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Can you tell me about Peruvian ceviche and its variations?

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Introduction to Peruvian Ceviche

Peruvian ceviche is a traditional dish that originated in Peru and has become a popular dish worldwide. It is a dish made from raw fish that is marinated in citrus juice, usually lime, and spiced with chili peppers. The acidity of the citrus juice “cooks” the fish, giving it a slightly firm texture and a tangy and refreshing taste. Peruvian ceviche is typically served with onions, sweet potatoes, and corn.

Peruvian ceviche has a long history that dates back to pre-Columbian times, where it was made with fish and chicha, a fermented corn drink. The Spanish conquistadors introduced citrus fruits to Peru in the 16th century, and the dish evolved into what we now know as Peruvian ceviche.

Traditional Peruvian Ceviche Recipe

The traditional Peruvian ceviche recipe consists of fresh white fish, usually sea bass or flounder, cut into bite-sized pieces and marinated in lime juice, salt, and chili pepper. The fish is left to “cook” in the marinade for a few minutes before it is served with red onions, sweet potatoes, and corn. The dish is typically garnished with cilantro and served cold.

To make traditional Peruvian ceviche, you will need:

  • 1 pound of fresh white fish
  • 1 ½ cups fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chili pepper
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 sweet potatoes, boiled and sliced
  • 1 cob of corn, boiled and sliced
  • Cilantro for garnish

Variations of Peruvian Ceviche

Peruvian ceviche has many variations, with different ingredients and preparation techniques. Some variations include using different types of seafood, such as octopus or shrimp, or adding additional ingredients such as avocado or mango. Some recipes call for the addition of coconut milk, which gives the dish a creamy texture and a slightly sweet taste.

Another popular variation is the use of leche de tigre, or tiger’s milk, which is the leftover marinade from the ceviche. It is often served as a shot or mixed with vodka or Pisco, a Peruvian brandy.

Regional Differences in Peruvian Ceviche

Peruvian ceviche varies depending on the region where it is made. Coastal regions use fish, while inland regions use river fish. In the northern region of Peru, ceviche is often served with yuca, while in the southern region, it is served with cancha, a type of toasted corn.

Non-Traditional Peruvian Ceviche Ingredients

Some chefs have experimented with non-traditional ingredients in their Peruvian ceviche recipes. Some examples include using citrus fruits other than lime, such as grapefruit or blood orange, or using different types of chili peppers. Some recipes also call for the addition of soy sauce or ginger, which give the dish an Asian twist.

How to Make Peruvian Ceviche at Home

To make Peruvian ceviche at home, start by selecting fresh, high-quality fish. The fish should be firm and have a mild taste. Cut the fish into bite-sized pieces and marinate it in lime juice, salt, and chili pepper for about 10 minutes. Then, add the sliced onions, sweet potatoes, and corn and let the ceviche sit for another 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve cold.

Peruvian ceviche is a refreshing and delicious dish that is perfect for summertime. With a little practice, you can make this traditional Peruvian dish at home and impress your friends and family with your culinary skills.

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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