Combating the heat with ceviche—a citrusy Latin American fish salsa

Baton Rouge has embraced the poke craze and is still devoted to its many sushi restaurants. But maybe it’s time we rediscovered a similar Central and South American staple perfect for these late summer days: ceviche.

Imagine a citrusy pico de gallo with chopped raw fish that’s been “cooked” in lime juice and spices. The acidic marinade doesn’t actually cook the fish the way heat would, but it turns the color opaque and firms up the flesh.

The result—pronounced “suh-VEE-shay”—is ideal for scooping up with tortilla chips.

The search for a good ceviche in the Capital City brought me to Los Plebes, the former food truck-turned-quaint restaurant on Florida Boulevard near Sharp Road. I was intrigued by its photos on social media of pineapple and coconut halves stuffed with all manner of marinated shrimp, scallops, whitefish and even octopus drizzled in chili sauce.

Los Plebes’ entire game is seafood, hence the restaurant’s logo lauding its “tacos y mariscos.”

So an order of ceviche is a no-brainer.

Not wanting to overdo it with a full pineapple’s worth of seafood—and also saving room for the restaurant’s cheap and delicious tacos filled with a variety of meats—I went for one of the smaller whitefish ceviche appetizers.

It came in a heaping pile with loads of chopped tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, lime and cilantro. The portion was plenty for the three diners at my table. We kept going back to it after our tacos for its refreshing taste, tender bite-sized chunks of fish and the spicy and savory chili sauce that smeared the plate.

Washed down with a sweet cantaloupe agua fresca, the experience was enough to whisk me away from steamy Florida Boulevard to a breezy tropical beach. And isn’t that the kind of escape we’re all dreaming about this month? Find Los Plebes at 9830 Florida Blvd. and on Facebook.

Other places in Baton Rouge to try ceviche

Creole Cabana

The Burbank Drive hangout’s version comes with citrus-poached shrimp and whitefish mixed with a peppery pico.

Blue Corn Tequila & Tacos

Besides a chopped whitefish or shrimp ceviche, try the shrimp aguachile, marinated in lime and serrano peppers.

The Rum House

On the appetizer menu, ahi tuna is combined with diced mango, red onions and peppers and served in fried flour tortillas.

Mestizo Louisiana Mexican Cuisine

Have your choice of shrimp or scallops in the zesty ceviche at this Acadian Thruway favorite.

La Salvadoreña Restaurant
Find it on Facebook

Known for its pupusas and tacos, it also serves a shrimp ceviche entree on Saturdays piled atop three tostadas.