Being that June 28th is National Ceviche Day in Peru, I’m sharing a classic ceviche recipe. There are many versions of this dish, but the best ceviche recipe is a simple one.
Not too long ago, the team of Traveling & Living in Peru visited a tucked away restaurant in Magdalena, Parada 63. We sampled many wonderful dishes, all prepared with fresh fish and shellfish. One of the dishes we sampled was their excellent version of classic ceviche. That’s why I want to share a simple yet classic ceviche recipe.
Restaurants often complicate ceviche, when in fact it is best to keep it simple. I have been preparing ceviche for about 16 years, but over the last 12 I have decreased the amount of lime juice used The recipe below is one I use often because it is relatively easy and quick to prepare and only requires a few ingredients.
Freshness and simplicity are basic elements for a good ceviche. A fresh, firm-fleshed white fish is ideal. You want to make sure the fish doesn’t fall apart in the lime juice. Living in La Punta has given me great access to extremely fresh fish (many times delivered to my door). Remember to always keep the ingredients well chilled and always squeeze the limes just at the moment of preparation.
The fish is typically accompanied by large corn, sweet potato and crunchy corn kernels (canchita). I like to eat my ceviche with both a fork and a spoon so I can enjoy the “leche de tigre” (the spicy juice that marinates the fish).
Serves approximately 4
- 1 ¾ lb. (800 grams) fresh flounder (lenguado) fillets or any white fish with firm flesh
- 1 red onion, sliced very thin
- ½ yellow aji limo, diced finely
- ½ red aji limo, diced finely
- Freshly squeezed juice of 6 to 7 limes (you can add more juice if you want, but I don’t like the lime to overpower the fish, only to enhance it)
- Liberal amount of salt (to taste)
- 1-2 boiled ears of corn (squeeze half a lime into the water), cut into rounds
- 1-2 boiled or steamed sweet potatoes (skin removed after cooking)
- 5 to 6 tablespoons canchita
- Cut the fish into bite-size pieces and mix together with the red onion slices in a large bowl.
- Wash the fish and onion in cold water and drain well. After draining I typically use a clean dish towel to remove as much moisture as possible.
- Add the diced aji limo and salt to the ceviche and onion mixture and toss gently. Ceviche typically requires quite a bit of salt, but you don’t want to oversalt. I recommend starting with 1 teaspoon of salt and taste, and gradually add a bit more salt until you reach the flavor you want.
- Toss the fish mixture quickly in the lime juice. You can refresh the mixture quickly by adding a couple of ice cubes, mixing well and removing the cubes immediately before they melt.
- Serve the ceviche immediately, accompanied by the freshly cooked corn, sweet potato, and canchita.