Ceviche is probably one of the most international dishes from Peru. Knowing how to make it properly is one of the most demanding abilities for top cooks in some places.
In this article, we'll discover how to make ceviche in the Peruvian style with all the necessary traditional ingredients, including corvina.
However, it can also be prepared with chicken, other fish (for example, tuna, salmon or mackerel), seafood (shrimp, prawns, crayfish, octopus, mussels...), cauliflower or even mango.
There are many different ways of making ceviche; in fact, many countries from Latin America have their particular variations. For example, the Ecuadorian ceviche traditionally includes shrimps.
The main elements that we must have clear when cooking it Peruvian style are the necessary ingredients, the fish we must use and how to prepare Leche de Tigre (tiger's milk).
In the following lines, you have a recipe based on the first Peruvian elaboration according to the Peruvian chef Roberto Sihuay.
One of the first questions we face when preparing this recipe is with what fish is "Ceviche Peruano" made, as it is the main ingredient of this dish. Using one fish or another is one of the essential elements that will contribute the recipe to come out perfect or not.
First of all, we must be clear that the raw material must be of quality. When it comes to choosing the fish we have to keep in mind some quality related recommendations and the freshness of the product so as not to endanger our health.
It's true that this dish is prepared in many different ways in different countries from South America, as we previously said; however, the most suitable fish is corvina. This is the classic product used by Peruvians, and the result is always delicious.
Other fish that we can use are sea bass, tuna, salmon and even perch; however, corvina has the perfect characteristics so that our recipe is the most similar as possible as the Peruvian original dish.
For a ceviche recipe for two people you will need the following ingredients:
160 gr of filet of corvina
The head and the rest of the corvina (for the fish broth)
20 gr of ginger
30 gr of celery
Lemon drop pepper to your liking (or a substitute)
2 coriander branches
10 gr of normal or red onion
For the fish seasoning use salt, Leche de Tigre (tiger's milk) elaborated with the previous ingredients and lime juice to your liking. In the final garnish use 50 gr of toasted chulpe corn, 50 gr of choclo (Peruvian corn), 30 gr of sweet potato or manioc, and 40 gr of red onion.
All the ingredients of our ceviche recipe can be replaced by similar products that we can find in the nearest shops; for example, the lemon drop peppers can be replaced by chili peppers and both kind of corns we can replace them with classic toasted corn.
Fish waste is the part of the fish that we do not use to eat. In our case, we will use fish waste as a necessary product to make Leche de Tigre.
Cutting the fish properly is one of the most important steps. The expert Peruvian cooks make this recipe with the back of the corvina, that is the central part of the filet, but in our case, we can use the entire filet if we remove the bones and the dark parts of it.
The correct way to prepare the fish is to cut the corvina in half and remove all the bones and other waste parts from the filet. Then cut each one of the halves successively to end up obtaining cubes of fish of 1 centimeter of thickness approximately. Once we have the dice cut, we will keep them fresh with some crushed ice.
One of the most important recommendations to keep in mind is to cut the fish cleanly. To do this we will need a sharp knife that cuts correctly: Secondly we should not touch or squash the fish too much; the less we touch it, the better.
Leche de Tigre (tiger's milk) is essential for the fish ceviche recipe. This sauce is one of the souls of the traditional dish, and its right preparation will be crucial to obtain a result as similar as possible to the Peruvian original.
The first thing you have to do is prepare a fish broth with the clean head of the corvina. To make this broth, you just need to boil the head with some water in a pan for 30 minutes at low heat.
When you have the fish broth strained and cooled, put it in a container, where you will add the waste of the fish that has been left over previously, the ginger cut in slices, the garlic and the celery, the pepper (or the chili pepper), the branches of cut coriander and the onion. All these ingredients will be crushed well and then strained to obtain Leche de Tigre.
Let the ceviche rest with a little ice so that it does not lose its original shape or texture. Add a little salt on top to start the seasoning.
Then carefully stir the fish and add a little pepper, the Leche de Tigre and the lime juice. It is advisable not to squeeze the lime excessively so that the juice is not bitter.
It is important to stir the fish dice without squashing them: corvina is the main ingredient of the dish, and it should have its natural structure until it is served.
Keep tasting the fish to verify that it is well of salt and lime. The final taste of ceviche should be a harmonious mixture between salty, bitter for the lime and spicy for the pepper.
For the final garnish, add the toasted or fried chulpe corn and the choclocorn boiled with sugar, lime juice and a bit of aniseed.
To finish, add the sweet potato or manioc, and the onion, which will complement the dish and they will give strength and personality to the whole preparation.
Here you have a video where you can follow how to make "Ceviche peruano."
Sakanari, J. A.; McKerrow, J. H. (1989). Anisakiasis. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. American Society for Microbiology. 2 (3): 278–284.
Zapata Acha, S. (2006). Diccionario de gastronomía peruana tradicional (1st ed.). Lima, Perú: Universidad San Martín de Porres.