Test Valley trout ceviche

This recipe features as part of the December edition of Hampshire Life magazine with wine matches from The knackered Mother’s Wine Club.

My favourite Christmas starters are light, fresh and zingy. They rouse your appetite without filling you up. This recipe takes the iconic ingredients of the Test Valley and gives them a Peruvian makeover.

Breaking with tradition, I’ve used the River Test Distillery’s award-winning gin to add a subtle layer of aromatics to super-fresh trout and finished the dish with the distinctive pepperiness of watercress. In Peru, the left-over marinade is called tiger’s milk and is considered an excellent hangover cure – handy for Boxing Day morning!

Serves 4-6

  • 500 g trout fillets, skinned and cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 6 limes, juiced
  • 1 grapefruit, juiced
  • 50 ml gin
  • 1 small bunch watercress, chopped
  1. Toss the cubed trout with 1 tsp sea salt and refrigerate for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, soak the onion in iced water for 5 minutes, then drain well.
  3. Mix the lime juice, grapefruit juice, gin and drained onion together, then pour it over the fish and marinate in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in the watercress, then tip the mixture into a sieve set over a bowl. Spoon the ceviche into gin glasses, spoon over a little of the marinade and serve immediately.

Test Valley producers:

Fresh trout – Chalk Stream Foods

Romsey, 01794 330000


Gin – River Test Distillery

Longparish, 07775 425068


Watercress – Vitacress

St Mary Bourne, 01264 738766


I love writing the Christmas recipes for Hampshire Life magazine. The inspiration behind this year’s menu came from three distinctive landscapes of the county: the waterways of the River Test; the hills and hedgerows of the South Downs; and the ancient woodlands of the New Forest. To explore the rest of the menu, follow these links:

Southdowns lamb crown

New Forest roulade

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