Classic Peruvian Ceviche Recipe

Ceviche
Danita Delimont/Gallo Images/Getty Images
  • 2 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 2 hrs
  • Yield: 1 pound (8 servings)
Ratings (6)

Like carpaccio, ceviche is a raw fish recipe that modern cooks just love to play with. The citrus-marinated seafood dish originates in Peru and is thought to be a development from Spanish escabeche, which is a vinegar-marinated dish. 

Ceviche is essentially fish that is "cooked" by marinating in the acid of citrus juice. This recipe is for the classic Peruvian ceviche and pairs a high-quality white saltwater fish of your choice with lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, salt, hot peppers, onions, and cilantro.

Enjoy it with a cold beer on a hot day—or anytime you want to daydream about South American travels.

What You'll Need

  • 1 pound white saltwater fish (see notes below)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup lime juice (key limes if you can find them)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 medium onion (sliced very thinly into half-moons)
  • 1 rocoto chile (chile Manzano in Mexican markets or 2 aji limon chile or habaneros)
  • Garnish: 4 tablespoons cilantro (chopped)

How to Make It

  1. Cut the fish into small pieces. You can dice it or leave it in pieces up to 1-inch square, but remember that the larger the pieces, the longer it will take to marinate.
  2. Salt the fish, then cover with the lime juice, lemon juice, and orange juice in a non-reactive (glass or plastic) container with a lid. Add the sliced onions and the chiles.
  3. Chill the fish mixture in the fridge for at least 2 hours, possibly as much as 3 hours (very large pieces of fish can take longer to fully marinate). If your fish is truly raw-eating quality, it is OK if the centers of the pieces are still raw-looking.
  1. To serve, on a plate or in a bowl, lay down some of the onions and chiles and top with the fish. Garnish with the cilantro.

Notes

  • When choosing a whitefish, opt for albacore, sole, snapper, halibut, or anything else you would see on a sushi menu. High-quality, sushi-grade fish is best since ceviche is not cooked with heat.
  • Be sure to remove the skin and bones from the fish, as well as the bloodline before cutting it up. The bloodline is the dark red portion of the fillet; if left on the fillet, your ceviche will have a very fishy flavor.
  • Ceviche is so sharp and acidic it cries out for beer and tortilla chips as an accompaniment—although you won't find tortilla chips in Peru. In Peru, you will most often find this ceviche dish served with potatoes, either sweet or white.

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