Friday, October 30, 2009


Para os amantes de peixe crú

Like carpaccio, ceviche (seh-VEE-chay) is a raw fish recipe that modern cooks just love to play with. It is essentially fish "cooked" in the acid of citrus juice and served with a cold beer on a hot day. The dish originates in Peru, and is thought to be a development from Spanish escabeche, which is a vinegar-marinated dish. This recipe is for the classic Peruvian ceviche.
Prep Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
•1 pound white saltwater fish (albacore, sole, snapper, halibut -- anything you would see on a sushi menu)
•1 cup lime juice - key limes if you can get them
•1/2 cup lemon juice
•1/2 cup orange juice
•1 T. salt
•1 rocoto chile (chile manzano in Mexican markets) or 2 aji limon (substitute a habanero)
•1 medium onion, sliced very thinly into half-moons
•4 T. chopped cilantro
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.

Salt the fish, then cover with the citrus juice in a non-reactive (glass or plastic) container with a lid. Add the sliced onions and the chiles.

Chill this in the fridge for at least 2 hours, possibly as much as 3 hours -- very large pieces can take longer. If your fish is truly raw-eating quality, it is OK if the centers of the pieces are still raw-looking.

To serve, lay down some of the onions and chiles and top with the fish. Garnish with the cilantro.

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 served with potatoes, either sweet or white.


  1. I LOVE ceviche. Never tried making it. I don't think our fish is fresh enough to make it here. My Ecuadorian friend said the seafood should be fresh from the sea, since the "cooking" in citrus won't kill microorganisms the way conventional heat does.

  2. I should explain that even though we are surrounded by the Great Lakes, the fish is questionable, due to mercury content. I try not to eat the fish from these lakes, sadly.

    This recipe calls for saltwater fish - I wonder too if that matters. I think intuitively I felt that the Great Lakes or any freshwater fish would not be suitable, but I don't know if that's true.