Jeff Coffey’s Snapper Ceviche With Elderflower-Infused Pomelo and Thai Chilies Recipe

Southern So-Fish-Tication


Every good home cook has a few recipes in their arsenal for fish and seafood lovers. The right meal can make for an elevated date night in or impress the pickiest of pescatarian eaters. With coastal flavors that incorporate a Southern spin, these dishes are off the hook!


Photography by Rich Smith

Jeff Coffey“Ceviche is light, fresh, and can incorporate experiences from around the world with whatever is in season. Including garden-fresh ingredients like spring peas, flowers, cucumbers, chilies, and radishes makes a perfect light appetizer or household dinner. It’s a flexible dish that is different wherever you go. When done correctly, it is the perfect demonstration dish of balance – balance between the acidic citrus juices or tomato and the umami of the fish, avocado, or other fats. Fresh fish is a must, and buying whole fish helps ensure its freshness. If you are buying fillets, then it is likely not fresh enough. Many types of fish can be used, some with better results than others. My favorites have been shellfish like fresh scallops, shrimp, and crawfish, and I don’t recommend lobster, crab, or clams.”



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Snapper Ceviche With Elderflower-Infused Pomelo and Thai Chilies

Snapper Ceviche With Elderflower-Infused Pomelo and Thai Chilies

Jeff Coffey
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Seafood, Southern
Servings 4 people


  • 1 ½ lbs. fresh whole fish
  • Sea salt, to taste (not iodized)
  • Pepper blend, to taste (red, green, white, and black)
  • 4 Tbsp. St. Germain liqueur, divided
  • 4 limes, juiced
  • 4 Meyer lemons, juiced
  • 2 oranges, juiced with juice divided
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 3 small cucumbers
  • 1-2 Thai chilies
  • 1 bunch coriander or cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch green onion, finely chopped and divided
  • ¼ cup sugar + 1 pinch, divided
  • 1 pomelo
  • 1 avocado, cut in half and pit removed
  • ¼ cup olive oil


For the fish preparation:

  • Fillet and skin the fish, making sure to remove all the bones.
  • Cross-cut the fillets with ¼-inch cuts and then dice into approximately ½-inch chunks. If you are using shrimp, make sure to shell, devein, and cut into ½-inch pieces.
  • Place cut chunks of fish in a glass bowl (never use metal, as it can impart a metal flavor onto the food).
  • Add salt and pepper blend to the fish, and then add 1 Tbsp. of St. Germain.
  • Cover fish with juice from the limes, lemons, and ½ the orange.
  • Add shallot and garlic to fish.
  • Stir fish until covered with juices and it begins to turn white.
  • Cover and set fish and juices (also known as tiger’s milk) in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

For the vegetable preparation:

  • Peel the cucumbers. Slice them lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and then slice into ¼-inch pieces.
  • Slice the Thai chilies lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and slice as thinly as possible.
  • Add cucumbers, chilies, coriander, and half of the green onions to a bowl and toss to combine.

For the infused pomelo:

  • In a small saucepan, bring ¼ cup sugar and ¼ cup water to boil and stir to combine, making a simple syrup.
  • Meanwhile, remove the rind from the pomelo and cut meat wedges from the fruit, removing even the segments of the skin. Cut pomelo pieces into smaller ½-inch by ½-inch pieces.
  • Once the simple syrup is finished, remove from heat, add pomelo pieces and 2 Tbsp. of St. Germain, and let the mixture cool.
  • Once completely cooled, using a slotted spoon, add the pomelo pieces to the bowl of vegetables, making sure to reserve the syrup.

For the avocado drizzle:

  • Add the avocado to a food processor, and top with the juice from the remaining ½ orange.
  • Add a pinch of salt and sugar, along with 1 Tbsp. of St. Germain.
  • Blend with the food processor, and slowly add in olive oil until smooth and creamy.

For assembly:

  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the fish from the tiger’s milk and add to the bowl with the vegetables.
  • Pour tiger’s milk over everything until the mixture is covered and wet.
  • Place in a serving bowl or use martini glasses for individual servings.
  • Garnish with additional green onion and optional coriander and/or chilies. Add a generous amount of avocado drizzle to the top, and serve with crostini or tortilla chips.
Keyword ceviche, elderflower, Fish, pomelo, Seafood, snapper, thai chilies
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