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Ceviche – the Peruvian national dish

CevicheGastronomy has always been a huge part of the Peruvian lifestyle. In 2006, Lima (Peru’s capital) was declared “Gastronomical Capital of Latin America” which makes eating here even more interesting and the cuisine more appreciated.

What is ceviche?

Ceviche is a form of citrus-marinated sea-food salad, very popular in most of the Latin American countries.

In Peru, raw fish is composted with lime or lemon juice, sliced onion, minced Peruvian ají limo and Andean chilli. The marinated mixture is served at room temperatures. Often it’s accompanied by canchita (chunks of corn, sliced sweet potato and seaweed).

There are many variations to the original recipe and the most interesting is, by far, ceviche made from shark. You will find it in the central coast, including in Lima.

Although in general Peruvian cuisine is heavy and spicy, ceviche is not heavy (but it is spicy thanks to the chilli used).

Ceviche is the Peruvian national dish and you’ll find at least one cevichería in every neighborhood.

Make your own ceviche

To make your own ceviche you need:

  • 2 lbs fish fillet, ideally tilapia or other white fish, cubed
  • 8-10 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 chilli, choped
  • 8-12 limes, freshly squeezed
  • 1 red onion, slices

To prepare ceviche, combine all ingredients except the onion and mix well. Put the red onion on top of the mixture and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 hours before serving. Mix well before serving. It can be served with Romaine lettuce or other leafy vegetables. You can also add corn or sweet potato slices when serving.

Tip: if possible use a juicer to squeeze the limes and make sure not to tear the membranes as they give a bitter taste to the juice.