Chef Matt Kramer’s Flounder Ceviche Recipe

Kramer thinks flounder's mild flesh is perfect for layering with bolder flavors.

flounder ceviche
By Alexandra Hall
Prepared and photographed by Derek Bissonnette
From our December 2023 issue

Rosella KPT, in Kennebunk, is all about sustainable sushi, sourcing seafood regionally instead of flying in specialty fishes from far-flung seas. “When it’s handled correctly, local sushi is just as high in quality and flavor,” Kramer says. “And then we can focus on supporting local fishermen and using underutilized species.” He does precisely that with his flounder ceviche appetizer. The velvety coconut sauce and silken fish are refined indulgences, while the addition of crushed corn nuts adds a playful twist.

Serves 6

For the sauce

  • ½ cup garlic, chopped 
  • 1 cup shallots, chopped
  • 5 Thai chilies 
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 48 ounces coconut milk
  • ½ cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • salt

For the ceviche

  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1 pound flounder, skinned
  • 2 avocados, cubed
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Thai chilies, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup winter fruit (such as pear, persimmon, or husk cherry), peeled and diced
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper 
  • 6 tablespoons corn nuts, crushed with a mallet or rolling pin 
  • ½ cup fresh herb mixture, (equal parts mint, Thai basil, cilantro, and dill), chopped

Directions

Sauce: Sweat the garlic, shallots, and chilies in the canola oil in a medium saucepan on low heat until soft. Add the coconut milk and keep on low heat for 15 minutes. Strain contents, then add lime juice and salt. Bring to room temp, then chill until assembly.

Ceviche: Mix the salt, sugar, and lime zest, then sprinkle the mixture over both sides of the flounder. Transfer the fish to the refrigerator and let sit for 15 minutes. Then, place the filets on a paper towel or napkin and use the blunt side of a knife to scrape off excess liquid, salt, and sugar. Dice the flounder into ½-inch cubes and refrigerate (ceviche can be served chilled or at room temp).

Serve: Assemble each portion separately, making sure each is roughly the same size. In a small mixing bowl, combine 6 cubes of avocado, 8–12 slices of red onion, 6–8 slices of Thai chili, 6 cubes of fruit, ⅓ cup ceviche sauce, about 6 cubes of fish, a splash of lime juice, and a drizzle of olive oil. Using a spoon, gently toss all ingredients together to fully coat in the sauce. Add additional olive oil and lime juice as needed. Plate in a shallow bowl, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with a spoonful of corn nuts. Garnish liberally with fresh herbs. 

May 2024, Down East Magazine

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