Ceviche Peruano is a citrus-infused raw seafood dish popularised in Peru but found in many coastal areas of Latin America. The appetizer or main course consists of super fresh fish marinated in fresh lime juice and served with thinly sliced red onion and sweet potato.
The freshest ingredients make all the difference in this fish ceviche classic. Learn how to make Peruvian ceviche and enjoy the most famous dish of South American’s most exciting culinary destination.
The normal process of cooking food by heating it involves denaturing, which refers to the changing of the structure of the proteins in the food. Another way of denaturing a protein is to apply citric acid. Citrus juice acid essentially denatures the raw fish or any raw seafood.
This is one of Peru’s signature dishes and a must-try for anyone interested in the local Peruvian cuisine. And don’t miss ceviche in the city of Lima, one of the best places in the world to eat this classic fish dish.
We’re using Mahi Mahi fish and lemon juice mixed with the typical lime juice, the magic ingredient that cooks the delicate fish.
Ají or chili peppers are added to boost flavor. White fish like sea bass, tilapia, and halibut are the best fish for absorbing the citrus juices but other types of fish can be considered. There’s even an octopus ceviche which is delicious. This dish is popular throughout South America (particularly Chile, Colombia, and Ecuador) but there’s evidence to show that it originated in Peru. Try the real thing!
Experiment with different ways of presenting and consuming the dish. The best way to present the finished dish is to drain the excess juice (called leche de tigre), put the fish, and onions in another glass bowl, and then add the spicy, creamy, leche de tigre back.
Ceviche – The Essential Peruvian Fish Dish
For the Ceviche
- 1 kg white fish fillet Mahi-Mahi
- 1/2 kg lemon
- 1/2 kg lime
- 1 small purple onion
- 3 medium peppers habanero red peppers
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander
- 1 teaspoon ginger grated
- Salt to taste
For accompaniment (optional)
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 cup yellow corn
- plantain chips
- Wash and dry the fish. Cut the fish into cubes of approximately 2 cm. Remove any remaining skin, scales or spines. It is important that you only have cubes of lean meat similar in size. Put the fish to the side.
- Wash the lemons and limes. Squeeze them into a large bowl. Strain the fresh lime juice and lemon juice to remove any seeds.
- This lime juice will serve to cook the fish by the marination process. Put the fish cubes into the juice marinade. Make sure that all the flesh is covered by the juice. Cover the container and store in the fridge for about 20 to 30 minutes. Use some ice cubes to cool the fish faster. From time to time check that the fish is “cooking” and turn gently so that each piece gets plenty of contact with the lime juice.
- While the fish cooks, prepare the garnish. Wash the sweet potatoes with a brush and place in a steamer for about 30 minutes, until they are tender. When the potatoes are soft, remove from the steamer, remove the skin and cut into large pieces.
- Peel the plantain and cut in half, crosswise. With the help of a potato peeler cut the plantain into very thin slices. Place the slices or chips in a pan with enough oil to deep fry them. Make sure they don’t touch. With a wooden pallet, stir from time to time. Carefully remove the plantain from the oil and place them on a plate covered with absorbent paper.
- Wash the red peppers and onion. Open the peppers, remove the seeds and veins and cut into small squares. Peel the onion and cut it into thin strips. Finely cut the coriander.
- Remove the ceviche from the refrigerator – the meat should already look cooked (the flesh should be opaque and about to fall apart). Add onion, chili and coriander, ginger, a pinch of salt and stir. Cover the ceviche again and leave it in the fridge for about 10 more minutes.
- Remove the ceviche from the refrigerator and place in cups or small plates. Serve with the plantain chips, and sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with some coriander and ají limo chili pepper.
Check out our Tilapia Ceviche recipe for an alternative to the classic Peruvian ceviche.