On the one hand, this recipe was born out sense of “because I can;” the pH of lambic is low enough to substitute for citrus juice in ceviche. On the other, it is all about exploring the breadth of flavors in the lambic; the fish is seasoned by the beer in addition to being “cooked” by it.
On its own the lambic ceviche presents the beer rather nicely. Yet, when paired with the subtle honey-graininess of DAB the lambic flavors really pop! Moreover, the DAB adopts some of the lambic’s complexity on the palate.
Do note that lambic ceviche does not pair well with the lambic itself. The flavors are too mild in the fish compared to the beer itself.
|Aroma: low plantain with just a hint of char and caramel and low geuze (horse-blanket and oak)|
|Flavor: low sweetness and starchiness of plantain in even balance with low oak and meatiness of fish, low lemon, just a hint a spicy radish; after taste is more of the same but at a very low level|
|Texture: chewy fish, crunchy radish and tender plantain with crisp crust|
|Impact: very low|
|Pairing: The beer has a bitter balance and a low pungent hop flavor, much less honey though the graininess is still present and seems much dryer. After a sip of beer, low medium-low aftertaste of fish and low geuze presents itself without even taking another bite! Upon returning to the food after a sip of beer, medium fish with a low hay and oak character dominates a low plantain flavor and the radishes seem spicier and their flavor lingers. A low oak flavor supported by hay and lemon persists beyond everything else. Both the beer and the food seem to have a low or almost medium-low impact now!|
The amount of time the fish spends in the lambic is managing texture vs flavor. The fish is “cooked” after about 30 minutes in the lambic and the texture is excellent, but will not have a great deal of lambic flavor yet. As the fish soaks in the acidic solution it looses some of its snap and chew, even becoming a bit mushy. The best results tend to be around the 2 hour mark with very good texture and lots of flavor. The texture is still fine after 24 hours, but their is no flavor gain.
1/3 lbs Dover sole (or other semi-firm fish)
5 oz Oude Geuze Boon
1/8 t salt
1 t canola oil
1/4 cup beauty heart radish, diced
- Slice fish lengthwise, across the grain, into 1/4″ strips; cut strips into 3″ sticks. Add cut fish to geuze, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 24.
- Peel plantain, cut in half crosswise, then slice each piece lengthwise into four long strips; sprinkle with salt.
- Heat skillet over medium heat, spread thin film of oil across pan and fry plantain for 2 minutes, flip and fry another 2 minutes.
- Plate plantains, top with fish and garnish with diced radish.