...Yes, somebody did say Ceviche!
Here is a typical Peruvian Ceviche. Sometimes called Ceviche Limeña, after the city of Lima. You find this style of ceviche everywhere in Peru. Sold in the streets, sold in fine dining restaurants this way. Everywhere. It is simple, fresh, clean and tart. In my opinion, the best typical ceviche out of any country's typical ceviche. In my opinion, ceviche is best when it is kept simple, and typical Peruvian Ceviche is about as simple as it gets. A nice Fish, Lime, Onion, Salt. That is the basis of all Peruvian Ceviche and it usually does not vary much from that. That's all Ceviche needs! Any more ingredients and it just gets more convoluted and complicated. Of course, any variations from this can still make a great meal. I like to add Ginger and Aji Limo personally, yet it still keeps it simple enough.
To make a great ceviche...
- Start with a really fresh fish. A firm, white fleshed fish works best. Or, if you are like me, living in an area hundreds of miles away from the coast, use flash frozen fish. The health department would require me, or sushi restaurants, to use this in a commercial setting anyway. Flash frozen fish works great.
- Fresh Lime. I emphasize Fresh because it's easy to ruin a ceviche by using substandard, too old, limes. A lot of peruvians even cut out the core of the lime because they say the juice around the core is bitter. I use a ratio of 1 persian lime to about 10 key limes. I find that this replicates the flavor and acidity of the small peruvian limes that look like key limes. They are not the same thing. Key limes are not acidic enough, persian limes are too bitter, IMO. This way, I get a nice balance.
- Good Salt. The salt used is key in a ceviche. I've always used Morton's Kosher salt but other fine sea salts and kosher salts work great.
- I chop the onions very finely, like paper thin. I always use red onions for the Ceviche Limeño. I also quench them in a bath of ice water to cut down the initial rawness and punch of the onion flavor. The ice cold onions also help to chill the dish further.
I'm using Mahi Mahi for this ceviche... I think it works well for ceviches and adds a nice red hue to the dish.
I toast some "cancha chulpe" corn nuts. This adds a nice crunch to the dish. I toast these in a sauce pot with some oil and salt until they start to pop and take on just a bit of color.
Not pictured, I also boiled some choclo corn kernals like I use in some of the other dishes. I also boiled a yam until tender and skinned it. Cut into large chunks.
Here are the ingredients about to be mixed up for the ceviche. Red onion, Key and Persian Limes, Aji Limo, Cilantro, Ginger
Toss them into a bowl with the cut fish and plenty of lime juice. I marinade this fish for about 5 minutes before it's plated. Lots of salt and a fair amount of pepper are added.
Plated up with the chulpe, cancha, yam and some more aji limo
On the lower plate, I put lots of "Leche de Tigre" and the top one is more dry.
Edited by Vic Cardenas - 4/15/14 at 3:38pm