You can use any type of fresh fish or even shellfish such as lobster or scallops. The key is that it must be as fresh as possible. The rest are complimentary flavorings. The permutations are nearly endless; I suggest searching for “leche de tigre” (“tiger’s milk”) for more information or ideas about how to marinate the fish.

Controlling the marinade controls how spicy or sweet you want to go. Blends of many tropical fruits – oranges, lemons, limes, even pineapples, passionfruit and the like – can make the base of the marinade. I have trouble imagining a ceviche without shallots and cilantro, but that’s just me.

The key is the technique – marinating the fish long enough to change and “cook” the protein without overdoing it and turning it to mush. Find a good recipe to use as a base and branch out from there; you don’t want to introduce risk by having poorly prepared or under”cooked” fish making somebody sick. That said, this is incredibly easy to do right, so don’t be afraid of ceviche. Just because you didn’t turn on the stove doesn’t mean that the result isn’t properly prepared food.

There aren’t really more notes I have for this – it’s the kind of food I like to make when I can get a nice fresh piece of fish and play with each time. I haven’t made the same ceviche twice. Here are some links from resources I trust on ceviche why’s and how’s:

Easy Flounder Ceviche Appetizer Recipe

Easy Fresh Flounder Ceviche

I’ll confess, I had never heard of Ceviche until I went to Belize to photograph a destination wedding a few years ago. We went for an all day boat cruise with Ras Creek off of Caye Caulker, Belize and had a chance to swim with the stingrays among the coral. As part of the experience, Ras dove down and caught a fresh lobster and made Lobster Ceviche on the boat for us to snack on between stops.

I was amazed. I had NO idea you could “cook” seafood with just the acidity of citrus juice! Incredible!

Flounder Ceviche - Prep Items

It doesn’t have to be lobster either. For this ceviche appetizer recipe, we used flounder fillets from PJ Stoops, which Mike picked up at Revival Market. Fresh fish is brought in on Saturday, so Mike tries to make it over there every few weeks to pick some up.

(Our Vermilion Snapper Meuniere was from PJ as well, and you can read more in the Cook’s Notes on the Meuniere on why finding good local suppliers is important.)

Rolling the Oranges to maximize the juice

Mike rolled the oranges to maximize the juice he could get out of them, and then squeezed them by hand over a bowl, catching the seeds that came out.

Hand squeezing the oranges for flounder ceviche

Preparing the flounder ceviche

After combining the juice of 1 orange and 2 lemons and adding the salt, Mike added the Sriracha to taste. How much you add is entirely up to you and the flavor you like. Whisk it together to prep and set it aside.

whisking the citrus juice together for the flounder ceviche


Cutting Shallots

Cutting Shallots - Knife Techniques

Cutting Shallots - Knife Techniques

Prep the shallots, the scallions, and parsley. When Mike cuts shallots, he first cuts them horizontally through all but the end, and then vertically through all but the end, and then minces them. That way, they stay together and are easier to mince.

The Flounder from PJ Stoops, purchased at Revival Market

Flounder prepared for Ceviche

Add to a bowl the scallions and shallots with the flounder cut similarly sized pieces so that they will “cook” evenly.

Preparing Flounder Ceviche

Stir to coat well – you want the fish to be submerged if possible. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 10-15 minutes or until fish is “cooked” (opaque white all the way through). Add the parsley after it has cooked.

Flounder Ceviche with parsley

Now amaze your friends with your “cooked” Ceviche appetizer, which has never touched the stove! (Ok, maybe this is only impressive to me. I clearly need to be more adventurous in my eating.)

You can serve it with tortilla chips, sweet potato chips, or something else crunchy. Delicious!

If you would like to learn more on making Ceviche or get other ideas on fish and ingredients to use, check out the inspiration for this recipe, Ruhlman’s Twenty: 20 Techniques 100 Recipes A Cook’s Manifesto.

Flounder Ceviche Appetizer Recipe

Flounder Ceviche


  • 1 lb. flounder fillets, skinned, cut into 1/2" by 1" or so strips
  • 3 scallions, white and light green part, chopped
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • Juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange
  • Salt to taste (1-2 tsp)
  • Sriracha to taste
  • 2-3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Combine juice of 2 lemons, 1 orange, salt and Sriracha in a small bowl. Whisk to stir well. Set aside.
  2. Combine chopped scallions (both white and light green part), minced shallot and flounder in a large bowl. Stir to combine.
  3. Add liquids, and stir to coat well - you want the fish to be submerged as much as possible. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 10-15 minutes or until fish is "cooked" (opaque white all the way through).
  4. After the fish is cooked, add parsley for garnish.
  5. Serve chilled with tortilla chips, sweet potato chips, or something else crunchy.

Not-the-Cook’s Notes – Toasted Chickpeas

Toasted Chickpeas with Cinnamon and Sugar - the Cooks Notes

Great, I’m being made redundant on our blog. (Kidding!) Since Christine cooked the Toasted Chickpeas with Cinnamon & Sugar herself, here are my notes on other ideas on making them.

This does prove a point, however – Christine is a great cook, but for her it’s always been more of a means-to-an-end. I, on the other hand, love the process. It’s (usually) my zen time to unwind, and it’s a lot of fun. Hopefully, more of you reading this are finding it fun, too. Only a few things to add:

  • Two tablespoons of butter looks like a lot in the pan, but to get even browning, you do need that much. I have had these at restaurants where I guarantee they were deep-fried; we’re avoiding that here, but using one tablespoon of butter can yield in uneven browning. (Still tasty, but not as much.)
  • Rinse the beans and dry them. I’ve rolled them in paper towels before. If you don’t, the water starts to pop and sputter in the hot oil, spraying everywhere. It’s even cooler when the beans pop like popcorn and fly out of the pan. This is the one time I use a splatter screen with pride. (They don’t seem to sputter as bad when cooked with butter.)
  • Chickpeas are a blank canvas. Finish sweet like these, or savory with herbs, pepper, and garlic. Or go nuts and cook them in rendered bacon fat and finish with crispy bacon bits, thyme, and lemon juice. Or, rendered bacon fat / crispy bacon bits / maple syrup. Really, anything goes.

Have fun feeding someone! Be sure to read the recipe post on how Christine made the Toasted Chickpeas with Cinnamon & Sugar.

Toasted Chickpeas with Cinnamon & Sugar

Toasted Chickpeas with Cinnamon & Sugar

When I cut gluten, wheat, bread and all of that from my diet and started doing 4 Hour Body, the one thing I missed was being able to have toast with cinnamon & sugar on it. It was one of my “comfort foods” when I had heartburn, See it here at, to expand your knowledge about this. which is ironic now that I know that wheat was a big source of my heartburn. No wonder it didn’t work, but it definitely tasted good to me at the time!

One day I saw a recipe online somewhere that eventually inspired me to ask Mike if cinnamon & sugar on toasted chickpeas would work because it was one of the few cravings I was still dealing with – turns out it is delicious! Because I like savory mixed in with my sweet, we also add salt on them.

Depending on who you talk to, chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are not Paleo-friendly. Since I eat them rarely and they do not upset my stomach, I have kept them in my diet. They are 4 Hour Body friendly.

Posts on this blog are normally cooked by Mike and photographed by me, but Mike was out of town for work recently, leaving me to fend for myself. I hate to cook normally and will do almost everything to avoid it, but the light was perfect one afternoon so I whipped these up just so I could photograph them!

Ingredients for Toasted Chickpeas

Organic Garbanzo Beans

Cooking with Mike has obviously rubbed off on me; before I prepped the garbanzo beans for cooking, I pulled everything out that I would need for making them.

Rinse and drain the garbanzo beans

Rinse your garbanzo beans well, and allow them to drain while you start to melt the butter.

Melting the butter for toasted chickpeas

I discovered while melting my butter that there is one down side to me being both the cook & the photographer. I stopped paying attention to my butter, and took it from melted to a little bit browned. Oops! It didn’t hurt anything though. I like to think it added to the flavor!

Browned butter by mistake

I have made this in the past with olive oil instead of butter, and I prefer the flavor of butter more. I discovered that it splatters less, and with the chickpeas well drained they did not try to pop themselves out of the pan on me.

Toasted chickpeas toasting in the butter

Garbanzo beans with cinnamon and sugar

Toasted Chickpeas

I let the chickpeas cook until they reached the golden brown that I was looking for – not too burnt, but nice and crisp. Most of the butter was gone from the pan by the time I reached that point.

I then placed the chickpeas in a bowl, and tossed them with cinnamon, sugar & salt to taste. I prefer to do this in a bowl and off of the heat so that the sugar does not burn in the pan in to little clumps of charred caramel. I made that mistake before, and it isn’t tasty!

Toasted chickpeas from spoon and knife

If you’re not a fan of cinnamon & sugar, you can also dress your toasted chickpeas up a variety of other ways. We have made them with garlic before, and I am sure there is a wide variety of flavors that you could come up with!

Be sure to also read Mike’s Cook’s Notes on Toasted Chickpeas, where he shares why they are made this way, and different flavor options you can use.

Toasted Chickpeas with Cinnamon & Sugar

Yield: 1-2 servings

Toasted Chickpeas with Cinnamon & Sugar


  • 1 can of organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed & drained
  • 2 Tbsp of butter
  • Cinnamon
  • Sugar
  • Salt


  1. Rinse and drain one can of organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans).
  2. Melt 2 Tbsp of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add chickpeas; toast until golden brown.
  3. Place chickpeas in a bowl, add cinnamon, sugar and salt to taste.


Can try with other seasonings instead of cinnamon & sugar. We have also made these using fresh garlic, sautéed in the butter before adding the chickpeas.

Cook’s Notes – Vermilion Snapper Meunière with Leeks in Bacon Vinaigrette

Cook's Notes - Vermilion Snapper Meuniere gluten-free recipe

For today’s meal, we made our Vermilion Snapper Meunière with Leeks in Bacon Vinaigrette recipe. You can see the photographs of the process and the recipes for both dishes in that post.

Vermilion Snapper Meunière

Meunière comes from the French word for “miller’s wife”, and generally refers to the technique of dredging something in flour, quickly frying it, and serving with a lemon, parsley, and butter sauce. It’s a classic preparation for fish, but it can equally be used for chicken, for example.

With apologies to millers everywhere, cooking gluten free means I needed another starch for the fish. Corn starch was the first thing at hand. I didn’t want to smother the fish, so I used a tea strainer to sift corn starch over the fish. That worked well enough; if I had to do it again, I would probably just put corn starch on a plate, dredge the fish, and be extra careful about knocking off the excess.

Preparation is key here. This cooks lightning quick from start to finish once the pan gets hot. You don’t need much – fish, butter, lemon, parsley, flour – but have it all laid out and ready to go. Chop the parsley. Cut the lemon in half. And so on. Don’t dredge the fish ahead of time (it’ll pull moisture out of the fish and get gummy), do that while the butter melts in the pan. Once the fish cooks, get the lemon juice in the pan quickly so the butter doesn’t burn. Bringing it to a boil and stirring helps emulsify the sauce. Basically, before the pan hits the heat, close your eyes and mentally walk through all the steps from start to finish. You don’t want to have to think about what to do next once this gets going.

Leeks in Bacon Vinaigrette

That’s part of why the warm leek salad makes a great side – once the leeks sweat and cook through, it can just hang out over a low flame and keep warm. You don’t want to have two dishes that are complicated to finish coming together at the same time – it works in a restaurant where there are multiple cooks working in concert. At home, cooking solo? Don’t make the task harder than it needs to be.

Vinaigrette, in its essence, is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar, by volume. You can vary that depending on whether you want more bite or less, or whether your vinegar or oil is particularly pungent, but that’s the basics. Often, vinaigrettes are made with a very neutral oil to not mask the flavors of a dish. But, in this case, with the rendered and reserved bacon fat available – why not put it to good use? Lemon juice brings a sweeter, milder acid to the dressing instead of vinegar, and dijon mustard is a sympathetic sharp flavor. Play with this depending on what else you are serving; for pork chops, for example, throw in chopped rosemary, or with chicken, thyme and tarragon.

Finding Good Local Suppliers

To close, I can’t stress how beautiful this vermilion snapper fish was. Finding good local suppliers and getting to know them are the surest way to stunningly awesome food. In this case, I trust PJ Stoops to tell me about the fish he has on offer and tips for preparation. Christine mentioned in the post that she doesn’t like fish, and that’s a bit of an understatement. I was amazed that she enjoyed this as well as she did; while I would like to say it’s because of my culinary prowess, the quality of the fish really made the difference.

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