Ceviche, Peruvian Style
- 1 1/4 pounds boneless and absolutely
fresh fish filets (sole or sea bass, usually) cut into one-inch cubes
cup Peruvian lime juice
teaspoon ground garlic
celery stalk, finely chopped
Peruvian hot peppers (aji and/or rocoto), chopped, without seeds or veins
teaspoons coriander, chopped
- 2 red
onions, julienne cut
boiled ears of corn
boiled white potatoes
boiled sweet potatoes
Lightly rinse fish in cold water
then drain, careful that pieces maintain shape. Season with salt, pepper,
garlic (garlic is the soul of ceviche, do not spare it), hot peppers (ceviche
without hot peppers runs at best 75% of what it could be, the hotter the
better), celery and coriander. Some people add parsley as well. Mix well and add lime juice (juice from
acidic Peruvian limes works best, they are also known as key limes in the US).
OF KEY LIMES FOR LEMONS IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED AND NOT OPEN FOR DISCUSSION.
If nevertheless, you feel like using regular lemons instead of key limes,
then you might as well use chicken instead of fish - but please don't call it
Ahem, anyway ... Use red onions only, laying them over your
dish, do not mix them in until you are ready to eat; if you mix in the onions, they
will loose their crunchy texture, and the flavor may change. Allow mixture to stand for three minutes;
lime juice will "cook" the raw fish.
If using fish other than sole or
sea bass, let mixture stand for 10 minutes (Duration of cooking is a matter of
taste). Serve on platter with lime
juice mixture, covering fish with washed and drained raw onions. Garnish with
corn, and slices of white potato and sweet potato. They help to balance the "hotness" of the dish.
Serves four people.
In Peru fishermen often take a
plastic bag in the boat to mix and eat ceviche on the spot. Divers just make "fin ceviche" on
the blade of their fins. It'll put lead
in your pencil.
Note : Most fish and seafood goes well in ceviche but not
all. To name a few: octopus, conch, calamari, shrimp, tuna, flounder. Octopus
merits special pre-preparation. And also, if you are lucky enough to find rocotos,
be very careful when handling them. A well known variation of this plate is the famous Tiradito, which is more or less, the seasoned fish cooked in the key lime juice alone; with no onions, hot peppers, potatoes, etc.