Something Fishy

For some time I’ve been living in a place which really, really, REALLY values it’s contribution to world cuisine. Unfortunately most of the world does not appear to have taken the bait. I’m quite a foodie, from a place where a fair variety of world cuisine is easy to come by, and I’ve never, ever heard of most of any of Peru’s most famous dishes. Maybe I’m just ignorant. Maybe there isn’t a huge Peruvian community in the UK, or maybe aliens fitted a bizarre filter to my ears and cultural perceptors which meant I just never digested any of this information before. Whatever the reason, now is my opportunity to try it out and disseminate this wonderful bounty upon you, my readers.

So here is what I got up to last week. Ceviche, Peruvian style.

Now this really is an example of my own ignorance, but I had never heard of ceviche before I arrived on the coast of Ecuador two years ago. In my mind, raw fish was reserved for sushi, and you had to be fairly crazy to try that, too. One bowl of delicious Ecuadorian ceviche later and I was a new convert.

Of course, Peruvian ceviche is a different kettle of fish. A kettle that isn’t plugged in or turned on, obviously, because then it would be a cooked fish product. The basic bits are easy. Take some lettuce leaves and arrange on a plate. Take one camote or sweet potato, boil until cooked, slice, lay on lettuce. So far, so good.

Fishy in a little dishy
Fishy in a little dishy

As I said, I don’t know much about preparing raw fish, but I do know it’s something you don’t want to get wrong. What I didn’t know was that the lime juice de-bugs the fish and makes it safe to eat. The citric acid kills off any parasites you would otherwise most likely ingest.The rest is a bit like making a fish salad. Take diced fish of your choice, something like tilapia, lenguado, mero or for this dish I used corvina as it was the only suitable fish the market had. Fine chop a good handful of fresh coriander, garlic, chilli (aji amarillo if you can get it) and add pepper and an unreasonably large amount of salt. Thin slice a red onion and leave it to soak in warm water (I used a few scoops of camote water from the boiling potatoes) and then toss that all about together in a mixing bowl and finally add a cup of fresh squeezed lime juice.

Leave the charming sounding above mixture in the fridge for no more than 20 minutes so the lime juice can thoroughly de-pestify the fish, but not long enough for the fish to disintegrate. You can tell when it’s done because the fish turns from that translucent, raw fishy texture to something quite white, opaque and firm. Then take out and serve. Simple and delicious!

Ceviche Peruano

Ceviche Anglo-Peruano

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pieces of 8
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 16:34:03

    Thanks Magix! It certainly is simple, just make sure the fish in lime juice bit goes right.

    Happy person – it would be a lie to claim that veggie recipes are hard to come by in Latin America, but true to say that the majority of comida tipica does involve meat or fish in some way. However, living in the potato nation I shall investigate the multitudinous potato based recipes and report back.

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  2. magix
    Feb 19, 2013 @ 18:34:57

    From a fellow foodie! Totesamaz dudette … will try you recipe as it sounds quick and easy.

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  3. Early retired and happy person
    Feb 19, 2013 @ 15:34:56

    Looks yummy. More recipes please – but veggie.

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