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Acidic Cooking Methods: What Is It? How Is It Applied?

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Acidic Cooking Methods: What is Ceviche and Its History…

While explaining the Acid Cooking Methods, it should not be without explaining the ceviche, which is made with this technique and has the easiest flavor of all time to prepare. It prepares the ingredients in a few minutes and is quickly put together. Its taste is truly unique.

Although the origins of the food are not known for sure, it is a nation that transmits their culture from Polynesia to Spain, but the real origin is actually Peru. Indeed, El Pais reported that archaeological evidence shows that native Peruvians ate a meal very similar to modern ceviche until 2000 years ago. Peru remains the country most closely linked to ceviche, but you can find it and its variations on the coasts of South and Central America.

Even the word itself is covered in mystery. Escabeche is similar to the Spanish for pickle (as the dish does) and also the Arabic for sakbaj for meat cooked with vinegar, and even caviche, the original name for the dish spoken in Quechua, one of the main languages ​​of the region..

Acidic Cooking Methods - The best example: Ceviche
Acidic Cooking Methods – The best example: Ceviche

What Exactly Is Ceviche?

In its simplest form, it is the method of cooking raw product (such as fish or sometimes shellfish) most commonly in an acidic liquid or citrus juice. Fish pieces start to cook while remaining in acidic liquid. The citric acid in the acidic fruit juice causes the meat proteins to be de-naturalized. This process results just like in heating. Vinegar works in the same way as these stric acids.

Acidic Cooking Methods - Raw fish on the left and fish cooked in an acid such as lemon juice per minute
Acidic Cooking Methods – Raw fish on the left and fish cooked in an acid such as lemon juice per minute

How to Apply Acidic Cooking?

The photo below shows fish slices marinated in lemon juice (lemon juice has a pH of about 2.5) at various time intervals. From left to right: you see the transition from raw fish to acid-cooked fish.

  • 0 minutes: The fish is completely raw. It has a slippery texture like sashimi, in short, it is a sashimi.
  • 1 minute: The fish is highly flavored, but still essentially raw. There is no visible difference in texture yet.
  • 2 minutes: Some textural changes are beginning to appear outside the fish.
  • 5 minutes: A pleasant hardness and crust formation begins on the outside of the fish, and certain textural changes appear. But it is not yet more ideal.
  • 10 minutes: This is exactly where it starts to be ideal. It forms firm hardness and a crust on the outside, but is still soft and moist on the inside.
  • 15 minutes: The clearest and most ideal result is this point.
  • 30 minutes: The fish is still fine, but the edges are well cooked.
  • 1 hour: Overcooked. The acid has begun to break down the connective tissue between layers of meat, which causes the fish to begin to break down.
  • 1 1/2 hours: The fish is well hardened and its tissues begin to crumble with the touch of a finger or fork, and the inside is no longer moist.
  • 2 hours: The fish can no longer be completely eaten. It begins to disintegrate spontaneously without even touching the fish. It has a hard and chalky cup dry texture. It tastes completely cooked and tasteless almost to the center.