Adventures in Fish To-go

Good Bite

BY ANDREW FABIAN SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING TUESDAY JUL 21, 2020

The words “fish” and “to-go” don’t quite belong together. People rarely ask for their leftover lobster to be boxed up at a restaurant and if you don’t finish a grouper sandwich, shame on you. Fish just seems to get fishy after it’s been out of the pan, broiler or baking sheet for 30 minutes, and even people that claim to love fish dislike when fish gets fishy. So, in an effort to add an element of adventure to my largely stay-at-home life, I decided to experiment with to-go fish.

For this experiment, I opted to go with a dish from Peruvian Grill by Maemi on the corner of Clark and Beneva, a dish that essentially continues to cook even as you lug it home in a bag: ceviche. The popular Peruvian variety adopted by other Central and South American countries is doused in leche de tigre, which translates into tiger’s milk. The milky marinade contains copious amounts of lime and orange juice, cilantro, garlic, sliced onions and chiles. Its acidity cures the fish, in this case corvina, and infuses it with all the tang and spice of the marinade. Traditionally, sweet potatoes and corn accompany the dish, and this meal was no different.

Still, I was nervous about letting it sit around too long, so I made sure to get to the restaurant a little early. The attendants inside were wearing masks though, unfortunately, the restaurant was empty. I ask about the popularity of the ceviche in the summer, when something cool, tangy and salty can cure a wicked hangover. “Yeah, it’s more popular in the summer,” says one of the masked attendants, “we usually sell a lot to vacationers on Siesta Key.”

My sense of adventure turned into anxiety as I seemed to get caught at every red light on my way home. Would the fish go fishy? Would the acids continue their chemical cooking and render the corvina inedible? No. The ceviche was everything I wanted it to be. I felt full, peppy and hydrated, ready to take on a landscaping project started three weeks ago (don’t judge). The fish was tender and cool, the marinade spiced to perfection and a touch sweet.

Peruvian Grill by Maemi is open Monday through Thursday from 11:30am to 9:00pm, Fridays until 10:00pm, and weekends from 12:00pm to 8:00pm.

Peruvian Grill by Maemi, 5769 S Beneva Road, 941-923-8902

Click here for more information.

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