Peruvian Ceviche How to Make This Classic at Home

posted in: Destinations, Dinner, Lunch, Peru, Recipes | 38

finished dish - peruvian ceviche how to make this classic at home www.compassandfork.comCeviche is the national dish of Peru. Simply fresh seafood “cooked” in citrus juice. In Peru it is generally accompanied with corn and squash (pumpkin). If you are after a light, healthy appetizer, then Peruvian ceviche should be on your radar. And another bonus, it is dead simple to make.

Ceviche is common and very good throughout Central America, particularly Panama, as well as in South America, Chile in particular. But in Peru the bar is raised, it is simply brilliant. You will find it everywhere and you will look forward to it from about mid-afternoon on, along with a Pisco Sour!

Which country do you think has the world’s best cuisine? Thailand? France? They both come to mind. Would you consider Peru in that list? Maybe not, but you might be surprised.

 

Peruvian Ceviche, a Highlight of the World’s Best Cuisine

Long regarded as the best cuisine on the South American continent, even my Chilean friends admitted that, Peru punches well above its weight on the world scene. Did you know Peru has been voted the world’s best culinary destination three years running from 2012 to 2014? Does that surprise you?

Arequipa - peruvian ceviche how to make this classic at home www.compassandfork.com
View of the Andes from Arequipa

It shouldn’t when you consider that Peru is a country that truly has been at the crossroads of the world for a very long time.

We can all probably guess there is a strong Spanish influence. But prior to the arrival of the Spanish, the Incan empire spread from southern Colombia all the way down to southern Chile and included large parts of modern-day Bolivia and north west Argentina. In addition, there are strong African, Italian, Chinese and Japanese influences. Remember President Fujimori? A Peruvian of Japanese descent, he was the President of Peru for the whole of the 1990’s.

Fusion has therefore been around in Peru far longer than when it became a trendy cuisine term used in the West. And there is no greater example of that than Peruvian ceviche. The Japanese influence is obvious when you think about it. With ample stocks of good seafood and nutritious vegetables it is a supreme combination. And a word or two about Peruvian vegetables and grains.

Not only is Peru famous for its quinoa and potatoes (more than 2000 varieties), but also for its corn (55 varieties of all different colors and shapes). Until we traveled to Peru, the corn we most commonly encounter is a version of what is known as sweet corn, so popular in the US, Australia and other places in the west. But let me tell you something, in the home of corn, they don’t eat sweet corn.

As a Peruvian explained to me. Sweet corn was bred in the west. All of the goodness was removed from the corn and replaced with sugar to make it more popular! There is basically no goodness in sweet corn.

Chivay murals - peruvian ceviche how to make this classic at home www.compassandfork.com
Mural in Chivay

I was a little startled by this claim and I have to say the first time I tasted the ubiquitous choclo corn in Peru, I didn’t really care for it! However, after a month in Peru, I was almost craving it. Savory, not sweet at all, and filling, it is good for you. In Peruvian ceviche it is just fabulous.

Alas it is difficult to find anything else but sweet corn in Australia and the US (apart from the odd farmer’s market maybe). But if you can get your hands on any other type of corn then use it instead of sweet corn for this dish. Who knows you may become a convert to heirloom corn varieties.

Great Peruvian Ceviche to Try in Miraflores (Lima)

remote crafts - peruvian ceviche how to make this classic at home www.compassandfork.com
Ladies Weaving in Moray, Sacred Valley

If you are fortunate enough to be in Peru or are going there some time in the future and you are including Lima in your itinerary, then you are in for a treat if you wish to try great Peruvian ceviche.

We had a memorable meal in Miraflores, a rather up-market, seaside suburb of Lima at a restaurant called Costazul Seafood.

I cannot speak highly enough of this restaurant. It is a small, family-run affair, certainly not in a flashy building, quite the opposite. The owner, Carlos, will help you select your meal. It is more than just a great place for ceviche, all of the seafood is excellent. Trust me you will have a very pleasant lunch or dinner at this place.

But for those of you at home, you can easily make your own Peruvian ceviche. You just need access to very fresh fish. Our recipe below uses fish fillets, but in Central and South America we also enjoyed shellfish in our ceviche. We have also enjoyed lime juice instead of lemon juice.

Experiment with it, you won’t be disappointed. And while you are waiting for your fish to “cook” in the lemon or lime juice, enjoy the national drink of Peru, the Pisco Sour.

Peruvian Ceviche How to Make this Classic at Home www.compassandfork.com Easy and healthy, try this fresh seafood dish at home
finished dish - peruvian ceviche how to make this classic at home www.compassandfork.com
Peruvian Ceviche
Print Recipe
Print Recipe
One of the world's earliest fusion foods, Peruvian Ceviche is light, refreshing and healthy. The national dish of Peru is simple to make. Enjoy with a pisco sour.
Servings Prep Time Passive Time
4people 15minutes 30minutes
Servings Prep Time
4people 15minutes
Passive Time
30minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. Boil the corn with the star anise for about 15 minutes or until cooked. Allow to cool completely. Remove the kernels with a sharp knife.
  2. In another pot, boil the squash. Allow to cool completely and then cut into 3/4 inch (2 cm) cubes.
  3. Wash and clean your fresh fish with water. Cut into pieces approximately 1/3 inch (1 cm) cubes
  4. Rub the crushed garlic into a non-metallic bowl. Then add the fish and some of the onion. Add the salt, chili, cilantro and then squeeze the lemon juice over the fish. Let sit 2 or 3 minutes and then taste for seasoning. Add salt if necessary. Add the remaining onion.
  5. Place squash slices and corn kernels around the outside of the plate. Spoon the ceviche mix into the center. Spoon some of the residual lemon juice over the ceviche.ready to eat - peruvian ceviche how to make this classic at home www.compassandfork.com
Recipe Notes

* You need fish that is fresh for this dish.

38 Responses

  1. Platter Talk
    | Reply

    We are en route to Costa Rica where I fell in complete love with ceviche several years ago. I had no idea it what a Peruvian dish but I’m not surprised as we adore food from Peru. Thanks for this informative post, we will be making this soon! Beautiful photos (and site.)

    • Editor
      | Reply

      We also enjoyed the food in Peru. Even people in Chile comment how good the food is from there. We noticed there was more emphasis on vegetables in Peru than countries further to the south.

      Thanks for your kind comments about our site. We do like the combination of food and travel and I find the history of various cultures and their food, very interesting.

  2. Christie
    | Reply

    I would love to visit Peru. Since that isn’t going to happen anytime soon, I’ll be happy to have a taste of Peru in my home with this ceviche.

    • Editor
      | Reply

      And easy to make Christie, there are no special ingredients in this recipe. Thanks for your comment.

  3. I still haven’t taken a liking to raw fish but I’ll have to give this recipe a try (when not pregnant) as it sounds simple and the flavours sounds great. My husbands family make a raw fish salad the traditional Islander way which is similar but with coconut cream. Xx

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Krissy. Honestly, the first time you try ceviche, you will be hooked. Japanese sushi is also raw (without being “cooked” in citrus). The key is having a good supplier. Thanks for your comment.

  4. Sandhya
    | Reply

    Loved your description of Peru and the ceviche recipe

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Thank you Sandhya, we loved Peru. The people, the food and the sights were all great.

  5. What an interesting dish. I love discovering new foods from different cultures. It’s full of delicious surprises!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Yes Christine, that is a good description of this recipe. Full of surprises. Thanks for your comment.

  6. munchies and munchkins
    | Reply

    I’ve never made or tried ceviche so this is really interesting! Great post.

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Fun and easy. Give it a try. Thanks for your comment.

  7. Christine
    | Reply

    This recipe looks delicious! Your beautiful photos make me wish I could visit this amazing country. Gorgeous! You are a wonderful writer – I love all the info. about Peru.

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Thank you so much Christine, I appreciate that. I do enjoy writing and like the combination of travel and food. Thanks for your comment.

  8. Sandi (@fearless_dining)
    | Reply

    I have never tried a dish like this…thank you for such easy to follow instructions 🙂

    • Editor
      | Reply

      My pleasure Sandi. FYI, it doesn’t taste like you are eating raw fish, nor from a consistency point of view. The citrus does “cook” the fish. Thanks for your comment.

  9. Tracy | Baking Mischief
    | Reply

    This looks delicious. I’ve never had ceviche, but now I’m super curious to try it. I really enjoyed your write up on the culinary history of Peru. I had no idea it was so well regarded by foodies! It sounds like an amazing place to visit.

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Tracy, the food is a real melting pot of cuisines. A great place to visit too. Thanks for your comment.

  10. Rebekah | Kitchen Gidget
    | Reply

    I finally live in an area that has fresh fish and I’m so excited to try making this ceviche at home!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Once you have tried it, you will keep making it. So refreshing and light. Thanks for your comment.

  11. Tamara
    | Reply

    Great post Mark! My sister-in-law is Peruvian – from Lima – and it’s always a treat when we go to Newport Beach, California and she makes ceviche for us! I have fallen in love with the food, and posted a couple of my own Peruvian-inspired dishes. I was told recently by a Peruvian they are not “authentic.” We have to make due, and go with available ingredients. My “thing” is creating recipes using flavor profiles (not authenticity), and Peru has amazing flavors! We’re hoping to do the Inca trail in 2017. I can’t wait!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Hi Tamara. Lucky you having a Peruvian sister-in-law. I think this recipe is authentic, especially the addition of the corn and squash. But generally, I get inspiration from what we eat overseas and then, like you, publish a recipe that is in sympathy with the original. Thanks for your comment.

  12. April
    | Reply

    I never had ceviche but I will definitely have to look up more info about it. Your dish looks delicious!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Hi April. Well it is simple to make and eaten everywhere in Central and South America. Thanks for your comment.

  13. First confession – I had no idea quinoa was from Peru!!! Is that really bad of me? I eat loads of it. Ceviche on the other hand is one of my favourite Peruvian dishes! I’ve never made it at home though.

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Emma, I think a lot of times we don’t really know where food originated. And in Peru’s case I am not sure they have done a good job of promoting their native foods! Most people couldn’t tell you anything that is from Peru, okay may be a Pisco Sour 🙂

  14. Platter Talk
    | Reply

    We love ceviche and all things Peruvian! Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Yes one of Peru’s great gifts to the world along with a bunch of other delights. Thanks for your comment.

  15. Tamara
    | Reply

    The woman that told me my recipes aren’t authentic Peruvian is making pisco sours and lomo saltado for us Saturday night… I’ve not tried either one, but as much as I love Peruvian flavored, I’m sure to enjoy it!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Well I would just sit back, relax have a pisco sour and enjoy lomo saltado. You will love it. Maybe she will serve ceviche as well? Thanks for your comment.

  16. Ali @ Home & Plate
    | Reply

    I wouldn’t have thought to pair ceviche with butternut squash but the flavor combo sounds amazing. Love the sweet and spicy!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Indeed and in Peru it is more savory again as they do use sweet corn. It’s an easy appetizer to make in just a few minutes. Thanks for your comment.

  17. Mahy
    | Reply

    Ceviche is one of my favorites and these look AMAZING!! Stunning photos too! Love your blog 🙂

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Thank you very much Mahy. We enjoy the blog, it is a lot of fun.

  18. Sarah
    | Reply

    This looks so delicious! I had no idea that traditionally ceviche includes squash and corn. I am looking forward to trying this!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Yes it’s a bit of a surprise. But it does add a lot of color to the dish. Thanks for your comment.

  19. Tobias
    | Reply

    That looks amazing! We often make a very simple ceviche but I will have to try your recipe soon.

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Tobias, any ceviche is good. I love how light it is. Thanks for your comment.

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