Ceviche is a wonderful light dish that can accompany other dishes or be completely independent. It is extremely popular in South America and having in mind that it is prepared in Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay and other South American countries, there are numerous ceviche recipes. The dish enjoys a great popularity all over the world and many cooks and chefs offer modern interpretations of the traditional recipe.
Essentially, ceviche is fresh fish or seafood marinated in citrus juice with various additional ingredients. The original recipe for ceviche is a finely chopped raw fish of various varieties, marinated for 15 minutes in lime juice. After that, red onion and sometimes rocoto pepper (chili pepper from Peru) are added to the fish. Due to the content of citric acid in lime juice, the proteins contained in the fish are cooked.
Historically, ceviche was invented by Latin American fishermen. They realized that while they were in a boat in the middle of the sea, their dinner could be cooked without fire – using lime juice. The thickened marinade was poetically called “tiger milk”, and this is the best and most authentic dressing for ceviche.
How to make an authentic Peruvian ceviche?
According to the original Peruvian recipe, raw fish is cut into thin long slices, and then marinated in freshly squeezed lime juice for 10-15 minutes. There should be an equal amount of marinade and fish, and the marinade itself can be made not only from lime, but also from a mixture of citrus juice – for example, lemon, lime and orange. Traditionally, ceviche is made with sea fish with dense white meat, but nowadays there are many recipes with a mixture of fish and seafood. One of the most popular options is shrimp ceviche. Sometimes marinated fish are sprayed with olive oil to soften the sour taste a little and onions, cilantro, celery stalks and hot chili peppers are added. The marinade is considered to be a very valuable product, as it is believed it is an aphrodisiac.
What is important to know when you want to prepare a ceviche?
It is essential that fish or seafood is impeccably fresh. The quality of fish is crucial. It is important to understand that the fish that you choose for your ceviche has a crystal clear taste. Make sure you use sea fish. River fish or pond fish has a tangible aftertaste.
Taste is everything! If the taste of ceviche is bland, if it does not have acidity, then this is the wrong ceviche. You must feel an explosion of tastes and clearly feel each ingredient – the acid, onion cilantro, etc.
Since ceviche is made from raw fish, this dish should be very cold – the taste of both the main product and the ingredients complementing it is better revealed.
In some countries of Latin America this dish is served with a side dish – sweet potato, rice, or corn. The side dish neutralizes the sharpness and acidity. Due to the fact that the taste of ceviche itself is very bright, experts recommend combining ceviche with neutral alcohol like wine.
How to make ceviche – basic steps to follow
Making ceviche is not difficult. First you need to prepare a marinade. To do this, squeeze the juice from one orange and one lemon, remove the zest from the lemon, grind it and add it to the juice, add olive oil, chili, chopped cilantro and onion. Mix everything thoroughly. Taste it. This is fundamentally important. The marinade should not be too acidic otherwise the ceviche will be acidic.
Cut the fish fillet into small pieces of a convenient shape. Make sure that there are no bones left in the fillet.
Add the fish to the marinade and leave it in a cool place for 15-30 minutes. It is easy to check if the ceviche is ready – just try a piece of fish. If it is saturated with marinade, your dish is ready to serve.
Put it in plates, bowls glasses or lettuce leaves and serve immediately! Do not forget to generously pour the marinade in the bowl.
You can experiment with different ceviche recipes. Try using lime juice, or use shrimp instead of or with fish. Or use several types of fish.
Classic Ceviche recipe
4 x 6-ounce/170g white fish fillets (sole, croaker, or grouper)
2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
2 teaspoons chili pepper, chopped
1 cup lime or lemon juice
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro leaves
1 red onion, sliced into thin half-moon crescents
Salt and pepper
1 corncob, cooked and kernels removed
1/2 sweet potato, boiled and sliced
Cut the fish into 3/4-inch (2 cm) cubes, place in a bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and chili. Mix together well.
Pour the lemon juice and add the chopped cilantro leaves. Stir and add the red onion. Mix together and adjust the seasoning to taste.
Serve in a large shallow bowl with cooked corn kernels and boiled sweet potato slices.
Halibut ceviche recipe
1 lb (450 g) halibut, de-boned and skin removed
½ cup fresh lime juice
½ cup fresh lemon juice
1 avocado, cubed
1 large tomato, seeds removed and chopped
¼ cup red onion, chopped
¼ cup jicama, chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 large jalapeño, seeds removed and finely chopped
finely ground sea salt, to taste
Chop halibut into small cubes and place into a lidded container.
Add fresh lemon and lime juice and allow fish to marinate in the fridge.
Remove fish from the fridge and strain off the lemon and lime juice.
Chop all remaining ingredients except for the salt and avocado and mix well with the fish.
Once fully combined, add the avocado and gently combine.
Add a bit of sea salt, to taste.
Mango shrimp ceviche recipe
1 lb (450 g) deveined medium shrimp, cut into small cubes
Juice of 3 large limes
1 Cup tomato, diced
¾ Cup cilantro, chopped
2/3 Cup pineapple, drained
2/3 Cup fresh mango, diced
½ Cup onion, diced
1 ½ Tbsp garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Avocado, diced
In a large bowl mix shrimp and lime juice. Let sit in the fridge 30-40 minutes, until the shrimp appears white.
In the meantime stir together all of the ingredients without the avocado.
Once the shrimp is done, drain the lime juice. Squeeze the shrimp a bit to make sure all the excess is gone.
Add the shrimp, along with the avocado, into the bowl and stir well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Salmon Ceviche Recipe
1/4 cup (60mL) Freshly squeezed lime juice
1 Large Green chili, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 Spring onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp Coconut milk
400g Salmon, thinly sliced
Coriander leaves, to garnish
Combine lime juice, chili, spring onion, coconut milk, season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Combine salmon and marinade in a medium bowl, cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Arrange salmon slices on serving platter, drizzle with a little of remaining marinade and garnish with coriander leaves.
Papaya and Barramundi Ceviche Recipe
Zest and juice of half an orange
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
12 oz (350 g) boneless Barramundi fillets, cut into 3/4-inch (2cm) cubes
½ red onion, finely diced
1 small red pepper, finely diced
1 small cucumber, deseeded and finely chopped
1 small avocado, deseeded and cubed
1 green cayenne or jalapeno chili, thinly sliced
2 cups (300g) papaya, cut into 3/4-inch (2cm) cubes
2 spring onions, finely chopped (green part only)
¼ cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh mint and micro herbs, to garnish
Corn chips, to serve
Mix orange zest, orange juice, chili flakes, salt and olive oil.
Place the fish in a ceramic or glass bowl. Pour the marinade over the fish. Mix well and spread to ensure that the fish is completely covered.
Cover the bowl with cling film and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the fridge. Add the onion, pepper, cucumber, avocado, cayenne/jalapeno, papaya and coriander to the bowl. Mix well.
Cover and chill for another 20 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with mint and micro herbs. Serve with a side of corn chips.