HOW TO MAKE CEVICHE: A LESSON FROM A WISE PERUVIAN WOMAN

This recipe is NOT reproduced from a cookbook or from another website. The ingredients, quantities and preparation steps are recorded after visiting a local Mercado (market) in Trujillo, and watching a talented, little Peruvian woman named Estella prepare Ceviche in her own home.

Ceviche: Originating in Peru, this fresh raw dish consists of fish soaked in citrus juices such as lemon or lime and spiced with chili peppers. It is essentially a marinated seafood salad.

And, yes, Ceviche is RAW!

But don’t let your western tendencies convince you that it’s scary. When properly prepared with the right ingredients and with fish purchased from a reputable fishmonger, there is no need to be squirmy. People have been eating fish raw for thousands of years. Besides, consuming fish without cooking it ensure access to all those healthy Omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients that are compromised during high-heat grilling. Ceviche is delicious and nutritious – the perfect dish for a hot day! No turning on the oven!

Garlic, red onion, ginger, hot peppers and cilantro help to give Ceviche its signature flavor.

INGREDIENTS

1 kilo              fresh skinned and boned white fish (see “Note” below)

½ cup            fresh squeezed lemon juice

4 tsp               ground pepper

4 tsp               ground cumin

1 tbsp             salt

1 tbsp             fresh ginger (minced)

½ cup             fresh cilantro (chopped)

5 cloves          garlic (crushed)

1                      small red onion (shaved)

¼ cup             whole milk – optional

1                      yellow jalapeno pepper (minced) – optional


Serve with:

• Lettuce

• Boiled baby potatoes (or Cassava and/or purple camote if available)

• Corn on the cob (cut into rings 1-inch wide)

• Fresh edible seaweed

• Avocado

PREPARATION:

– Dice fish into 1-centimeter cubes (1/2 inch)

– Let fish soak in a salt water brine for 10 minutes

– Thoroughly rinse fish and place in a mixing bowl

– And lemon juice, salt, black pepper, cumin, ginger, cilantro and garlic

– Mix thoroughly

– Let marinate for 30 minutes

– Stir in onions (and milk, if you’d like a creamier Ceviche)

– Serve over a bed of lettuce with such garnishes as corn on the cob, sweet potato, avocado and/or seaweed.

For an authentic Peruvian meal, served with a cold glass of purple Chicha (sweet corn juice) or crack open a bottle of delicious yellow Inca Kola!

Note: Finding fish will depend on what area of the world you live. We used a medium-sized fish called Bonito. Part of the mackerel family and available in Atlantic and Pacific regions, Bonito has a firm texture and darkish coloring. I asked Estella to recommend other fish options. She suggested Jurel (pronounced “hoorel”), Caranx, Pompano and other varieties of Mackerel. Other Internet recipes have suggested such white fish species as Corvina, Halibut, Sea Bass, Tilapia and Sole. My suggestion is to find what is fresh and go from there. Feel free to tinker!

Buen provecho!

*          *          *

The fish is ready for chopping and rinsing.

*          *          *

Fresh ingredients are key for a good Ceviche.

*          *          *

Estella washes up while the fish soaks in brine water.

*          *          *

Hot peppers can be added, depending on preferred “picante” levels.

*          *          *

Onions were added at the end, not to overwhelm the other spices during the marination process.

*          *          *

Ask your local fishmonger for seaweed suggestions!

*          *          *

Finally, dress it up with some creative accompaniments!

*          *          *

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14 Responses to “HOW TO MAKE CEVICHE: A LESSON FROM A WISE PERUVIAN WOMAN”
  1. David Reinbold 16 March 2011 at 10:02 PM #

    That looks amazing. Sooooo want some right now.

    • danbaylis 16 March 2011 at 10:32 PM #

      If you think it looks amazing, you should have tasted it ;-)

      So deeeelish!

  2. Jodi 17 March 2011 at 12:32 AM #

    Bookmarking! This looks delicious and I can’t wait to try. Are you heading to Huacachina or Mancora at all? Both were lovely and not too far from you. Safe travels Baylis! Looking forward to reading more.

    • danbaylis 17 March 2011 at 7:39 AM #

      Won’t make it to Huanachina or Mancora, or even Macchu Picu this trip! Will definitely need to return to Peru. Much more to see!

  3. zeta 17 March 2011 at 10:04 AM #

    Great, thanks! I really enjoyed the step-by-step guide, helps much more then just the recipe.

    But I wonder about the “western tendencies” about raw fish. Last time I checked sushi was pretty mainstream. And there are many native western dishes with raw fish or meat. For example from Scandinavia, Germany, France, Holland…

  4. Elaine 17 March 2011 at 6:28 PM #

    Thanks for the great recipe! I had tried this as a youngster. My mother did not tell me it was raw or I would not have eaten it. It was indeed yummy. Now I will try it at home.

  5. david 20 March 2011 at 7:13 PM #

    Yum! I was able to have ceviche on a few occasions last year while I was in Peru and it was always delicious! Thanks for the post. I’m going to add this recipe to my file for summer meals!

  6. Eduardo 26 April 2011 at 5:06 PM #

    Hi Daniel

    wowww ceviche is delicious, I’m surprised … Estella is my neighbor…

    You’ve visited to the mercado Jerusalen in the Esperanza – Trujillo city

    Trujillo is cool…..

    Good luck

  7. Gruff 4 March 2012 at 5:45 PM #

    Thanks for the recipe, I made it with Black Tip Shark, the firmness of shark had great tecture.

  8. Faith 22 November 2012 at 9:48 AM #

    Ceviche is sooo delicious, I’m in Arequipa right now and cant get enough of it :) But! Its NOT raw…it not cooked, but that does’nt mean its raw…the chemical reaction from the acids in the lemon cooks the fish in a similar way that pickling would…sooo good!

  9. olenka 24 January 2013 at 11:12 PM #

    this dish it’s delicious ..i’m from Peru and I’m very proud of my country ..thanks to everyone who says that our food it’s great :D sorry if i don’t speak English very well xD

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] try a recipe!   Daniel Baylis, a Canadian blogger and world traveler, wrote a terrific post about how he learned to make ceviche from a wise Peruvian woman.  The recipe features ginger and the photos transport you right into the woman’s kitchen. […]

  3. Why I’ve Chosen Self-Publishing, Or As I Prefer To Call It, “Team-Publishing” | The Conversationalist - July 5, 2013

    […] around the world for a year was chock-full of learning: how to milk a goat in Israel, make a killer ceviche in Peru, and navigate race issues in South Africa. In layman’s terms, I got schooled. I approach […]

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