Remember the polar vortex of 2014-15? I still have nightmares. Thankfully this year was plenty warm, though a trip south helped the healing process. One of the foods that caught my attention while on vacation was Ceviche, a raw fish and fruit mix appetizer. It can be a main course as well, but I find it great as a snack.
You can use any fresh fish, though deciding between papaya and avocado puts you in the middle of a heated, nationalistic debate among some South American countries. Try both if you’re feeling adventurous.
My Peruvian friends don’t add any fruit. They add Aji Limo chile, a hot pepper from Lima, Peru. The Aji Limo adds a lemony, spicy flavor that makes it distinctly Peruvian and pairs nicely with fish and coriander. If you can’t find the Limo chile pepper, substitute any hot pepper that you like. The Peruvians also add sweet potato and corn as side dishes, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
If your seafood, octopus or squid is frozen, it will taste better if it’s cooked until tender before mixing with the other ingredients. Ceviche is quick and easy recipe that can mostly be prepared ahead of time–just mix the ingredients and add the lime juice before eating.
- 2 cups (500 mL) chopped raw skinless fresh fish fillets or seafood, diced (salmon, tuna or shrimp) or a combination
- 1/2 red onion, minced
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) lime juice (about 6 limes)
- 1 hot chile pepper, finely diced
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) mango or papaya, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
- Black pepper
- 6 to 8 large lettuce leaves
- 1 small sweet potato, cooked and diced (optional)
- 1 cup (250 L) cooked sweet corn (optional)
- In a large serving bowl place fish (and seafood, if using) and onion; toss with about 2 tbsp (30 mL) of lime juice, reserve remaining lime juice to add at the end.
- Add chile pepper and 1/4 cup (60 mL) of cilantro and 1/4 cup (60 mL) of mango and mix ingredients well. Reserve remaining 1/4 cup (60 mL) of cilantro and mango to serve with ceviche.
- Add salt, pepper and additional lime juice to taste.
- Serve ceviche immediately on a bed lettuce with cilantro and mango alongside, to be added to taste. Serve the sweet potato and corn alongside if desired.