If a could eat one single dish for the rest of my life I could pick ceviche with my eyes closed.
Peruvian food has a special place in my heart as my favorite cuisine.
I can even affirm that my desire to recreate dishes from restaurants came one day that I was craving for some ceviche, but I couldn’t go to my favorite restaurant and I just thought: ENOUGH. I was going to learn to make ceviche no matter the cost.
This is the first ceviche recipe that I recreate successfully. My first attempts were really bad. I lost almost half of the fish trying to cut it. I basically destroyed the fish meat. And then I didn’t add enough lime juice and the famous “Leche de tigre” —The remaining juice from the ceviche— wasn’t really good.
After this disaster, I learned from my mistakes and I perfected this classical Peruvian ceviche.
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What type of fish to use?
The most comon types of fishes to use for a traditional Peruvian ceviche are:
- Red snapper
- Sea bass
The most important thing is the technique to cut the fish. This meat is extremely delicate, for that, you will need a sharp and good knife. I use my Japanese Knife and it cut the fish like butter.
Make sure that the knife is clean and dry before you start. Then, every time you make a cut, clean the blade. This way the fish fat won’t make the cut uneven and the handle won’t be slippery— which is highly unsafe.
First, separate the skin from the meat. Then cut into cubes of about ½ inch in diameter. This way the pieces will be in the perfect size for the lime juice to cook them.
Another thing is to add enough lime juice to almost cover the fish. It is not a few drops for flavor; the lime juice must cook the fish.
Don’t be shy with the salt and the spice. In Perú, a ceviche that isn’t spicy is not a ceviche. Of course, you can determine your spicy tolerance and work with that. But please, do not skip it.
How long to marinate ceviche?
Last but not least, the “cooking time”. The time you let your fish marinate is crucial for this recipe.
For some reason, in Europe and USA, people seem to believe that letting the fish marinate for a long time is the right way.
Well, that’s a big and colossal NO. If a Peruvian chef watched this, they would cry out loud. 10 to 15 minutes is the right number, then immediately serve it. Otherwise, you will end up with a rough sponge instead of a fresh piece of fish.
What to serve with Peruvian ceviche
You can accompany your ceviche with a contrasting element. Usually, in Perú they serve the ceviche with something sweet like a boiled sweet potato or choclo — tender white corn—.
Also, they love food with texture, so they add crunchy toasted corn (my absolute favorite), or fried plantain, or even popcorn. You can always use your favorite combination.
Aunthentic traditional Peruvian fish ceviche. A refreshing and spiced raw fish marinated in lime juice.
- 500 gr European bass (any kind of white meat fish will do the job)
- 5 limes
- ½ purple onion sliced in julienne
- 1 tsp chili pepper cut into small cubes
- 1 tbsp coriander freshly chopped
- Kosher salt
- 1 Avocado (optional)
- 1 boiled sweet potato (optional)
- ¼ cup toasted corn (optional)
Cut the fish into ½ inch dices. Add a pinch of kosher salt. (note 1)
In a bowl, add the lime juice, the onions, the chili, the coriander, and the fish. Let them cook for 10 minutes.
Serve with the avocado, the sweet potato, and the corn.
- Adding the salt directly over the fish will help to keep its firmness.