bay scallop ceviche

For as long as I can remember, there’s been a heaping bowl of bay scallop ceviche at cocktail hour on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. This recipe was originally created by my grandmother, who wisely took advantage of bay scallop season (November through March) when visiting Cape Cod over the holidays. Back then, it was a simpler version with green bell pepper in place of jalapeño, and no cilantro. Today, my mom and I look forward to enjoying this slightly updated version just about as much as we look forward to Christmas itself. What makes it so special is the tender, melt-in-your-mouth petite scallops contrasted against the tangy lime juice, salty tortilla chips, and spicy jalapeños.

  • 1 pound fresh bay scallops, rinsed and dried

  • Juice from 8-10 limes (about 1 cup)

  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced

  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño, or to taste

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 large avocado, cut into large cubes

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, minced

  • Tortilla chips, for serving

  1. In a nonreactive bowl, combine scallops, lime juice, onion, jalapeño, and salt. Scallops should be submerged in lime juice. If they aren’t, add additional lime juice until they are.

  2. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours (see cook’s note). Stir every hour or so.

  3. Before serving, gently stir in avocado and cilantro and taste for seasoning, adding more salt if ceviche tastes too tart.

  4. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with tortilla chips.

cook’s note: While ceviche is considered a raw dish, you can adjust the texture of the scallops through marinating times. At 30 minutes, it will be more “rare,” at 2 hours it will be “medium-rare,” and at 4 hours it will be “well done,” so let it marinate to your preference.

Serves 10-12.

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